Editorial coverage sponsored by SpeedoUSA
COLLEGE STATION, Texas, March 5. PLENTY of swimmers put on a show at the Speedo Champions Series held on the campus of Texas A&M University shortly after the Southeastern Conference Championships scorched the pool.
North Texas' Jonathan Roberts turned in a title trifecta at the meet, winning the 1000 free in a stunning 8:56.61 for a high school junior. His seed time heading into the weekend had been a 9:21.51. He also earned the 1650 free crown in 15:19.28, while also earning the 200 back crown in 1:44.46. Each swim cut monster time from his personal bests as Roberts rounds into one of the top high school recruits for his senior season.
Roberts' teammate Brett Ringgold raced to victory in the men's 100-yard free with a 43.88, clearing the meet record of 44.01 set by Seth Stubblefield in 2011. Ringgold swept the sprint freestyle events with a 19.81 in the 50-yard free.
NTN had some company as PASA's Curtis Ogren also posted a strong meet. He dominated the 500-yard free with a 4:22.25 to win by more than five seconds. On Saturday, Ogren clinched his second crown with a 1:58.11 to clip the meet record of 1:58.27 set by Paul Kornfeld in the 200-yard breast. Ogren then doubled on Saturday night with a sterling 3:45.34 to win the men's 400-yard IM. That swim demolished the Matt Thompson 2009 meet record of 3:50.39. Notably, Roberts also cleared the previous mark with a second-place 3:48.46. Ogren prevailed in the 100-yard breast with a 55.02 for his fourth title. Ogren topped his fifth event with a meet-record 1:46.95 in the 200-yard IM. That performance bettered the 1:47.90 set by Jacob Pebley in 2011.
PASA's Ally Howe doubled up on the second night with wins in the 200-yard back with a 1:53.52, before following up with a 49.59 to capture the 100-yard freestyle just one event later. Howe earned her third win of the meet with a 54.43 in the 100-yard fly. A fourth title came Howe's way on the final night as she raced to a 53.01 in the 100-yard back. Howe then touched out Aggie Kelli Benjamin, 22.82 to 22.83, in the 50-yard freestyle for her fifth title.
In other action, NOVA's Brittany Kampfer topped the women's 1000-yard free with a time of 9:52.43. Kampfer then took third in the 500-yard free the following day with a 4:49.04 behind Longhorn's Quinn Carrozza (4:40.00) and LSC's Madisyn Cox (4:48.23). Carrozza then downed Howe in the 200-yard free to open up Saturday night, 1:46.19 to 1:47.59. Cox picked up her first win of the meet with a 4:16.11 in the women's 400-yard IM. Kampfer swept the distance events with a 16:26.44 in the 1650 free before Cox returned to sweep the IMs with a 1:59.31 in the 200-yard IM.
WETT's Sydney Hirschi cleared 2:00 to win the women's 200-yard fly in 1:59.41, while Aquazot's Corey Okubo touched in 1:46.06 to earn the men's 200-yard fly title. CFSC's Stuart Sharp touched out Ringgold by the slimmest of margins in the 200-yard free, 1:38.21 to 1:38.22. PASA's Andrew Liang was also in the mix with a third-place 1:38.39. Later in the night, Liang topped the 100-yard fly with a 48.06 ahead of Ringgold's second-place 48.41. On Sunday, Liang claimed the 100-yard back title in 48.81.
Paige Miller of Texas A&M topped the youngsters in the 100-yard breast with a 1:01.29 shortly before qualifying to the NCAA Championships this week.
The top age group performance of the meet proved to be PEAK's Benjamin Ho, who downed the 13-14 U.S. National Age Group record in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:45.73 during prelims. That swim lowered the previous record of 1:46.66 set by Ethan Young. Ho wound up finishing fifth in the finale with a 1:47.17.