By Emily Sampl
BOULDER, Colorado, March 27. THE final two stops of the spring Speedo Champions Series sectional meets are scheduled to begin today, with long course competitions in Buffalo, N.Y. and Indianapolis, Ind. Here are a few swimmers and events to keep an eye on at the two meets.
The Buffalo sectionals meet will take place at the Burt Flickinger Athletic Center at Erie Community College, and a couple of big time recruits in USA Swimming will be in attendance, along with several teams with their eyes set on the combined team title.
On the women’s side, Rhode Island’s Bluefish Swim Club and Virginia’s The Fish will likely be in contention for the team title, with a ton of swimmers entered in the meet. Bluefish will count on a few of its up-and-coming teenagers for some big points. Brooke Zeiger, the 13th-ranked recruit in the class of 2014 by Collegeswimming.com and a future Minnesota Golden Gopher, could be the star of the women’s meet with seven top-two seed times. She enters the meet with the fastest times in the 100 (1:12.22) and 200 breast (2:33.22), 400 free (4:14.73) and 200 (2:14.03) and 400 IM (4:42.89), and the second best times in the 200 free (2:03.67) and 200 back (2:11.59). When all is said and done, she could emerge with seven individual event titles. Teammate Lilly Vivado, 15, could have an equally dominant meet, with the top time in the 100 fly (1:02.78) and 1500 free (16:52.54), second best time in the 800 free (8:56.55) and 200 fly (2:18.12) and third best in the 200 free (2:05.17) and 400 free (4:21.87).
On the men’s side, Bluefish’s Connor Green could walk away with half a dozen individual event wins. Green, who is headed to the University of California in the fall as the 24th-best recruit on Collegeswimming.com, is seeded first in the 200 free (1:53.84), 400 IM (4:20.29), 50 free (23.94) and 200 back (1:58.42), and second in the 200 fly (2:05.42), 100 back (55.54) and 200 IM (2:05.10). He’ll have some solid competition from Greenwood Memorial’s Ryan Harty, who enters the meet seeded first in the 100 breast (1:05.44), 100 back (55.31) and 200 IM (2:03.62), second in the 400 IM (4:23.40) and 200 back (2:02.18), third in the 200 fly (2:07.42) and 100 free (53.16) and fourth in the 50 free (24.35). Green and Harty will likely be battling each other for the men’s high point award at the meet.
The Indianapolis sectional meet should feature a lot of quick times, with members of the Indiana University men’s and women’s teams scheduled to compete, and a few top high school swimmers.
On the women’s side, several of Carmel Swim Club’s young, talented swimmers will compete, including Claire Adams, Amy Bilquist, Hanna House and Samantha Burchill. They could be chasing a few National Age Group records at the meet, as Bilquist and Adams were part of Carmel’s 15-18 200 free relay NAG record in 2013. House, Burchill, Bilquist and Adams each contributed to three national high school record-setting relays last month, as Carmel High School took down the national public school records in all three relays – the 200 medley, 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle. This meet will take place in long course, which means they’ll have a shot at a different set of records, and no limit as to how many relays they can all race in.
In the men’s meet, a couple of Indiana Hoosiers are in great position to put up fast times. Tanner Kurz has the best time coming into the meet in the 200 breast by more than three seconds at 2:14.56, while Donald Hurley should also be up there in multiple events, as he’s entered second behind Kurz in the 200 breast (2:17.61) and first in the 200 free (1:52.43). Brock Turner, who competes for the Dayton Raiders and will attend Stanford in the fall, has the top times in the 200 back (2:02.00), 400 free (3:55.22) and 200 IM (2:06.97).
Melissa Kish, 14, of the Waves Bloomington, could make a big dent at the meet as well. She’s seeded first in the women’s 800 free (8:53.09), 200 free (2:04.24) and 400 free (4:17.51) and second in the 1500 free (17:20.18). Others to watch out for include Indiana University’s Olivia Barker, Fishers Area’s Lauren Edelman and Indiana’s Grayson Smith.