Speedo Champions Series Preview: Christiansburg and Ithaca

By Emily Sampl

BOULDER, Colorado, March 20. FOUR Speedo Champions Series sectional meets remain on the schedule for this spring, and two of them will take place beginning tonight in Christiansburg, Virg. and Ithaca, N.Y. Here are a few of the swimmers and races to keep an eye on as racing gets underway tomorrow night.


The Christiansburg, Virg. stop of the Speedo Champions Series begins tonight at the home of the Virginia Tech Hokies, the Christiansburg Aquatic Center, and a couple of teams and swimmers have a chance to make a big impact.

Allie Szekely of the Central Bucks Swim Team, the National Age Group record-holder in the girls’ 13-14 200 breast with a 2:10.22, will be at the meet and has a shot at a couple of individual wins and possibly another NAG record. Szekely will swim the 100 fly (55.56), 400 IM (4:13.14), 200 breast (2:12.81) and 200 back (1:54.37) and is within striking distance of Caitlin Leverenz’s 15-16 NAG record in the 200 breast. Leverenz’s record stands at 2:08.11, so Szekely will need a best time by about two seconds to get there.

Aside from Szekely’s NAG record attempt, the breaststroke events should be particularly intriguing at the meet, as Alyssa Bodin could crack the 1:00 mark in the women’s 100 breast with a seed time of 1:00.60, and make a run at the 200 breast title as well with a 2:14.19. She’s seeded second behind Szekely in the longer distance. Brendan McHugh of GPAC comes in as a huge favorite in both men’s breaststroke events, with seed times of 52.93 and 1:56.63. McHugh is also seeded second in the men’s 50 free at 20.54 and third in the 100 free at 45.22.

A couple of distance swimmers also have a chance to win multiple individual titles at the meet. SEA’s Amanda Nunan comes in with the top time in the women’s 1000 free (10:01.55) and 500 free (4:51.93) and the second-best time in the 200 free (1:49.66) and 1650 free (16:42.46). PAAC’s Samuel Magnan has the fastest seed time in the men’s 1650 free by 38 seconds (15:14.58), the fastest time in the 500 free by seven seconds (4:25.36) and the second-best time in the 1000 free at 9:17.19.


Some exciting matchups are shaping up at the Ithaca, N.Y. sectional meet as well, which will be hosted by the Syracuse Chargers. The meet will feature some of the top young talent in the Northeast, Metropolitan and Potomac Valley LSCs, and several swimmers could leave the meet with multiple individual titles in hand.

Upper Valley Aquatics’ Hannah Cox will definitely be a swimmer to watch at the meet. In tonight’s 1000 free, she’s the top seed by 18 seconds at 9:53.29, and in tomorrow’s 200 free, she’s the one to beat again with a 1:48.14. She’s also seeded second in the 400 IM at 4:19.16, first in the 500 free (4:45.92), fourth in the 200 back (2:02.00) and first in the 100 free (50.62).

Crimson Aquatics’ Liam Egan, a University of Stanford recruit who will travel across the country for school this fall, will have a great shot to win multiple events. He’s entered at 1:36.84 in the 200 free, three seconds ahead of Hauppauge Athletic Club’s Drew Modrov (1:39.65). Modrov is the top seed in the men’s 50 free with a 20.16 and 100 free with a 44.82 and could pull a sprint free triple.

Phoenix Swimming’s Brian Poon will be busy this weekend, with the potential for multiple individual swims in finals. Poon comes in as the third seed in the 1650 free (15:39.31), second seed in the men’s 100 breast (57.17) and the top seed in the 400 IM (3:51.83) and 200 IM (1:48.88).

University of Virginia-bound Jennifer Markkand of Patriot Swim Club will be a force to be reckoned with as well in six events, including the 100 fly (53.77), 400 IM (4:22.47), 200 fly (1:58.07), 100 back (54.08), 200 back (1:56.10) and 200 IM (2:01.56). Her future Cavalier teammates and coaches will likely be watching closely in what could be a very dominant meet for the 18-year-old.

Check out Swimming World later tonight for a full recap of tonight’s events!

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Author: Emily Sampl

Emily Sampl, an editorial assistant for Swimming World Magazine, is a freelance writer for USA Swimming and an assistant coach at Boulder High School and Boulder Elks Swim Team in Colorado. Emily graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Colorado and master's degree in sport administration from the University of Northern Colorado.

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