CHARLOTTE, North Carolina, March 16. SWIMMAC Carolina continued its domination of the Charlotte Speedo Champions Series sectionals meet tonight with another National Age Group relay record and six more wins. SwimMAC won the meet by more than 1,300 points in another fast night of racing.
SwimMAC’s Madison Kennedy got the night started by sweeping the sprint free events. After winning the 50 free earlier in the meet, Kennedy posted the top time in the 100 with a 48.23. Kennedy’s teammate, Catherine Meili, gave her all she could handle on the second 50 after turning more than a second behind; Meili touched in 48.77 to take second. Nora McCullagh, also of SwimMAC, finished third in 49.07. In the men’s 100 free, Ryan Lochte of SwimMAC continued his excellent meet with a solid 42.31 for the win. After flipping about three-tenths ahead of second place finisher Dax Hill of SwimMAC at the 50, Lochte extended his lead to more than a second as Hill finished in 43.36. Dion Dreesens, also competing for SwimMAC, placed third in 44.31.
Thirteen-year-old Madison Homovich of the North Carolina Aquatic Club continued her impressive meet with another distance freestyle win. After posting a 4:44 in the 500 last night, Homovich knocked 37 seconds off her seed time in the mile to win in 16:18.37, which is under the NCAA Division I invited time in that event this year. Chattahoochee’s Lauren Oglesby dropped 26 seconds from her seed time to take second in 16:27.70, while Gwinnett Aquatics’ Anna Jahns dropped 14 seconds to finish third in 16:29.11.
Meanwhile, Lochte returned two events later to claim the men’s 200 back in a swift 1:39.18, not far off his own American record of 1:36.81 from 2007 and under Jack Manchester’s 2013 sectional record of 1:43.87. Nathaniel Murray, also of SwimMAC, finished second behind Lochte in 1:46.45, while Attila Kiraly of the Gators took third in 1:47.46. Mount Pleasant’s Megan Kingsley, winner of the 200 fly last night, added another win with a 1:55.88 in the 200 back. Heather Merritt of SwimMAC finished in second with a time of 1:58.67, just ahead of Mount Pleasant’s Micah Bohon (1:59.12).
In the men’s 1650 free, North Carolina Aquatic Club’s Chip Peterson put on a clinic, finishing 22 seconds ahead of his next closest competitor in 15:22.42. Travis Morin of Mount Pleasant touched second in 15:44.37, while Justin Ress of the Marlins of Raleigh claimed third place honors in 15:48.62.
Three swimmers cleared the sectional record in the women’s 200 IM, led by 17-year-old Kathleen Baker from SwimMAC at 1:54.50. Baker is now less than a second off of Katie Hoff’s 17-18 National Age Group record in the event (1:53.77), and will still have another year in the age group to track it down. Teammate Catherine Meili finished second in 1:57.24, ahead of Nora McCullagh (1:59.31). The previous sectional record stood at 2:00.08, set by Kirsten Smith in 2007.
Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh cleared the men’s 200 IM sectional record from the books in the next event, posting a 1:46.46 to take down Robert Margalis’ 1:47.43 from 2006. Attila Kiraly of the Gators also broke 1:50 with a 1:49.85, while his teammate Dalton Shaw placed third in 1:50.78.
The women’s and men’s 400 medley relays wrapped up the meet. In the women’s race, Kathleen Baker (52.25), Caitlin Casazza (1:02.88), Elsa Welshofer (52.90) and Rebecca Postoll (49.80) combined efforts to post a 3:37.83 and take down the 17-18 National Age Group record held by Aquajets Swim Team. Rachel Bootsma, Abigail Duncan, Elaine Boosalis and Heather Arseth set the previous record of 3:39.21 in 2011. SwimMAC’s B squad of Nora McCullagh, Sara Stranick, Alyssa Marsh and Jessica Merritt finished second in 3:40.59, not far off the 15-16 National Age Group record held by Baker, Casazza, Welshofer and McCullagh. Chattahoochee touched third in 3:49.37.
SwimMAC also claimed the men’s 400 medley relay, with Garrett Simpson (49.35), Dax Hill (55.09), Jackson Smith (49.56) and Tyler Gomez (45.90) going a 3:19.90 for the win. Attila Kiraly, Dalton Shaw, Bobby Bittner and Eyan Eagle of the Gators touched second in 3:23.76, while SwimMAC’s B team of Nathaniel Murray, Graham Weaver, Connor Long and John Baker rounded out the top three in 3:26.27.
SwimMAC ran away with the combined team title by more than 1,300 points. They closed the meet with 1,888 points, ahead of North Carolina Aquatic Club (539) and Marlins of Raleigh (534).