MELBOURNE, Australia, January 4. THE second day of the Victorian Championships produced continued success for the United States National Junior Team, as it enhanced its medal haul during the competition in Melbourne. The meet is being held at the site of the Commonwealth Games and features a number of top-flight Aussie athletes, along with National Junior squads from Australia and Canada.
The United States’ biggest show arrived in the women’s 1,500-meter freestyle, as the Stars and Stripes claimed a gold-silver-bronze finish, led by Chloe Sutton. Sutton finished in 16:32, ahead of teammates Monica Drake and Leah Gingrich. Sutton trains with The Fish and is coached by Ray Benecki, the man who has guided the career of Kate Ziegler. For Gingrich, it was her third medal of the meet, complementing hardware in the 200 butterfly and 800 freestyle relay.
For the men, Dillon Connolly roared to a first-place performance in the 100 breaststroke, thanks to the winning time of 1:04.63. Troy Nissen slipped into fifth place in the event with a mark of 1:06.30. Connolly was also fifth in the 400 individual medley, which was won by teammate Clark Burckle in 4:26.94. In the women’s 100 backstroke, the U.S. received fourth and fifth-place showings from a pair of Pennsylvania standouts, Kristen Shickora (1:04.01) and Teresa Crippen (1:04.18).
In other action, David Seiler and Mark Dylla were fourth and fifth in the men’s 100 butterfly, behind respective swims of 55.33 and 55.62. Meanwhile, Megan Romano qualified fourth for the final of the women’s 100 freestyle with a swim of 57.13. She was followed in sixth by Karlee Bispo (57.49). Samantha Woodward also reached the final with a time of 57.69 and was the second-fastest qualifier for the final of the 50 fly (27.77).