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KNOXVILLE, Tennessee, December 5. THE 2013 edition of the USA Swimming Winter Nationals opened up with a bang as a U.S. National Age Group record already took a tumble in the early relays.
Women’s 200 free relay
SwimMAC Carolina’s women’s 200 free relay, bolstered by some seriously fast post-grads, led the way in qualifying with a 1:29.60. Madison Kennedy (22.36), Kelsi Hall (22.26), Kathryn Sauborn (23.15) and Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace (21.83) put together the top time of the morning, just a second back of the meet record of 1:28.63 set by Arizona a year ago in Austin, Texas. There’s little doubt that meet mark will fall this evening.
Elizabeth Pelton (22.64), Kaylin Bing (22.42), Farida Osman (22.41) and Kristen Vredeveld (22.54) produced the top college-based swim with a 1:30.01 for the California A team, while Rachel Bootsma (22.72), Cindy Tran (22.23), Rachael Acker (22.21) and Mikkel-Anne Stipe (22.92) posted a third-seeded 1:30.08 as Cal’s B team.
Michigan (1:30.40), Louisville (1:30.70), Indiana (1:30.87), NCAP (1:31.09) and Louisville B (1:33.13) rounded out the top eight with recently-named World Swimmer of the Year Katie Ledecky showing off some sprint skill with a 22.41 anchor for NCAP. Janet Hu had the top leadoff with a 21.90 for NCAP as well. That just missed the U.S. National Age Group record of 21.89 set by Faith Johnson for the 17-year-old Hu.
Notably, Hu (21.90), Laura Branton (23.45), Kylie Jordan (23.33) and Ledecky (22.41), all 15-17, did produce a U.S. National Age Group record for 15-18 relays as the 1:31.09 surpassed the 1:31.84 set by SwimMAC’s Kathleen Baker, Nora McCullagh, Caitlin Casazza and Lauren Rhodes last year.