Virginia Gators Win 2017 ISCA Summer Senior Championships

The Virginia Gators took home the team title at the 2017 ISCA Summer Senior Championships with a total of 980.5 points. They won both the men’s and women’s competitions. SNOW Swimming came in second overall with 726 points, and CPAC was third with 629.5.

Peyton Palsha of St. Petersburg Aquatics took home the Open high point award with 77 points, while Gators’ Olivia Bray took the 16 and under title with 75. Teammate Khalil Fonder won the men’s title with 72 and Naval Academy’s Bernhard Christianson won the 16 and under honor with 58.

The ISCA meet was held at the North Shore Aquatic Complex in St. Petersburg, Florida from August 2-5.

800 Freestyle

Peyton Palsha of St. Petersburg Aquatics set yet another record at the ISCA Summer Senior Championships by dominating the 800 in 8:46.38. The previous mark stood at 9:01.69 from Adirondack Aquatics’ Steph Nasson in 2015. Occoquan’s Emily Hetzer was also under the previous record as she claimed second in 8:58.42.

CPAC’s Alexandra Truwit narrowly out-raced WTRC’s Nicola Lane 9:08.03 to 9:08.06 to earn third. New Wave’s Mary Pruden claimed fifth with a 9:14.52, while teammate Sydney Willis took seventh in 9:30.12. Kingfish’s Ashley Loomis split the women with her sixth place finish in 9:24.12.

Greenwood Swimming’s Andrea Brenstrom (9:30.34) and Lefteri Roba (9:34.11) took eighth and ninth, while Occoquan’s Grace Nicolai was tenth in 9:34.11.

Bridget Semenuk of CPAC continued her winning ways in the 16 & under 800, taking the event in 8:58.07. Three women were not far behind a New Wave’s Kenna Haney stole runner up honors with a 9:01.44, and Gators’ Caroline Kulp (9:03.04) and CPAC’s Elizabeth Boeckman (9:03.08) battled it out for third.

In similar fashion, New Wave’s Amanda Ray (9:13.13) and East Carolina’s Lyndsey Reeve (9:13.58) had a close race for the fifth position. Blue Devil’s Tylor Mathieu (9:16.72), CPAC’s Carly Rutlidge (9:20.96), SNOW’s Rachel Schlemmer (9:22.16) and Occoquan’s Erin Kerrigan (9:23.21) rounded out the top ten.

1500 Freestyle

Despite being in different age categories, the most intense race of the night came from the final heat of the men’s 1500, where SNOW’s Victor Pliuskaitis (16:11.43) and St. Petersburg’s Will Smith (16:11.49) swam stroke-for-stroke for the last 600 meters of the race. Occoquan’s Keven Stahl (16:25.88) took command of the race early on, but Pliuskaitis’ patient race strategy paid off in the end as he was able to run down both men for the win. The time was 20 seconds faster than his seed time.

Smith and Stahl led three under swimmers under the previous meet record. Kingfish’s Tyler Stringfellow (16:31.96), Occoquan’s Michael Blake (16:35.58) and Gators’ Jacob Lawson (16:35.94) all swam under the previous mark of 16:44.54 set by Smith at this meet last summer.

Azura Florida’s Julian Iturbe (16:54.57), Montverde’s Chase Dejarnett (17:27.35), Gators’ Jacob Bowery (17:29.82), Crimson’s Zachary Beucler (17:36.39) and Piotr Tarala (17:43.82) rounded out the top 10.

In the 16 and under event, Crimson’s Zach Grover claimed runner-up honors with a 16:29.24. Occoquan’s Henry Radzikowski was third in 16:43.54. Blue Devil’s Mcallistar Milne claimed the fourth spot in 16:47.52 while SNOW’s Samuel Oliver was fifth in 16:49.64.

Nikolas Lee-Bishop (NOVA-16:49.64), Connor Hughes (New Wave-16:57.44), John Gallant (WHAT-17:03.41), Scott Spear (Crimson-17:03.77) and Benjamin Cote (St. Petersburg-17:06.16) placed sixth through tenth.

200 Butterfly

The Gators started a dominant 200 fly run with Cabell Whitlow just missing the meet record set by Greenwood’s Megan Brown in 2015. Just one-tenth off, Whitlow won the race in 2:15.64. Brown’s former teammate Kasja Dymek claimed runner-up honors with a 2:16.94. Both swims were lifetime best times for these women.

Blue Dolfin’s Chloe Hampson was third in 2:22.10, followed closely by SNOW’s Rachel Schlemmer in 2:22.72.  New Wave’s Pruden was also in the mix at 2:23.26. CPAC had a pair of swimmers in the heat per Carolyn Morikawa (2:23.58) and Isabel Blaze (2:24.27). Lane took eight in 2:25.64 followed by Occoquan’s Melanie Sherrill in 2:26.85 and Naval Academy’s Kylie McMahon in 2:29.19.

Olivia Bray continued her run at the top in the 200 butterfly. Her 2:13.46 crushed the previous meet record set by teammate Caroline Kulp last summer. Kulp placed fifth in the heat with a 2:20.19. Erin Kerrigan (Occoquan-2:18.82), Amanda Ray (New Wave-2:18.87) and Kelly Montesi (CPAC-2:19.93) finished between the two Gators.

Maggie Mantz of Blue Devil led the second half of the pack placing sixth in 2:23.29. Close behind were Occoquan’s Apryl Stahl in 2:23.63, SNOW’s Emerson Davis in 2:23.69, Crimson’s Ashley Grover in 2:23.85 and Naval Academy’s Jessica Cline in 2:25.54.

Iran Almeida kept the Gators at three-for-three in this event, winning the Open race in 2:02.30. Teammate Keith Myburgh added to the Gator point tally with runner-up honors in 2:03.26. St. Petersburg’s Joshua McQueen was third in 2:09.74.

Weston’s Nathan Katz led the rest of the finishers, coming in fourth with a 2:11.44. Cayman’s John Bodden was not far behind in 2:11.53. Makos’ Fletcher Madsen was next in 2:12.18, and was followed by Planet Swim’s Jacob Mier (2:12.1), Azura Florida’s Edson Lima (2:14.11), Gators’ Colin Gibbons (2:14.75) and Occoquan’s Stahl (2:16.48).

Noah Bowers completed the Gator sweep by winning the 16 & under event with a 2:03.90. Occoquan’s Gilbert Diaz was second in 2:08.09 and CPAC’s Benjamin Feldman was third in 2:09.49. Teammate Stephan Todorovic was eighth in 2:14.22.

Naval Academy placed a pair of men in the final, with Andrew Hernandez (2:09.65) finishing fourth and Bernhard Christianson (2:10.53) finishing sixth. St. Petersburg’s Caleb Kravitz finished between them in 2:10.51.

Greenwood’s Sam Folger was seventh in 2:11.55, followed by Crimson’s Zach Grover (2:16.16) and Milne (2:19.46).

50 Breaststroke

While Zoe Skirboll‘s National Age Group Record in this event was the highlight of the morning session, New Wave’s Mikaela Fullerton got the upper edge in finals taking the event in 33.47. Skirboll finished second in 33.62, off her 32.96 from the prelims. Teammate Naomee Miller was third in 34.03.

SNOW’s Daphne Bernal (34.60), Occoquan’s Abigail Daniel (34.87) and Gators’ Emma Muzzy (34.94) led the rest of the pack. Weston’s Samantha Kim and CPAC’s Sophia Moore tied for seventh in 35.18 and were followed by Pueblo County’s Emily Moreland (35.59) and Blue Devil’s Tylor Mathieu (35.71).

Azura Florida’s Patricia Casellas won the Open event in 34.33. New Wave’s Ashley Heineman was her biggest challenger at 34.94, followed by SNOW’s Maren Oliver in 35.34. East Carolina’s Morgan Despres (35.49) and Pueblo County’s Amanda Blickensderfer (35.76) were also under the 36-second barrier.

SNOW’s Sally Burkley and Cayman’s Sarah Jackson provided another tie, this time in 36.15 for sixth. Pueblo County’s Lindsey Bertoldo (36.38), Greenwood’s Natalie Baclawski (36.71) and Naval Academy’s Abigail Andrews (36.91) rounded out the championship final.

Christianson won a close battle for the win in the 16 and under men’s race, finishing in 30.59 just ahead of CPAC’s Connor Morikawa (30.71) and Racer X’s Kimani Gregory (30.78). Gators’ Collin Myburgh was also in the mix at 30.81.

Jason Rosales of Greenwood Swimming then led the rest of the pack with his fifth place swim of 31.56. Daniel Baldwin (New Wave-31.77), Joshua Wiedemann (WTRC-31.98), Andrew Hale (Makos-32.07), Brandon Moran (Azura Florida-32.25) and Edward Randolph (33.06) rounded out the heat.

Keith Myburgh continued his breaststroke dominance for the Gators winning the 50 in 29.66. SNOW’s Michael Burris was right behind in 29.921 as was East Carolina’s Philip Perdue in 29.98.

Chad McGuire of Panama City led 30-second plus swimmers with a time of 30.03. Isaiah Gregory of Racer X and Justin Lawrence of Charleston Southern then tied for fifth in 30.44. Occoquan’s Jonathan Brooks was next in 31.09, Giorgio Traverso was eighth in 3.24, Weston’s Katz took ninth in 31.32 and Nomad’s George Ritchie was tenth in 31.38.

100 Freestyle

CPAC’s Semenuk capped off her stellar week with a win in the 100 freestyle. Her time of 57.10 broke her own meet record that she set in the prelims. Bray was back in the water in this event claiming the second position in 57.98. Cayman’s Alison Jackson was third in 58.36.

Haney and Skirboll also doubled up on night four, as Haney finished fourth in 58.89 and Skirboll was fifth with a 59.05. NOVA’s Morgan Burton was next in 59.28, followed by Kulp (59.33), CPAC’s Lillian Clisham (59.61), Reeve (59.64) and Muzzy (59.80).

In the open event, Greenwood duo Vivian Weng (58.29) and Isabella Song (58.68) took the top two spots. Teammate Dymek also earned the fourth position coming in at 59.66. NOVA’s Annelise Sanchez broke up the Greenwood trio with a third place finish in 59.24.

Kingfish’s Ashley Loomis led the rest of field at 1:00.01, and was followed by Morgan Despres (East Carolina-1:00.14), Palsha (1:00.16), Hetzer (1:00.36), Svea Torres (East Carolina-1:00.36) and Melissa Cundiff (SNOW-1:00.38).

Four swimmers swam under the previous meet record mark in the 16 and under event. SNOW’s John Moore led the way in 52.35, and was followed by Gregory of Racer X in 52.57 and CPAC duo Marcus Hodgson (52.61) and Cole Pierce (52.96).

Cote took the fifth position with a 53.87 and was the lone swimmer at 53 seconds. Connor Gamble (Mid-Cities Arlington-54.22), Hale (54.25), Andrew Relihan (Planet Swim-55.03), Evan Weakley (Gators-55.20) and Nicholas Metro (St. Petersburg-55.90) took fifth through tenth.

Khalil Fonder won one more event to finish off his meet, taking the the open 100 free in 51.42. Azura Florida’s Daniel Torres (52.77) took runner-up honors in 52.77 while Occoquan’s Corey Shepard took third (52.82). Norman Gregory took the fourth spot in 53.23 and was followed by Rocky Mountain’s Nicholas Sherman was fifth in 53.27.

SNOW swimming then placed four swimmers in the heat via Matthew Popovich (53.32), Luay Hilmi (53.61), Hughes (53.73) and Lucas (53.86). Julian Iturbe of Azura Florida rounded out the heat in 55.24.

Full night 4 results can be found here.

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Author: Diana Pimer

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Diana Pimer was a breaststroke/IMer at Keene State College and is the NEISDA Conference record holder in the 200 IM. She is the assistant swim coach and assistant strength and conditioning coach at Keene State, as well as KSC's head site coach for Greenwood Swimming. Pimer also helped coach 2016 Paralympic bronze medalist Robert Griswold.

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