Amy Bilquist
Courtesy of: Gwynne Freeman
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By Gwynne Freeman

GRESHAM, Oregon, July 20. THE final day of competition at the Speedo Champions Series held in Gresham featured plenty of strong efforts. However, a funk fell over the crowd as an injury held the meet from coming to a close in the final race of the night.


Tonight opened with a stellar performance by Grace Carlson, Tualatin Hills Swim Club posting a time of 2:17.90 in the women's 200-meter IM. Morgan Hartigan, Wyoming (2:18.78) and Rachel Millet, Vandals (2:19.59) were left fighting for the second and third spots. Jared Markham, Aces Swim Club (2:05.38) dominated the men's field of the 200-meter IM. Fellow ACES teammate Jason Hartbarger had a strong swim with a time of 2:06.15. Andrew Heymann, unattached-Oregon rounded out the field with a time of 2:07.18

The gals of Colorado ruled the women's 1500 free. DU Hilltopper teammates Lauren Abruzzo, (16.46.50) and Haley Rowley (16: 47.96) controlled the pace and held off Amanda Richey (16:53.40) of Boulder Swim Club. On the men's side Peter Kotson, Helena Lions Swim Team destroyed the field with a time of 16:06.28 in the men's 1500-meter free. Carter Griffin, DU Hilltoppers held on to the second place spot with 16:22.24. Daniel Notarianni, Fort Collins Area Swim Team had a strong performance in an earlier heat leaving him with the third place time of 16:25.33

Arizona represented in the 50 free event. Amy Bilquist, Scottsdale Aquatic Club (26.23) held off Krista Duffield, Tuscon Ford Dealers (26.28) and Jasmine Alkhaldi (26.30), Hawaii. On the men's side outside lane Ryan Hoffer (23.67), Scottsdale Aquatic Club just out touched teammate Nicholas Magana (23.68). Justin Beach, Denver Swim Academy placed third with a time of 23.74.

After several days of watching the Scottsdale girls make waves with National Age Group relay records, Tualatin Hills fought back in the women's 400-meter medley relay. Cassidy Brennan, Blaise Wittenauer-Lee, Michelle Cefal and Grace Carlson clocked a 4:13.37 for the win. Scottsdale's Amy Bilquist, Hannah Holman, Samantha Getzen and Victoria Toris placed second in 4:17.85.

The final event of the night, the men's 400-meter medley relay, had a delay when a Scottsdale B relay swimmer Austin Drummond looked to have injured his shoulder, leading to the relay not to finish. The meet was delayed for medical attention, and for the final heat of the men's 400-meter free relay to get some extra warmup time in. Drummond later tweeted that his shoulder was finally popped back into place, and he was able to walk away from the injury.

Boise Y's Alexander Trompke, James Nguyen, Karl Mering and Tanner Schelling wound up winning the event in the end with a 3:54.88, while Scottsdale's A team of Ryan Hoffer, Marcello Quarante, Joseph Starkweather and Nicholas Magana picked up second in 3:56.68.