Bray, Fonder Get Gators Back in the Mix on Night Four of ISCA Dolfin Jr. National Cup

Photo Courtesy: Diana Pimer

The 2017 ISCA Dolfin Jr. National Cup is off and running once again. The meet is being held in the Long Center Pool at the Doyle Aquatic Center in Clearwater, Florida. The meet will take place from March 21-March 25 and will be conducted in a 16 & Under/Open format. Full results are available on Meet Mobile: 2017 Dolfin ISCA Junior Championship Cup.

The Virginia Gator women have narrowed their point deficit from 36.5 points to 16.5 points with one day left of competition. The Gator men (377.5) have a dominant lead over Ohio State Swim Club (282). In the combined scores, the top three teams are: Virginia Gators (693), Mason Manta Rays (587) and Ohio State Swim Club (460).

Although it concluded the meet, the Gator team of Olivia Bray, Emma Muzzy, Whittney Hamilton and Caroline Kulp shattered the 15-16 400 Medley Relay National Age Group Record. Their time of 3:36.53 broke the previous mark set by SwimMAC in 2013. While this record went down, Beata Nelson‘s 100 fly NAG remains safe for a bit longer. In tonight’s 16 & Under 100 fly, Bray dominated the event entirely by racing to a 51.48, just .40 seconds off the NAG. But Bray is just 15 years old and has a full year to keep going after that record.

But Bray’s dominance did not stop there. Just a few heats later, Bray went on to win the 16 & Under 50 back in 24.22, and then took second in the 200 free with a lifetime best 1:46.37. The first two swims were both meet records, while she finished second only to NBAC star Easop Lee (1:45.70) in the 200. Kulp was third in 1:47.85. Bray capitalized on her underwaters in all three races and raced fearlessly, taking out the 200 in a lifetime best 50.40. It was clear tonight that Bray and the Gators were swimming with purpose.

Emma Muzzy won her fifth event of the meet by taking the 400 IM in 4:11.80. Just a bit off her best, the time was still good enough to clinch the meet record and victory in this event. Teammate Keith Myburg did similarly in the Open 400 IM, crushing the old meet record with a time of 3:45.85. Despite a tough battle with Ridgefield’s Kieran Smith (3:46.07) and being second at the 200 mark, Myburg battled back to take the win. Greg Reed, also of the Gators, took third in 3:55.12.

17-year-old Khalil Fonder then claimed his moment in the spotlight this week by winning two Open events in a row. He started off with the 100 fly in meet-record fashion with a 47.63. Teammate Angelo Russo was not far behind in 48.06. Quest’s Clark Beach was third in 48.16. Fonder took it out in a quick 22.15 and like Bray, utilized his underwater power off the last wall to secure the win. He used the same technique in the 50 back just minutes later, claiming a huge meet record of 22.16. The time broke the old record by over one and a half seconds and won the event by .33. Russo tied OSSC’s Benjamin Sugar in this race for second in 22.49 seconds.

Fonder, Myburgh and Russo then teamed up with 1,000-Champion Greg Reed to claim the 40 medley relay in 3:16.79. OSSC was second in 3:18.44 followed by the Manta Rays in 3:18.75. The Manta Ray women claimed second in the women’s event in 3:42.82 followed by Empire in 3:43.93.

While the Gators did have an impressive night, they certainly weren’t the only ones. NBAC’s Lauren Poole swam to a personal best in the 16 & Under 400 IM swimming a 4:15.00 for second place. Coast Guard Blue Dolphin’s Danika Katzer took third in 4:16.52. The Open event featured First Colony’s Danielle Hepler winning in 4:15.38 followed by the Rays’ Allison Bloebaum (4:21.16) and Gators’ Cabell Whitlow (4:21.34). The Foster brothers continued their dominance in the 16 & Under 400 IM claiming the top two spots in 3:46.62 and 3:49.72. Carson Foster took the win accompanied by his older brother Jacob Foster in second. Garrett Clason was third in 3:53.51 as all three men swam under the previous meet record.

Bray had some fast backup in the 100 fly in Enfinity’s Olivia Carter (52.85) and Makos’ Alexa Cuomo (53.10). Tide’s Callie Dickinson made a statement in the open event with a winning time of 54.14. Greenwood Swimming’s Kasja Dymek was not far behind in 54.39 followed closely by Ridgefield’s backstroke-Champion Marcella Maguire (54.49). She later claimed the sprint backstroke event in 25.21 setting the meet record. Enfinity’s Kathryn Morrison (25.76) took runner-up honors (25.76) and Clearwater’s Helena Heuberger (26.23) was third.

In the men’s 16 & Under 100 fly, Enfinity’s Maxwell Edwards broke Fonder’s meet record in 48.21. Cason Wilburn was second in 48.37 and Michael Petro took third in 48.49. In the 50 backstroke for this age category, Shane Blinkman continued his fast swimming with a tie of 22.89 with ODAC’s Caleb Mauldin. Enfinity’s Kyle Barone was third in 23.18.

The Open 200 freestyle highlighted three familiar names this week as Hepler picked up her second win of the night in 1:48.27. The Manta Ray duo of Hannah Foster and Bloebaum took the next two spots in 1:48.31 and 1:49.53, respectively. Wilburn (1:38.38), Jacob Foster (1:39.07) and Clasen (1:40.32) then did the same in the 16 & Under event. Wilburn took down the meet record in the process. Clark (1:37.08) and Ethan Beach (1:38.89) took second and third in the open 200 free preceded by Daniel Krueger in blistering 1:35.58.

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