Cary Futures, Day 4: Gingrich Shines As Dynamo Wins Cary Futures Championships

mixed relay start
Photo Courtesy: Kristin Karkoska

By Kevin Donnelly, Swimming World College Intern.

Day 4 of Cary Futures saw competition in the women’s and men’s 100 free, 200 back, 200 IM, and 400 medley relay, as well as the women’s 1500 free and the men’s 800 free. After three tough days of hard racing and fast swimming, Day 4 saw perhaps the most speed yet, with countless huge time drops occurring throughout the session.

Women’s 100 Free

28-year old Leah Gingrich of Columbus Aquatic Club, who won yesterday’s 200 butterfly, claimed victory in the women’s 100 free as well, swimming a fast time of 57.32. Gingrich entered as the top seed at 57.52, and chopped two-tenths off her seed time, splitting 27.82 over the first 50 meters and 29.50 over the second.

Elizaveta Susorova of Cardinal Aquatics entered the day with a seed time of 58.24, but exploded in finals to claim second with a 57.49, a new Summer Junior Nationals qualifying time. Dynamo Swim Club got their first podium finisher of the night with Abigail Pilkenton claiming third with a 58.09, just under her entry time of 58.19.

13-year-old Sydney Kang of Gator Swim Club took fourth in the race at 58.10. Kang split 27.52 over the first 50 meters to explode to the lead, but faded down the stretch.

Men’s 100 Free

Matthew Nutter of the Sarasota Tsunami Swim Team continued his winning ways into the men’s 100 free, after taking the 200 free on Friday. Nutter split 24.95/26.28 to win the event with a final time of 51.23, well under his entry time of 51.94. Nutter, a rising sophomore at SMU, looks primed for a really strong return to collegiate competition after a great Futures.

Wen Zhang of Dothan Dolphins, last night’s 50 free champ, took second with a time of 51.43. Zhang led after 50 meters in a tight heat, at 24.79, but faded with a 26.64 over the final 50. Ethan Long of Academy Aquatic Club and Tate Callahan of North Florida Swimming joined Nutter and Zhang under 52 seconds, finishing with times of 51.78 and 51.81, respectively.

Men’s 800 Free

The men’s 800 saw a battle emerge immediately between two different Marlins. Noah Smith of the Central Florida Marlins in lane 5 and Joshua Legge of the Marlins Of Raleigh in lane 6 broke away from the pack early, and were separated by just half a second at the 650 mark.

Smith broke away at that point, pulling away from Legge to finish with a final time of 8:24.48, well under his seed time of 8:28.26. Legge settled for second at 8:26.41, well under his entry time of 8:30.71 as well. Legge is set to attend George Washington in the fall, and looks set up for a fantastic freshman season for the Colonials up in D.C.

Neal Wolfram of Race Aquatics Swim Club, who swam in the distance session earlier in the day, dropped seven seconds from his seed time down to a 8:29.57, which stands as his first-ever Winter Junior Nationals time standard.

Women’s 200 Back

The women’s 200 back saw Aquatic Team Of Mecklenburg complete a 1-2 punch, with ATOM teammates Eliza Whitmire and Katie Rauch taking first and second in the event, with times of 2:18.04 and 2:18.67, respectively. Whitmire’s winning time is good for a new Summer Junior Nationals qualifying time.

Mary Kelley, swimming unattached for the Episcopal Amberjax, took third at 2:19.08. Kelley held a slight lead on the field at 1:08.00 at the 100 mark, but fell back over the final 50 to the ATOM girls. Madison Cummings of East Coast Aquatic Club joined the three under 2:20, touching fourth at 2:19.80.

Men’s 200 Back

14-year-old Braeden Haughey of the TAC Titans continued to impress, winning the men’s 200 back over a stout field with a time of 2:04.30, a new Summer Junior Nationals time standard. Haughey was slightly behind the leader at the 150 mark, but rode the current home in a 30.70, the fastest last 50 in the field by nearly a second, to win the event. Haughey’s time moves him all the way up to fifth all-time in the 13-14 boys age group, behind just Aaron Piersol, Ryan Murphy, Destin Lasco, and Michael Andrew.

Second place went to William McCloud of Treasure Coast Swimming Conquistadors, at 2:05.21. McCloud also achieved the Summer Junior Nationals time standard and dropped two seconds from his entry time of 2:07.54. Elvis Kotikovski of Pine Crest Swimming took third, at 2:05.49.

Alexander Mays of Prime Aquatics entered the day as the 20th seed, at 2:10.37. Mays blasted a 2:07.37 in prelims to claim a spot in the championship final, then dropped another second down to a 2:06.46 to take fourth and achieve the Summer Junior Nationals time standard.

Women’s 1500 Free

15-year-old Anna Auld of East Coast Aquatic Club entered as the top seed in the women’s 1500 and held onto that spot, swimming a time of 17:02.20 to sneak under her seed time of 17:05.78. Auld went 5:40.09/5:40.72/5:41.39 by 500 to finish five seconds clear of the field.

Alixandra Roy of Highlander Aquatic Club fought valiantly through the first 500 meters with Auld (Roy was at 5:40.59 through the 500, just half a second behind Auld) before falling back. Roy settled for second place with a time of 17:07.53, well under her entry time of 17:21.99. Roy achieved the Summer Junior Nationals time standard with her swim.

Daniella Van Den Berg of Club Seminole entered the day with a seed time of 17:38.43 but blasted way under that with a time of 17:07.88 in the early heats to take third. Van Den Berg is a rising senior at Florida State, and looks to improve on her 13th place finish at last year’s ACCs in the 1650 free as a senior.

Women’s 200 IM

Brooke Zettel of the TAC Titans missed her best time in the women’s 200 IM but still took first place with a strong time of 2:18.62. Zettel led the race from wire to wire, taking the lead through fly and did not look back.

Katharine Ward of Dynamo Swim Club claimed second, swimming a best time of 2:21.27. Ward had the fastest breaststroke split in the field, at 40.00, and closed with just enough energy to take the silver. Elena Dry of the TAC Titans took third at 2:21.45.

Men’s 200 IM

Tyler Watson of North Florida Swimming, last night’s champion in the 200 fly, touched first in the men’s 200 IM with a time of 2:07.30, nearly four seconds under his entry time of 2:11.05. Watson had the second-fastest first 100 in the field at 59.80, and fought hard over the last 100 to take the lead and win the race.

Mid-Michigan Aquatics took second and third in the heat, with Scott Piper (2:07.74) and Phillip Meffert (2:08.22) placing well ahead of the rest of the field. Piper and Meffert both represent Michigan State at the NCAA level and look to return to school ready to help MSU fight for a Big Ten title.

The fastest time of the day, however, came in the B final, as 15-year-old Garrett Boone of Aquatic Team Of Mecklenburg stormed his way down to a 2:07.22 to win the heat by well over a second and a half. Boone’s best time prior to that swim was a 2:13.02, meaning he dropped nearly six seconds over the course of the day. That time also stands as Boone’s first Winter Senior Nationals and Summer Junior Nationals time standard.

Women’s 400 Medley Relay

The Baylor Swim Club took first in the women’s 400 medley relay, largely on the strength of Addison Smith on their butterfly leg, with a final time of 4:18.10. Smith split a 1:02.18 on fly, the fastest split in the field by a wide margin, to open up a big lead for Baylor. Ellie Waldrep (1:04.48, back), Cecilia Porter (1:12.00, breast), and Jewel Gordon (59.44, free) were the other legs for Baylor.

A tight battle between three teams emerged behind Baylor, with Dynamo Swim Club claiming second, at 4:19.41. Dynamo was led by breaststroker Alicia Henry, who had the fastest split in the field at 1:11.26.

The Marlins Of Raleigh and Aquatic Team Of Mecklenburg fought hard against Dynamo but fell just short of defeating them. MOR took third at 4:19.57, and were anchored home by Madison Duracinsky in a 57.77. That split was only outshone by ATOM’s Ellie Marquardt, who split a 57.72 on the free leg to bring ATOM into fourth overall at 4:19.73. ATOM also had the fastest backstroke leg, as 200 back champion Eliza Whitmire swam a new best time of 1:03.65 in the backstroke.

Men’s 400 Medley Relay

Dynamo Swim Club absolutely demolished a strong field of competitors in the men’s 400 medley relay, touching over four and a half seconds clear of the field with a final time of 3:49.40. Kamal Muhammad (58.31, back), Owen Downs (1:04.63, breast), Campbell Auerbach (54.40, fly), and Brooks Curry (52.06, free) finished far and away ahead of the field, as Muhammad, Downs, and Auerbach each recorded the fastest split time of the day for their respective legs.

The battle for second through fourth was once again tight, with Aquatic Team Of Mecklenburg this time working their way up into second place, with a final time of 3:54.00. Garrett Boone achieved his second Summer Junior Nationals time standard of the session on the leadoff leg, putting up a 58.64 to blow away his old best time of 1:00.12. The TAC Titans took third, at 3:54.56, followed closely by the Marlins Of Raleigh, at 3:55.23.

The fastest freestyle leg of the day belonged to Sarasota Tsunami Swim Team’s anchor and 100 free champ Matthew Nutter, who stormed home in a 51.07 to bring his team into eighth place.

Team Scores

Dynamo Swim Club took the lead on Night One and never looked back, winning the meet on all fronts with 793 points. The Marlins Of Raleigh took second place with 585 points, with the TAC Titans taking third with 564. Aquatic Team Of Mecklenburg, who came to Cary with just twelve swimmers, placed fourth overall against a field of much larger teams, finishing with 493 points.

Cary Futures Results – Day 4