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The 2017 Speedo Sectionals makes a stop in Lincoln, Nebraska this weekend, at the Woods Park Pool. Finals this evening featured the 100-meter freestyle, 200-meter breaststroke, and the 200-meter backstroke, as well as the 800-meter freestyle distance event. University of Nebraska’s Club Huskers put up a few first-place finishes to highlight an evening of fast swimming.
16-year-old Alana Palmer of Lincoln Select Swimming took the title for the women in the 100-meter freestyle, finishing in a blazing 57.85. Dannie Dilsaver of Greater Nebraska Swim Team took second with her time of 58.19, while teammate Olivia Calegan was close behind in 58.23 for bronze.
Council Bluff Swim Club’s Jackson Allmon was the only man under 53 flat in the men’s event, sprinting to a first-place time of 52.74. Top seed William Bresette of Empire KC Swim Club was just off in 53.02, and River City Aquatics’ Brogan Davis touched third in 53.13. Notable as well in this event was 46-year-old Masters swimmer Siphiwe Baleka, who finished 10th with a 54.96, just over a second off of the Masters national record. Baleka is entered in four other events over the course of the weekend, and will be one to watch as he threatens a few national records in the 45-49 age group – specifically, the 100 breaststroke and 50 freestyle.
Jordan Ehly of Club Huskers dominated the field in the women’s 200-meter breaststroke, finishing almost a full eight seconds ahead of the rest of her competition in 2:30.97. Haley Downey of Splash Club and Caroline Theil of Greater Nebraska Swim Team were neck and neck for second-place, with Downey coming out on top in 2:38.09 over Theil’s third-place time of 2:38.44.
The men’s race was not nearly as clear-cut, as the top four men finished within a half-second of each other. Lance Culjat of Omaha Swim Federation just edged out Empire KC Swim Club’s Samuel Drew for first place with a strong back half. Culjat finished in 2:22.67 to Drew’s 2:22.91, while Empire’s Thomas Huffman was a mere millisecond behind in 2:22.92 to take the bronze.
The last event of the evening, the 200-meter backstroke, saw some close races as well. Club Huskers teammates executed a sweep of the women’s race, as Jacqueline Jeschke dropped three seconds from her prelims time, while most other finalists added a half second or so, to finish in first with a 2:18.86. Teammate Morgan McCafferty took the silver medal with her time of 2:21.41, and a third teammate, Anna McDonald, notched bronze with a 2:21.69.
On the men’s side, college swimmers dominated as swimmers from the University of Missouri secured the top three spots. Alex Walton, Griffin Schaetzle, and Daniel Hein finished in 2:06.16, 2:06.84, and 2:08.18, respectively.
The 800-meter freestyle was also swum this evening as a timed final, with SwimTulsa’s Liberty Howell taking the title in 9:05.20, splitting an incredible 30.53 on her last lap to overtake Club Huskers’ first-seed Kaylyn Flatt, who touched in 9:08.15 for second place. Third place went to SwimTulsa’s Josephine Uerling with her time of 9:22.55.
Bresette added a first-place finish to his roster and proved he can master both sprints and distance events, finishing just 0.01 ahead of second-place Hunter Denison of American Energy Swim Club in a thrilling finish to the men’s 800. Denison led for the first half, and put up a valiant effort on the last 100 meters, but Bresette negative split the race to finish in 8:39.30 to Denison’s 8:39.31. Third place went to River City Aquatics’ Daniel Seabaugh in 8:41.55.
Tomorrow’s races will include the 400-meter IM, 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter freestyle, and the 400-meter freestyle relay.
All results can be found on Meet Mobile – 2017 Region VIII Summer Sectionals.