Liu Wins 2 at La Mirada Sectionals, Day 1

Photo Courtesy: Donna Nelson

The first night of Speedo Sectionals in La Mirada, California, belonged to Kenisha Liu of BREA Aquatics. The UCLA swimmer racked up two wins in both the 100 freestyle as well as the 200 breaststroke. On the men’s side, much of the excitement could be attributed to the dominating 200 butterfly swim by Palo Alto Stanford’s Alex Liang.

In the women’s 100 freestyle, it was Kenisha Liu from BREA Aquatics who took the gold in 55.35, after establishing her lead in the first fifty. Meanwhile, Taylor Ault, representing La Mirada Armada and heading to the University of Florida in the fall, battled hard during her second fifty to claim silver in 56.94. Despite a late charge from Mckenna Meyer, swimming unattached (57.26), 15-year-old Samantha Pearson, also swimming unattached, nabbed the bronze in 57.10.

Event 1  Women 100 LC Meter Freestyle
==================================================================
    Name                  Age Team              Prelims     Finals        
==================================================================
                    === Championship Final ===                    
 
  1 Liu, Kenisha R         18 BREA-CA             56.89      55.35  
  2 Ault, Taylor A         18 La Mirada Armada    57.23      56.94  
  3 Pearson, Samantha M    15 Un-Brea-CA          57.25      57.10  
  4 Meyer, Mckenna M       18 Unattached-PC       58.03      57.26  
  5 Treydte, Casslyn E     16 Fusion Aquatics-    58.02      57.43  
  6 Spradley, Summer C     19 Sierra Marlins S    58.13      57.61  
  7 Kozan, Justina A       13 BREA-CA             57.73      58.17  
  8 Trieu, Emily           16 BREA-CA             58.04      58.23  

The men’s race brought a duel between Liam O’Haimhirgin and Bryce Mefford, both representing Sierra Marlins Swim Team and vying for the victory. O’Haimhirgin took early command of the event in a blazing 23.78 for his first fifty, while Mefford came back quicker in the second fifty. O’Haimhirgin got his hand to the wall first in 49.92, but Mefford nonetheless dropped nearly a second from the morning to post a 50.86. Felix Chiun of De Anza Cupertino Aquatics, O’Haimhirgin’s future teammate at the University of Utah, took the final spot on the podium in 51.77.

Event 2  Men 100 LC Meter Freestyle
==================================================================
    Name                  Age Team              Prelims     Finals        
==================================================================
                    === Championship Final ===                    
 
  1 O'Haimhirgin, Liam R   18 Sierra Marlins S    52.13      49.92  
  2 Mefford, Bryce A       18 Sierra Marlins S    51.58      50.86  
  3 Chiun, Felix B         17 De Anza Cupertin    52.23      51.77  
  4 Lincoln, Michael T     18 Palo Alto Stanfo    52.56      52.01  
  5 Brimer, Ryan M         18 Canyons Aquatic-    52.41      52.08  
  6 Ama, Joao G            19 Palo Alto Stanfo    52.54      52.10  
  7 Morrison, Cyrus N      19 Palo Alto Stanfo    52.57      52.35  
  8 Rawls, Corban W        18 Palo Alto Stanfo    52.50      52.43

In a change of pace for the evening, the women’s 1500 freestyle brought a commanding top finish by Kathleen Sulkevich of La Mirada Armada in 17:05.90. Sulkevich stayed consistent throughout the event, posting fifty splits no higher than low 35s throughout. The next top finisher was Riley Spitser of De Anza Cupertino Aquatics in 17:16.90. Close behind Spitser, top seed Emily Niles of Clovis Swim Club nabbed bronze in a solid 17:20.17.

The women’s 200 meter breaststroke turned out to be a two-woman race. Kenisha Liu of BREA Aquatics once again brought home gold in the women’s 200 breaststroke, but this time she topped Grace Zhao, representing Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics. Liu dropped an impressive five seconds from her morning swim to come out on top in 2:29.82, a time made possible by her scorching second 100. Zhao took out the first 100 but ultimately fell short in a respectable 2:30.72. Zhao was followed by Gianni Pitto of California Gold in 2:33.18.

Event 5  Women 200 LC Meter Breaststroke
==================================================================
    Name                  Age Team              Prelims     Finals        
==================================================================
                    === Championship Final ===                    
 
  1 Liu, Kenisha R         18 BREA-CA           2:35.25    2:29.82  
  2 Zhao, Grace            17 Palo Alto Stanfo  2:30.98    2:30.72  
  3 Pitto, Gianni N        16 California Gold-  2:33.04    2:33.18  
  4 Lloyd, Kelsey G        16 BREA-CA           2:37.06    2:34.39  
  5 Feick, Amelia K        18 La Mirada Armada  2:37.48    2:37.13  
  6 Depolo, Donna L        18 1972-PC           2:36.92    2:37.41  
  7 Haynes, Jayssielisa G  19 Roadrunner-CC     2:37.84    2:37.61  
 -- Lusk, Zoe M            17 Palo Alto Stanfo  2:37.31         DQ

In the men’s race, Daniel Comforti, who swims for Arizona State University, but who is currently representing the Brentwood Seawolves, led the race the entire way and stopped the clock in 2:17.33. Behind Comforti, Joseph Brown, representing San Luis Obispo Swim Club, attacked during his final 100 meters, allowing him to pass USC’s Mario Koenigsperger by just five hundredths of a second.

Event 6  Men 200 LC Meter Breaststroke
==================================================================
    Name                  Age Team              Prelims     Finals        
==================================================================
                    === Championship Final ===                    
 
  1 Comforti, Daniel A     20 Brentwood Seawol  2:16.86    2:17.33  
  2 Brown, Joseph M        21 San Luis Obispo-  2:21.00    2:19.27  
  3 Koenigsperger, Mario   20 TROJ-CA           2:21.85    2:19.32  
  4 Kmak, Joe I            20 Palo Alto Stanfo  2:19.50    2:20.09  
  5 Ward, Sean H           17 BREA-CA           2:23.08    2:20.92  
  6 Vargas, Kevin L        16 La Mirada Armada  2:22.26    2:21.03  
  7 Marella, Daniel A      17 De Anza Cupertin  2:23.65    2:23.72  
  8 Shirakata, Ike         16 CITI-CA           2:23.85    2:28.06

The men’s 800 freestyle was claimed by Brad Gonzales of La Mirada Armada in 8:16.24. Gonzales and BREA Aquatics’ Michael Tenney stayed close throughout the race, although it was the second half of the race that set Gonzales apart. The top finishers were rounded out by Road Runner Aquatics’ Owen Van Krimpen, a daring morning swimmer who posted an 8:24.73.

In the women’s 200 butterfly, Catherine Sanchez from La Mirada Armada took home a predictable victory in a soaring 2:12.52. Behind Sanchez, teammate Taylor Ault swam a carefully paced 2:14.87, while Jennifer Campbell, swimming unattached, followed in 2:16.57.

Event 9  Women 200 LC Meter Butterfly
==================================================================
    Name                  Age Team              Prelims     Finals        
==================================================================
                    === Championship Final ===                    
 
  1 Sanchez, Catherine M   18 La Mirada Armada  2:13.21    2:12.52  
  2 Ault, Taylor A         18 La Mirada Armada  2:15.40    2:14.87  
  3 Campbell, Jennifer A   20 Palo Alto Stanfo  2:16.40    2:16.57  
  4 Abrajan, Isabella D    13 Rancho San Diegu  2:18.43    2:18.57  
  5 Turner, Makenna L      17 Diablo Aquatics-  2:19.20    2:21.42  
  6 Trieu, Emily           16 BREA-CA           2:17.00    2:21.99  
  7 Kozan, Justina A       13 BREA-CA           2:17.73    2:22.27  
 -- Vargas, Mackenzie V    19 CCA-SN            2:18.45         DQ

In the final race of the night, the men’s 200 butterfly title went to Palo Alto Stanford’s Alex Liang, who maintained full control of the race from the beginning. Liang coasted to a 2:01.22, and the next closest competitor touched the wall over three seconds later–teammate Joseph Molinari in 2:04.23. Molinari narrowly touched out Connor Lee of Crown City Aquatics Club, who grabbed bronze in 2:04.33.

Event 10  Men 200 LC Meter Butterfly
==================================================================
    Name                  Age Team              Prelims     Finals        
==================================================================
                    === Championship Final ===                    
 
  1 Liang, Alex W          18 Palo Alto Stanfo  2:03.61    2:01.22  
  2 Molinari, Joseph A     19 Palo Alto Stanfo  2:04.66    2:04.23  
  3 Lee, Connor K          16 CRWN-CA           2:06.33    2:04.33  
  4 Bathurst, Christian K  16 CITI-CA           2:06.03    2:05.02  
  5 Vargas, Kevin L        16 La Mirada Armada  2:05.46    2:05.79  
  6 Johnson, Terry K       20 Sierra Marlins S  2:06.09    2:06.67  
  7 Taner, Brooks E        16 Palo Alto Stanfo  2:05.43    2:06.97  
  8 Matsuda, Daichi C      19 Palo Alto Stanfo  2:06.57    2:07.10  

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3 Comments

3 comments

  1. avatar
    Tim Williams

    Daniel Comforti swims for Arizona State University, not their rival, the University of Arizona.

  2. avatar
    Tim Williams

    Danny comforti swims for Arizona State Univeristy, get it right

  3. avatar
    Matthew Mendoza

    Arizona State University…

Author: Katie Wingert

avatar
Katie Wingert is a senior at Messiah College, where she is majoring in English with a secondary teaching certification and minoring in French. Katie swims middle-distance freestyle and IM for the Falcons and serves as an assistant coach for the Annville-Cleona Otters. In 2017, Katie was named the NCAA Division III Elite 90 Award recipient for Women’s Swimming and Diving.

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