Michael Andrew Wins 3 on Third Night of Columbia Speedo Sectionals

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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On the third day of Speedo Sectionals competition in Columbia, MO, the Race Pace Club’s Michael Andrew once again owned the evening. Andrew competed in three events and won each of his races with times that made the all-time age group lists.

On the women’s side, Caroline Theil of Greater Nebraska Swim Team also attempted three and made the podium for each race, even landing at the top for the IM.

Women’s 200 IM

Caroline Theil of Greater Nebraska came away with gold in 2:00.93. American Energy Swim Club’s Hanna Newby surged in the freestyle leg for 28.25, but she ultimately settled for silver in 2:01.46.

Meanwhile, Luciana Thomas of the Razorback Aquatic Club Aquahawgs found bronze in 2:02.65.

Men’s 200 IM

Benjamin Patton of Wichita Swim Club enjoyed the victory in 1:47.84, topping the rest of the field by over a second. Behind Patton, William Bresette, representing Empire KC Swim Club, enjoyed silver in 1:49.28.

The final spot on the podium went to Greater Omaha Aquatics’ Conner Funke in 1:51.14.

Women’s 50 Free

The women’s 50 free belonged to Megan Keil of Wichita Aqua Sharks, who virtually dominated in 22.74.

Isabelle Cothern, representing Dart Frog Aquatics, stopped the clock in 23.34, while Martina Thomas of the Razorback Aquatic Club Aquahawgs was not far behind, in 23.45, for bronze.

Men’s 50 Free

Michael Andrew zoomed to his first-ever 50 under 19 seconds. His 18.91 stacks up as the third-fastest time of all time for 17-and 18-year-olds, behind only Caeleb Dressel and Ryan Hoffer.

Behind Andrew, Michael Chadwick put up an impressive 19.31 for silver. The rest of the field stayed above the 20-second barrier, with Vincent O’Connor, representing Edwardsville YMCA Breakers, claiming the bronze in 20.80.

Women’s 200 Breast

Katharine Ross from the University of Missouri took off in the 200 breast for gold in 2:12.04. Ross’ swim was even and consistent–she went out in 29.85, and kept all of her other 50 legs within one second of each other.

Behind her, American Energy Swim Club’s Hanna Newby following up her 200 IM runner-up finish, racked up another silver in 2:13.22, well ahead of Greater Nebraska Swim Team’s Caroline Theil (2:15.61), fresh off of her victory in the 200 IM.

Men’s 200 Breast

Ryan Geheb and Nick Staver, both swimming unattached, plus Benjamin Patton of Wichita Swim Club, all fought to the end in the 200 breast. Staver hit the wall first at the 100 yard mark, in 56.24.  Patton followed in 57.40, while Geheb made the turn at 57.83.

Geheb made his move in the second 100, zooming to 1:02.45 and to gold in 2:00.75. Staver stopped the clock only four hundredths later, in 2:00.32. Patton found the wall for third in 2:00.44.

Women’s 100 Back

Another close race followed in the women’s 100 back, as Dewi Blose of American Energy Swim Club, Alana Palmer of Lincoln Select Swimming, and Astrid Dirkzwager of Wichita Swim Club traded the lead back and forth. At the 50, it was Palmer (26.71), then Dirkzwager (26.74), and then Blose (26.87).

Blose fought back on the last half of the race to make the grab for gold in 55.22. Palmer slid in for silver just two hundredths behind, while Dirkzwager nabbed the bronze in 55.30.

Men’s 100 Back

On the men’s side, Michael Andrew of the Race Pace Club completed his second double in the past two days, posting an impressive 46.50 after the 50 free. Behind Andrew, Rockwood Swim Club’s Jack Dolan found silver in 48.25. 

Fourteen-year-old Aiden Hayes, representing Sooner Swim Club, laid claim to bronze in 49.27–tied for the eighth-fastest time of all time for his age group.

Women’s 500 Free

In the long event of the night, the Razorback Aquatic Club Aquahawgs owned the podium. Martina Thomas and Hayley Pike again dominated the event, with Thomas taking home the victory in 4:47.79 and Pike taking silver in 4:50.77.

Martina’s twin, Luciana, earned the bronze in 4:51.33.

Men’s 500 Free

Patrick Callan from Trident Aquatics Club demolished the field in the 500, posting a 4:13.78 for the fifth-fastest time of all time for his age group in the event.

Meanwhile, Columbia Swim Club’s Dane Florea tackled the silver in 4:27.10, and Jonesburo Jets’ Swim Team’s Jack Little took care of bronze in 4:28.69.

Women’s 50 Butterfly

Two competitors from Greater Nebraska Swim Team made the podium in the 50 fly. Kaitlyn Witt found the top in 24.37, while teammate Caroline Theil–swimming her third event of the night–landed silver in 24.67.

Third went to 16-year-old Emily O’Connel of Rockwood Swim Club in 24.82.

Men’s 50 Butterfly

Like Theil, Michael Andrew elected to get a third splash on this third night of competition in Columbia. Andrew found the wall in an astounding 20.60, followed by Manhattan Marlins’ Preston Harrison in 22.20.

Greater Omaha Aquatics’ Colin Lafave collected bronze in 22.32.

Women’s 4 x 100 Medley Relay

The women’s race was decided by mere fingertips as the Razorback Aquatic Club Aquahawgs faced off with Splash Club, Inc. The Aquahawgs got off to a solid start, as Martina Thomas separated the squad by two seconds with her impressive backstroke split (55.97).

Splash, Inc. made a move in the freestyle leg, thanks to the efforts of anchor June Harris (50.73), who pushed to the end but finished just three hundredths shy. The final marks were the Aquahawgs in 3:45.33 and Splash Club in 3:45.36.

Not far behind, Lincoln Select Swimming found the touchpad in 3:46.17 and bronze. Anchor Alana Palmer’s 50.48 was the fastest leg in the pool.

Men’s 4 x 100 Medley Relay

The men’s race proved similarly exciting, as the Greater Omaha Aquatics Leopard Sharks claimed the gold in 3:22.78, only moments before Sooner Swim Club touched in 3:22.97 for silver. The anchor for Sooner Swim Club, Jonathan Tang, closed in on GOAL’s Nicholas Soltys, but Soltys held on for gold.

Meanwhile, Empire KC Swim Club took care of bronze thanks to the efforts of anchor William Bresette, who dropped a 44.64 to pass the Kansas City Blazers and contribute to a team time of 3:23.76.

The action will wrap up in Columbia tomorrow. Prelims begin at 9 am.

Live results are available on MeetMobile – 2018 Region VIII Speedo Spring Sectionals. 

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Author: Katie Wingert

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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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