Nick D’Innocenzo Makes Mark at Christiansburg Speedo Sectional Championships

Editorial coverage sponsored by SpeedoUSA

CHRISTIANSBURG, Virginia, March 24. SPEEDO Sectional Championships are wrapping up all around the county, including a particularly fast Southern Section meet in Virginia.

The first session included the women's 1650 yard freestyle and the men's 1000 yard freestyle. Katelyn Sowinski of the Eagle Swim Team won the mile in a US-Open worthy 16:35.91, while Samuel Magnan of Parkland Aquatics snuck the win for the men at a 9:17.19.

On the second night, Fox Chapel's Heidi Miller just missed out on the Open cut in the women's 200 freestyle, but still snagged the win with a respectable 1:48.11. Sowinski also broke the 1:50 barrier, coming in second in the event at a 1:48.92. Scott Heil posted a smoking fast 1:36.54 for the win on the men's side. The race was followed by the women's 100 breaststroke, taken by Emily Cameron of Landcaster Aquatics at a 1:02.32. Brendan McHugh posted a new meet record in the men's 100 breaststroke, shaving several tenths off the time posted by Ed Moses in 2001 (53.14) with a 52.93. Kylie Jordan of Snow swimming won the 100 butterfly with a 54.09. Shane Ryan outdistanced his competition by nearly three seconds for the men's 100 butterfly title, touching the wall in a 46.93. Meaghan Raab of Hershey Aquatics earned easily won the 400 IM with a 4:14.53. Virginia Gators' Jonathan Gomez posted a 3:56.62 for the win on the men's side.

On the third night of competition, mile winner Sowinski showed her stroke talent, winning the 200 butterfly with a 1:58.47. Her time set a new meet record, taking some time off of the 1:58.73 set in 2009 by Tan Kyllianinen. Although James Crabb easily won the men's 200 butterfly, his 1:47.59 was nowhere near the meet record set in 2002 by Michael Phelps at a 1:42.10. 200 freestyle winner Heidi Miller won the 50 freestyle, at a 23.37. Ryan added another title to his 100 butterfly win, breaking the 20 second barrier in the men's 50 freestyle with a 19.68.

Central Bucks' Allie Szekely out-touched Egg Harbor's Colleen Callahan by one one-hundredth of a second for the win in the women's 200 breaststroke, at a 2:15.25. Both Brendan McHugh and Nick D'Innocenzo crushed the meet record on the men's side, a 1:58.91 set in 2011 by Nicholas Find. The two battled it out, but D'Innocenzo came away with the event win, 1:56.28 to McHugh's 1:56.63. Suburban Seahawks' Christina Leander won the women's 100 backstroke in a 53.61, a second and a half ahead of second-place finishing Raab. Meanwhile, Ryan snagged his third event win and his first meet record. He took a full second off the previous meet record, a 46.83 set in 2010 by Austin Staab, with his 45.82. Sowinski also came away with her third event title in the women's 500 freestyle, touching first at a 4:51.74. Liam Egan of Crimson Aquatics won the event for the men at a 4:28.00.

On the final day of competition, the men kicked off the night with the 1650 freestyle. Magnan once again displayed his distance prowess, taking the win in a 15:30.04. 200 breaststroke winner Szekely showed some diversity, winning the women's 200 backstroke in a 1:57.61. Miller added another title, winning the 100 freestyle in a 49.76. Bob Bantley took the 100 freestyle for the men in a 45.98. Raab posted a respectable 2:01.18 for the 200 IM win, just ahead of Emily Cameron (2:01.46). D'Innocenzo won the men's medley by over a second, at a 1:47.75. Sowinski ended the night with a big win in the women's 1000 freestyle, posting a 9:56.44.