Four Ladies Qualify For Olympic Trials In 400 IM At CeraVe Invitational (With Race Video)

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PISCATAWAY – The second night of senior finals at the CeraVe Invitational featured an exciting finish in the women’s 400 IM, as the top four finishers all qualified for the Olympic Trials in the event. Though most were watching the race develop, others on deck were looking at clock to see who would dip under the Trials cut of 4:54.99.

North Baltimore’s Sierra Schmidt, who won with a 4:51.96, was already a Trials qualifier in the 400 IM with a 4:52.63 from the junior Pan Pacific championships last summer. She improved on that time, and needed it to beat teammate Easop Lee, who dropped more than 10 seconds off her lifetime best to place second with a 4:52.12. Lee, just 14 years old, already has qualified for Trials in three other events.

Maggie Aroesty of Long Island Aquatic Club got herself in the race with a superb 1:21.33 breaststroke leg, and finished third with a Trials qualifying time of 4:54.24 to earn her first trip to the Olympic Trials. Just behind her in third place was Molly Kowal of Jersey Wahoos, who was fourth with a 4:54.70.

Video of women’s 400 IM final

Schmidt and Lee were back in the pool doing battle in the 400 freestyle, and Schmidt held off her younger teammate, posting a 4:15.11. Schmidt still holds a lifetime best of 4:10.92 from last summer’s junior nationals. Lee was also well off her lifetime best of 4:12.65 but rallied for second place with a 4:16.25. Anina Lund of Badger Swim Club was in the hunt for most of the race, and placed third with a 4:17.05, about two seconds slower than her personal best.

North Baltimore’s Mary Pelton, the younger sister of American record holder Elizabeth Pelton, won the 50 freestyle with a 26.70. Also breaking 27 seconds was Jessica Antiles of Cougar Aquatic Team with a 26.93. Third place went to Hannah Briant with a 27.33.

Caroline Gmelich gave the Central Jersey Aquatic Club its first win of the meet, posting a 1:05.67 in the women’s 100 backstroke. Lauren Poole of North Baltimore and Beth Caruana of Long Island were in the hunt, with Poole finishing second with a 1:05.91 and Caruana third with a 1:05.98.

Long Island provided a bit of an upset in the women’s 400 medley relay, as a 1:13.59 breaststroke split from Aroesty helped them win and post a time of 4:21.41. North Baltimore finished second with a 4:22.09, while Bluefish was third with a 4:30.14.

On the men’s side, Cole Buese of North Baltimore won the 400 IM leading from start to finish with a lifetime best 4:28.31, less than a second off the Olympic Trials qualifying time. Max Miranda of Bluefish, the winner of the 200 IM, couldn’t catch Buese and settled for second with a 4:30.32. Andrew Abruzzo of Germantown finished third with a 4:34.33.

Abruzzo and Buese waged war in the 400 free final, with Abruzzo holding an arm’s-length lead throughout the race. Abruzzo posted a 4:01.31 for the win ahead of Buese’s 4:01.82. Kaan Ozcan of North Baltimore finished third with a strong final 50 meters in 4:02.16.

Dan Golczewski kept the North Baltimore winning streak alive with a 24.62 to win the 50 freestyle. Steven Shek of Jersey Wahoos made a move in the final stretch but placed second with a 24.68, while Jason Ewart of North Baltimore finished third with a 24.82.

As was the case in the women’s meet, North Baltimore couldn’t get the win in the men’s 100 backstroke. David Crossland of Delaware Swim Club took the victory with a 57.78, ahead of the 58.78 by North Baltimore’s Coleman Stewart. Placing third once again was Ewart with a 58.83.

North Baltimore’s foursome broke a 10-year-old meet record in the 400 medley relay, as Stewart (58.87 backstroke), Samet Alkan (1:08.97 breaststroke), Buese (55.91 butterfly) and Golczewski (52.93 freestyle) combined for a 3:56.68. That beat the 2004 record of 3:56.74 by a Jersey Wahoos team that included 1992 Olympian Ron Karnaugh on the backstroke leg. Delaware Swim Team led for the first three legs, but couldn’t hold off NBAC and finished second with a 3:57.58. Jersey Wahoos took third with a 3:58.20.

Age-group timed finals results

10 and under
Magie Belbot of North Baltimore cleaned up in the 10-and-under races Saturday, taking two races. The 9-year-old won the 50 butterfly with a 34.45 and the 200 freestyle with a 2:29.52. Teammate Meghan Benda denied Belbot a third victory with a 43.02 in the 50 breaststroke, beating out Belbot’s 43.27. Lilly Derivaux of Jersey Wahoos won the 200 IM with a 2:53.55.

No one won more than one event in the boys’ competition, though North Baltimore swimmers won three events. Cameron Shinnick won the 50 fly with a 34.23, Sam Kamdin won the 200 free with a 2:33.8 and Liam Schindler won the 50 breast with a 42.67. Andrew Lim of the Berkeley Aquatic Club won the 200 IM with a 2:51.66.

11-12
North Baltimore’s Samantha Ai set a meet record in the 200 freestyle, winning by two seconds with a 2:11.28, she broke Erin McElfresh’s record of 2:13.37 from 2008 and nearly eclipsed her own best time of 2:10.76. The 11-12 girls races did not feature any multiple winners. Mia Mesceda North Baltimore won the 100 breast with a 1:17.39 over the 1:17.70 by Clarissa Sabin, while Long Island’s Sophia Gregorace won the 100 fly with a 1:07.27. Chloe Stepanek of Long Island Aquatic Club won the 50 freestyle at the start of the session with a 28.25, about three tenths off the meet record set in 2007 by future Olympian Lia Neal.

Tyler Simpson of Long Island Aquatic Club continued his impressive meet with three victories. He started with a 27.81 to win the 50 free by eight tenths, then won the 100 fly by more than a second with a 1:06.90. He wrapped up his competition with a 2:12.37 in the 200 free, winning by seven tenths of a second. Jersey Wahoos’ Jack Artis won the other event, taking the 100 backstroke with a 1:20.55.

13-14
Peter DiFurio of North North Baltimore was the only double winner in the 13-14 age group. He started with a 25.88 in the 50 free, beating out the 26.19 by Harrison Homans of Southern Maine. A day after winning three events, Homans was only able to win the 400 IM, posting a 4:51.48. Ben Selnick of North Baltimore won the 200 fly by 14 hundredths of a second over Homans, 2:16.15 to 2:16.29.

North Baltimore teammates Sophia Schulze and Marietta Gately each won an event Saturday. Schulze took the 50 free with a 29.81 ahead of the 29.87 by teammate Allison Tomsuden, while Gately won the 400 IM by nearly two seconds with a 5:19.95. Margot Kaczorowski of the Jersey Wahoos won the 100 free with a 1:03.58 to beat Schulze’s 1:04.54, while Julia Courtney of Long Island won the 200 fly with a 2:32.49.

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Author: Jeff Commings

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Jeff Commings is the Senior Writer for SwimmingWorld.com and Swimming World Magazine. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism and was a nine-time NCAA All-American.

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