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By Katie Wingert, Swimming World College Intern.
All eyes will be on fifteen-year-old Regan Smith of Riptide Swim Team this week at the Indianapolis installment of long course Speedo Sectionals. The Indiana University Natatorium, given only a few days to recover from the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships, will host some of the fastest young swimmers in the country, including the “Riptide Rocket,” Smith, from March 30 through April 2.
Smith currently owns the top seed in the 100 back (for which she holds the National Age Group Record for ages 13-14, a time of 1:00.26), the 200 back, the 100 butterfly, and the 200 butterfly. The Riptide swimmer is also seeded second in the 200 IM to twenty-year-old Vien Thi Ahn Nguyen, a former Vietnamese Olympian who trains in St. Augustine, Florida. Nguyen, who is swimming unattached at the meet, will enter the 200 and 400 freestyle events, as well as the 400 IM, as top seed. She is seeded second to the University of Cincinnati’s Geraldine Huffner in the 200 breaststroke.
In the sprint events, Mako Swim Team’s Anya Goeders—who currently holds the second-fastest 50 freestyle time of all time for 15-and 16-year-olds–will aim to maintain her first seed and break Simone Manuel‘s NAG mark of 24.80. Meanwhile, Grace Ariola of Waves Bloomington will look for victory in the 100.
Other meet highlights include Emma Nordin of Carmel Swim Club, heading up the 800 freestyle entries, Bryn Handley, swimming unattached and leading the field in the 1500, and Jinq En Phee, a Malaysian swimmer who trains at Purdue, competing as the number-one seed in the 100 breast.
On the men’s side, there are fewer overpowering presences, but the field is nonetheless thick with talent. Sean Lehane of Academy Bullets Swim Club will look to defend his top spots in both the 100 and 200 backstrokes, while Nils Wich-Glasen from the University of South Carolina, swimming unattached, similarly dominates the psych sheets for the men’s 100 and 200 breaststrokes.
The 200 and 400 freestyle specialist of the meet appears to be Felix Auboeck, also swimming unattached from the University of Michigan. Michael Weiss, swimming unattached owns the top spot in two events as well: the 100 freestyle and the 200 IM.Michigan Lakeshore’s Spencer Carl enters the 100 butterfly as the favorite, but he is the second seed in the 200 to Flynn Minuth. Michael Seo, swimming unattached, leads the field in the 50 freestyle.
Harrison Homans of Bluefish Aquatics leads the way in the 400 IM, and his teammate, William Barao, does the same in the 800 freestyle. The longest distance event, the 1500, is led by Jack Karofsky of Scarlet Aquatics, who enters the event with a time seven seconds faster than his closest competitor.
The full psych sheet is available here.