Righi Adds Third Championship at NCSA Junior Nationals (prelims/finals results/team scores attached)

By John Lohn

ORLANDO, Fla., March 25. ALEX Righi has his trifecta. Having already won titles in the 100 freestyle and 50 butterfly, Righi took top honors Friday night in the 100 backstroke at the NCSA Junior Nationals in Orlando. Three strokes, three championships

Representing the Arizona Desert Fox, Righi ripped through the water in a meet-record 47.63. That time easily distanced Righi from Jshua Hafkin of Rockville-Montgomery (48.75) and Pine Crest’s Bradley Ally (49.39).

Ally, however, notched his fourth gold of the competition with a triumph in the 100 breaststroke. In the race of the night, Ally nipped Bend Swim Club’s Alexander Larkin with a mark of 55.86 to the 55.87 of Larkin. Ally had already taken victories in the 200 backstroke, 50 breaststroke and 400 individual medley.

North Coast’s Blake Hayter corralled a meet record in the girls’ 500 freestyle, as she touched the wall in 4:45.28, just under the 2002 record of Stephanie Cota (4:45.80). Scott Spansail, the winner of the 1,000 free on the opening night, added the 500 free in a record time of 4:23.84.

Machine Aquatics’ Michelle Parkhurst led five girls under the 56-second mark in the 100 backstroke and won the event in 55.22, just ahead of Ann Arbor’s Margaret Kelly (55.36). Ann Arbor’s Hannah Smith was third in 55.86.

En route to winning the 100 breaststroke on the female side, Alia Atkinson equaled the meet standard of 1:01.78. Atkinson, from City of Pembroke, tied the record of Alicia Jensen (2002).

In the 100 butterfly, Dana Christ (Atlantis) and Doug Lennox (Lake Forest) cruised to victories. Christ was timed in 54.45, ahead of the 54.57 turned in by Laura Leclair (Nova of Virginia). As for Lennox, he edged Andrew Langenfield (Saluki), 49.10-49.16.

The night finished with Ann Arbor and Irvine Novaquatics taking first place in the 400 freestyle relays. The Ann Arbor quartet of Leigh Cole, Hannah Smith, Adrienne Woods and Margaret Kelly covered the race in 3:25.41.

For Irvine Nova, Antonio Cisneros, Edward Luther, Robert Hansen and Sean Boyle came through with a winning time of 3:04.80. Raleigh Swimming Association was second in 3:04.97.