SwimMAC’s Katie Meili Leads Meet, Pool Record Onslaught at Chesapeake Elite Pro-Am

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma, December 20. DURING the first full day of action following distance/relay night last night, the Chesapeake Elite Pro-Am featured a boatload of new meet and pool records. SwimMAC’s Katie Meili helped with that, clinching a pair of victories on the evening.

Stanford’s Andi Murez kicked off the evening with a 1:44.06 to win the women’s 200 freestyle finale. That performance took down the meet and pool record in the event in the process, and is the second-fastest time Murez has ever posted. Her lifetime best is a 1:43.52 from the 2012 NCAA Division I Championships.

Mission Viejo’s Kathryn McLaughlin broke 1:45 for the first time with a second-place time of 1:44.91. That swim cleared her lifetime best of 1:45.39 from May of this year. Meanwhile, 15-year-old Alexandra Buscher of Dads Club nearly broke 1:47 for the first time with a third-place effort of 1:47.07. That swim beat Buscher’s previous personal best of 1:47.97 from February of this year.

SwimMAC’s Dax Hill just missed his lifetime best en route to winning the men’s 200 free in a meet and pool record. He clocked a 1:32.56 to edge NYAC’s Darian Townsend (1:32.64) at the wall. Hill’s best time ever is a 1:32.51 from the 2012 NCAA Division I Championships. Townsend, meanwhile, posted his second best time as well, off his 1:31.93 from the USA Swimming Winter Nationals earlier this month.

Stanford’s Bobby Bollier, another veteran of the sport and particularly of this meet, took third in 1:37.49. He’s still looking to get back into his best form from the 2011 season, when he posted a 1:33.59 best at the 2011 NCAA Division I Championships.

Another near lifetime best went to another SwimMAC swimmer as Katie Meili surged to a 58.64 to win the women’s 100-yard breast. That’s a meet record, and finished just short of Meili’s personal best of 58.44 from the 2013 Ivy League Championships. Minnesota’s Haley Spencer placed second overall in 1:00.86, while SwimMAC’s Kelsi Hall claimed third in 1:02.54.

Naoya Tomita, a volunteer assistant coach with New Mexico who has moved to the U.S. from Japan, earned the men’s 100-yard breaststroke title in 52.22, clearing the meet and pool marks. He’s only swum short course yards a handful of times, with his previous best being a 53.16 from last December. Trojan’s Mike Alexandrov touched second in 52.36.

McLaughlin returned with a strong 52.34 to win the women’s 100-yard fly, downing her lifetime best of 52.93 also from May of this year. SwimMAC’s Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace managed a strong second-place 52.78 even while having cap issues during the race.

Aaron Wayne followed with a lifetime best 45.82 to capture the men’s 100-yard fly finale. That’s his first time under 46 seconds, breaking his personal record of 46.09 from the 2013 NCAA Division I Championships. Josh Schneider, representing NYAC, finished second in 46.15. That’s just .03 seconds off his best of 46.12 from the 2010 NCAA Division I Championships. Schroeder’s Ellis Miller took home third in 47.26.

Meili doubled up with a 4:13.87 to dominate the women’s 400 IM. That’s her second best time ever behind a 4:12.92 from Sectionals in March of this year. Kallyn Barkey, 16, of Rochester Swim Club took second in 4:18.65 for her first time under 4:22. Her personal best coming into the day had been a 4:22.94 from the 2013 NCSA Junior Nationals. Houston’s Bridget Ritter had an amazing 11-second drop on her personal best today. Entering this meet, she held a 4:31.27 from last year’s Elite Pro-Am. This year, the 17-year-old took third in 4:20.70.

Townsend followed with a victorious 3:41.85 in the men’s 400-yard IM. That clipped the meet and pool record, and bettered his best of 3:43.80 from last year’s Elite Pro-Am. Townsend was swimming by himself as 16-year-old Brennan Balogh took second for Lincoln Select with a 3:58.22. Blair Bish of Arkansas Dolphins placed third in 3:59.56.