USA Swimming Sectionals: Sydney Pickrem, Sam Stewart Sharp in 200 IM

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USA Swimming Sectionals

The first weekend of the USA Swimming Sectionals wrapped up in College Station, Texas and Carlsbad, California on Sunday night, the stop in the Lonestar State generating a pair of solid long-course performances from Sydney Pickrem and Sam Stewart in the 200 individual medley. Meanwhile, in short-course competition in Carlsbad, Samantha Pearson was the headliner with a pair of wins.

A Canadian Olympian and the bronze medalist in the 200 medley at last summer’s World Championships, Pickrem won that event in College Station in 2:11.82, good for a six-second victory. With the Canadian Olympic Trials for Tokyo a month away, the effort was a good tuneup for Pickrem, who earlier in the meet won the 100 freestyle and 400 individual medley.

Stewart’s performance was eye-opening, as it slashed nearly two seconds off his personal best. A University of Texas graduate, Stewart registered a time of 1:57.76 and put himself into the discussion for the Olympic Trials this summer. Although he won’t be considered one of the favorites, this performance no doubt will grab the attention of those seeking a Tokyo berth in the event. Stewart was joined as a winner by fellow former Longhorn Will Licon, who followed a sub-2:11 win in the 200 breaststroke on Saturday with a victory in the 100 breaststroke in 1:01.79.

In the women’s 100 breaststroke, 13-year-old Hannah Marinovich was the top finisher, going 1:11.51. The time was a little more than a half-second off the Olympic Trials qualifying standard of 1:10.99. The men’s 50 freestyle went to Kyle Troskot in 23.14 while Katherine Zenick won for her gender in 26.00. Other winners included Raena Eldridge (1:02.66) and Brett Pinfold (56.54) in the 100 backstroke events.

At Sectionals in Carlsbad, Pearson continued her winning ways in the freestyle events by claiming the 100 free in 48.97. That triumph complemented first-place finishes in the 50 free and 200 free from Saturday. Pearson also topped the field in the 200 backstroke on the last day of the meet, going 1:54.83.

Neil Frank won the men’s 100 free in 44.03 and Jonathan Affeld was quickest in the 200 back, clocking 1:46.77. Victories in the 200 breaststroke were claimed by Teagan O’Dell (2:15.06) and Eric Tolman (1:56.18).