West Claims Overall Crown at NCSA All-American Meet; East Women, West Men Win Team Battles

By Jason Marsteller

HONOLULU, Hawaii, June 9. AFTER the dust settled at the National Club Swimming Association's All-American meet, the West stood victorious in the combined team dual meet battle. The West posted 1,066 points against the East's 966-point tally during the meet held at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Honolulu, Hawaii from June 7-8.

Meanwhile, the East women eked out a seven-point margin of victory over the West, 505-498 while the West men topped the East, 568-461.

Individually, the Oakland Live Y'ers represented themselves well as Dana Christ (32 points) and Shane Lichtenberg (43 points) earned the highpoint awards.

Hannah Davis of the Coast Guard Blue Dolphins and Cara Chuang of Rockville Montgomery Swim Club tied for second with 30 points in the women's highpoints.

For the men, Cory Chitwood of the Northern Kentucky Clippers took second with 41 points while Josh Hafkin of Rockville Montgomery Swim Club finished third with 34 points.

Women's 400 freestyle
Joanna Thomas of the East matched her 800 free win with a time of 4:23.24 in the 400 free. The effort sat just three seconds off her personal-best time of 4:20.56 set at the 2006 Speedo Junior Nationals.

"I felt good out there during my swim," Thomas said. "It felt great to swim against such talented people. Having the East girls sweep the top three was also awesome."

Rebecca Jones (4:24.98) and Emily Creran (4:26.57) backed up Thomas to help the East to some big points from second and third-place efforts, respectively.

Men's 400 freestyle
Shane Lichtenberg led a 1-2-3 effort for the West when he touched in 4:05.73. The swim knocked two seconds off his previous personal standard of 4:07.10 set at the 2007 Spring National Championships.

"It was pretty cool to post a personal best tonight," Lichtenberg said. "But, I'm not too surprised. I normally have better times when I am really training hard. I'm also happy that the West cleaned up in the event. That's what we wanted."

Brent Hitchcock (4:08.66) and Rikiya Yano (4:10.13) finished in second and third, respectively, for the West.

Women's 50 butterfly
Dana Christ gave the West another title with a time of 28.18 in the 50 fly. That performance chopped a full second off her personal-best time of 29.69 set five years ago in the event.

"I feel pretty good about that swim," Christ said. "These are some of my best events, and I am just glad I could help my team. Getting big points for the West gets me pumped up."

Hannah Davis wound up second in 28.83 for the East, while Alexis Grothe took third in 29.17 for the West.

Men's 50 butterfly
Josh Hafkin ripped off a 25.95 to claim the title for the East in what is only his second recorded time competing in the event. The other time came with a 27.37 set in 2003.

Garth Summers of the West clocked a 26.02 for second, while Michael Arnold took third in 26.11 for the East.

Women's 100 breaststroke
The East mopped up in the women's 100 breast with a 1-2-3 finish on the shoulders of the Norberg Twins from Ithaca Aquatics. Lindsey touched out sister Lauren to turn the tables from the 50 last night when she clocked a 1:12.33 against Lauren's 1:12.42. Both times were under the Olympic Trial cut standard.

"That's a pretty good time for me at this point in the season, so I am really happy about that," Lindsey Norberg said. "I was aiming to win this event, so it is great to have accomplished that."

Melanie Roberts rounded out the top three for the East in 1:13.81.

Men's 100 breaststroke
West's Adam Klein cruised in with a triumphant 1:05.57 that stood just a second off his personal-best time of 1:04.57 set at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships this year.

"I'm happy to get the win after not being able to swim the 50 last night," Klein said. "The team needed me in the 400 IM, so I knew I was going to have the chance to bring it tonight in the 100. That is my best in-season time, so that is nice to get here."

Justin Davidson from the East finished second in 1:07.66, while James Ridgeway touched third in 1:08.22 for the West.

Women's 50 backstroke
East's Cara Chuang picked up her second consecutive backstroke win with a time of 30.14 after winning the two-lap event last night. The effort cut half-a-second off her personal-best time of 30.67 set at the 2007 Virginia State Championships.

"That was easily my best ever time," Chuang said. "It felt good to double up, but I am really anxious about the 200 back later tonight."

The West placed 2-3 as Cindy Tran clocked a 31.39 and Maggie Meyer took third in 31.54.

Men's 50 backstroke
East's Josh Hafkin earned the daily double when he touched out West's Cory Chitwood, 27.64 to 27.65, for his second title of the day to go with his 50 fly crown.

"I did not think I would be able to pull this off tonight," Hafkin said. "I am very happy right now. I was able to sneak in the win. Cory is an amazing swimmer, and I just had to bring it to get the win."

West's Keith Yoho grabbed third in 28.02.

Women's 1500 freestyle
Jamie Marks led a top-three sweep for the East when she hit the wall in 17:22.75.

"That is a pretty good time for me right now," Marks said. "The last time I swam the mile, I did not do so well. The adrenaline coming from trying to help the East score some big points really helped me out."

Kathryn Woolbright scored second place with a time of 17:29.28, while Katura Harvey finished third in 17:32.62.

Men's 1500 freestyle
Shane Lichtenberg cut four seconds from his personal best with a time of 16:10.70 to take the win for the West. His previous best came with a 16:14.17 at the 2006 Speedo Sectionals in Indiana.

The West dominated the event as Michael McBroom (16:20.11), Brent Hitchcock (16:37.92) and Blake Lewkowitz (17:01.37) went 2-3-4.

Women's 100 freestyle
East's Hannah Davis cleared the field with a time of 58.15 to win the title. She fell just under a second shy of her best time of 57.32 set at the 2006 Speedo Junior Nationals.

"That time is right around my best time," Davis said. "I'm just excited to be a part of this meet and to get the chance to score some points for my team."

West took second and third as Katherine Raatz touched in 58.70 and Shara Stafford placed third in 58.81.

Men's 100 freestyle
Matt McLean posted a personal-best time of 52.76 en route to giving the East the event title. His previous best time of 52.85 came at the 2007 Virginia State Championships.

"I am pretty pleased with my time," McLean said. "I did not swim near my potential in the 200, so I am happy with this time. I just had to get up and go. I'm also proud of my East teammates. They've been keeping their heads up and fighting."

West's Jake Grosser (53.11) and Curt Carlson (53.24) took home second and third, respectively.

Women's 200 butterfly
I said I would do it if she gave me a reason to, so here it is. A Fish Called Abbie, Abbie Fish, led a 1-2-3 effort for the West in the 200 fly when she clocked a 2:16.27 to clear the Olympic Trials cut. While she already has a 2:13.83 to her credit from the 2006 Speedo Junior Nationals, Fish still clocked a fast in-season time.

"That's not a bad time for me," Fish said. "I wanted to win the event bad. I'm just glad that the West backed that swim up because we needed the points. Everyone swam really well."

West's Dana Christ picked up second in 2:19.07, while West's Claire Dickmann and East's Joanna Thomas tied for third in 2:20.83.

Men's 200 butterfly
Shane Lichtenberg of the West pulled off a rare triple when he clocked a 2:08.53 in the 200 fly. That time pipped his previous personal best of 2:08.56 set at the 2006 Namesnik Grand Prix.

"Swimming that many times was not too bad," Lichtenberg said. "I'm used to having hard swims one right after the other during practice."

East's Andrew Brake pocketed second in 2:09.00, while Blake Trabuchi-Downey of the East grabbed third in 2:10.69.

Women's 200 backstroke
Cara Chuang accomplished the backstroke Triple Crown when she clocked a personal-best time of 2:20.66 to give the East a 1-2 finish. Chuang's old personal standard stood at 2:21.41.

"Wow! This is unbelievable," Chuang said. "These are the people that really intimidated me in the 200 back at Junior Nationals. I think I am starting to learn some things and maybe get to the point where other people might be intimidated by me."

Emily Creran of the East finished second in 2:21.99, while West's Maggie Meyer knocked three seconds off her personal best with a third-place 2:22.22.

Men's 200 backstroke
West's Cory Chitwood outdistanced the field with a time of 2:06.34 in the 200 back. Meanwhile, East's Brady Fox took second in 2:10.67 and West's Andrew Saeta placed third in 2:11.81.

Women's 200 IM
Melanie Roberts gave the East a 1-3 finish in the event when she clocked a 2:22.81 for the title.

"I felt very good out there," Roberts said. "My backstroke and breaststroke felt good, and that is where I gained a lead. I then just had to bring it home during the freestyle."

West's Emma Reaney grabbed second in 2:23.45, while East's Jamie Marks finished third in 2:26.44.

Men's 200 IM
In another tight race, East's Bill Cregar touched out teammate Andrew Brake, 2:10.37 to 2:10.38 in the men's 200 IM. Tim Hayes (2:13.59) completed the top-three sweep for the East.

The East won both the women's relays as Cara Chuang, Lauren Norberg, Suzanne Schwee and Lindsey Norberg touched in 1:58.10 in the 200 medley relay. Hannah Davis, Katy Hinkle, Megan Waters and Rebecca Jones also won the 400 free relay for the East in 3:56.43.

The West pulled off the sweep as well in the men's events. Cory Chitwood, James Ridgeway, Garth Summers and Jake Grosser clocked a 1:46.33 to win the 200 medley, while Sean Mathews, Shane Lichtenberg, Cory Chitwood and Jeff Daniels took home the 400 free in 3:33.60.

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