18 & Under Winter Championships
By Reach for the Wall Staff
Championship week is here! Across the country, LSC’s are holding the 18 & Under Championships as meets could begin December 1 through December 13. This unique format for a USA Swimming championship meet was enabled to provide the opportunity for swimmers to stay local and for meet directors to contain the size of the meet. Usually USA Swimming would conduct a championship style meet in 2-4 regional locations, inviting swimmers to compete within their regions. As we know, this is not possible with the current restrictions. Since the meet was announced by USA Swimming, PVS teams have held dozens of Intrasquad meets to get their athletes qualified and ‘meet ready’. For PVS, the meet will begin tomorrow, Thursday, December 3rd and will run through Sunday, December 6th. In order to be in compliance with local restrictions, the meet is broken up into 12 sessions over the 4 days, consisting of 2 daily prelims sessions segmented by gender, then an evening finals session, with both genders, consisting of the top 16 swimmers per event. Over the 4 days, there will be 741 individual swims during the prelim sessions, with the Girls 100 Butterfly having the largest number of qualifiers with 54 entrants. The event with the least qualifiers is the Boys 1650 with 5 entrants. PVS has established a Meet Information page with links to the psych sheet, timelines and live video feeds.
Of course every race is ‘one to watch’, especially with the lack of opportunities we’ve had the past 8 months to compete in a trials/finals championship meet format. This meet will be a good tune-up for National Team member, Tori Huske as she is slated for 6 events: 50, 100 & 200 Free, 100 & 200 Butterfly, and the 200 IM. Her closest race will likely come in the 200 Free where she is seeded second behind 16 yr. old Erin Gemmell while another 16 yr. old, Camille Spink is seeded 3rd, only .11 behind. Erin and Camille are both expected to swim 6 events, with Erin entered in the 50, 100, 200, 500 Free, 100 Butterfly and 200 IM. Camille is entered to swim the 50, 100, 200 Free, 100 Butterfly, 100 Backstroke and 200 IM. Mackenzie McConagha and Eleanor Sun have also entered 6 events each, Mackenzie is slated for the 100, 200 Backstroke where she is seeded 1st in both, 100, 200 Butterfly, 200 & 400 IM. Eleanor is entered in the 100, 200 Butterfly, 100 Backstroke, 200 Breaststroke (seeded 1st), 200 and 400 IM.
On the Boys side there are several races ‘on paper’ that look to be close. Anthony Grimm, who is slated to swim 5 events, is seeded 1st in 4: 100 Breaststroke, 100 Butterfly, 100 Backstroke, and 50 Free. He is also entered in the 100 Free, where he’s seeded 6th. Brett Feyerick (50, 100 Free, 100, 200 Backstroke, 100 Butterfly), Aiken Do (100 Free, 100, 200 Breaststroke, 200 IM) and Landon Gentry (100, 200 Butterfly, 100, 200 Free, 100 Backstroke, 200IM) will certainly push the level of competition and provide for some exciting finishes. Two races that look to be a ‘toss up’ will be the 200 Breaststroke, where Aiken Do and Toby Barnett are seeded .08 seconds apart, and the 200 IM, where Landon Gentry holds the top seed by 1.39 seconds, but Toby Barnett is seeded 2nd just .03 ahead of 3rd seed Aiken Do. Toby is also slated to swim three other events, the 400 IM where he’s seeded 1st by more than 2 seconds, 100 Breaststroke, and 500 Free.
We are looking forward to all the live feeds provided by PVS via their Facebook Page and wish all the swimmers best of luck!!