By Reach for the Wall staff
Saturday night was a chance for the mid-distance swimmers to flex their muscles, with the 500 Free and 200 Butterfly, while the backstrokers got their first taste of racing.
The night started off with Janika Perezous winning the Consolation heat of the 500 in 5:01.35, which is a bit off her personal best, but much faster than her morning swim. The Championship final was a battle between Paige McKenna and Erin Gemmell, each of them leading the race at one time or another. Erin held the lead at the 350 split, then Paige edged ahead for the remainder of the race, posting a time of 4:45.43. Erin touched second in 4:45.88 and was her best time by 1.46 seconds.
The Boys 500 Consolation heat only had 4 swimmers, but did not lack competitive ferocity. Jordan Smolsky and Christopher Kopac jumped out early and were leading the field by 1+ seconds at the 200. However, at the 300 sturn Toby Barnett jumped back into the frey and turned 2nd within .2 of Smolsky. Toby then split 54.9 & 54.7 the next two 100’s and touched first in 4:31.34, Jordan was second in 4:32.69 and Christopher third in 4:34.23. All three swimmers posting lifetime bests, with Toby & Jordan dropping close to 7 second each! The Championship heat was not without drama as Sam O’Brien, Sean Santos, Michael Jiang and Dylan Danaie were within tenths of each other through 300 yards. At the 400 Sam O’Brien created some separation from the others, and at the final touch, Sam took the victory in 4:30.46. Sean was second in 4:30.88, Michael third in 4:31.31 followed by Dylan in 4:32.45. As with the prior heat, each of these swimmers achieved lifetime bests by 3+ seconds from their entry times.
The 200 Butterfly Consolation heat continued the trend of nail biting finishes with 15 yr old Sienna Golembiewski touching out Kate Bailey 2:00.65 to 2:00.78, both girls dropping 2+ seconds from their prior best times. Also in the heat was 14 yr old Sarah Eliason who finished 15th with her best time of 2:05.07
Torri Huske continued to wreak havoc on her competitors and took charge of the race from the first 50. At the finish, she touched first in 1:54.04, which currently puts her just behind Tess Buckley in the # 2 time in the country for 17 yr old girls. Mackenzie McConagha also had a great race, dropping 1.57 off her former best time, touching in 1:57.29 (6th fastest in the country) and capturing 2nd place.
In the Boys Championship final, Landon Gentry swam what looked like an ‘effortless’ (can a 200 Butterfly race really be effortless?) 1:43.03 to win the event, dropping 3.03 seconds from his previous best. The battle for 2nd place was a toss-up between Everett Oehler, David Fitch and Chris Ma, with Everett touching 2nd in 1:48.15. David Fitch just got his hands to the wall for third, touching in 1:48.27 and Chris Ma was 4th in 1:48.28.
The final event of the night was the 100 Backstroke. In the Girls race, the top two Aris Runnels and Paige Hall dueled to the finish. Paige was out first at the 50, but Aris brought it back .55 faster to win in 53.16, while Paige took second in 53.65. Both times currently rank in the top 10 in the country for 17 yr old Girls!
In the Boys 100 Backstroke Consolation heat, a pair of 14 yr olds, Nolan Dunkel and Simon Bermudez showed their mettle as they battled to 10th and 11th respectively. Nolan posted a best time 49.91 and Simon, also a best time, finished in 49.93. (these times are #2 & #3 in the country) There wasn’t any doubt in the Boys Final where Anthony Grimm blasted the first 50 in 22.11. He went on to win in 46.25, .65 shy of his best time, but still the 2nd fastest time in the country for 18 yr olds.
One more night of finals to go…
To watch, PVS is livestreaming through their FaceBook page: PVS Swimming