By Reach for the Wall Staff
This weekend reminded us how much we enjoy watching swimming in the DMV and appreciate the level and depth of talent! In a typical championship meet, the last night of finals for some is a test of their endurance and training as they compete in their final events, which for some culminate 2-3K yards of fast swimming over their weekend. Last night we did not see any signs of fatigue- we think the athletes were still so pumped to be competing that any pain from swimming their prior events was diminished!
The night started with the Girls 1000 Freestyle, which Paige McKenna led from start to finish. While she was a bit off her best time, she completed the distance triple, by winning the 1650 on Thursday, the 500 Saturday and last night’s race. Way to go Paige!!
The Boys 1650 was a bit closer with Sean Santos and Michael Jiang staying within a second of each other through 600 yards, then Sean pulled away for the victory. Sean almost pulled off the triple, by winning the 1650 on Thursday & last night’s swim, but just missed winning the 500 by .42! Congratulations Sean!!
Torri Huske started the night as she did the prior three nights, with a win in the 100 Free! As with her other races, she took out the first 50 well ahead of the field, turning in 22.63 (a 50 time many girls would be ecstatic to achieve!) she brought it home in 24.97 for a blazing 47.60, which puts her at #2 in the country! It is also notable that the next three places were captured by 16 yr olds- Camille Spink- 49.40, Tatum Wall-49.83 and Katherine Helms- 49.86, garnering them #3, #5, and #9 in the country for 16 yr olds! The youngest finalist was 14 yr old Amy Qin who finished 12th in 51.60, good for 11th in the country for 14 yr old girls.
In the Boys 100 Freestyle final, Anthony Grimm picked up where he left off and captured the victory in 44.17 (14th in the country), completing the sprint sweep by winning the 50 & 100 races. Aiken Do wasn’t far behind, also going under 45, finishing in 44.90 (8th in the country). Noah Dyer was the only 15 yr old in the field and finished 5th with a 45.99 (7th in the country).
Paige Hall bested the field in the 200 Backstroke by 2.64 seconds, winning in 155.99 and completing an impressive weekend (5th 200 Free, 2nd 100 back, 4th 100 Free)! Her prelims time of 1:55.12 puts her 3rd in the country for 17 yr. olds. In the Consolation heat, 14 yr old Livia Venditti place 13th in 2:04.46, with her prelim time she ranks 17th in the country for 14 yr olds.
In the 200 Backstroke Consolation final, 9th place qualifier, 16 yr old J.T. Ewing erased the memory of his morning swim and put on a show for the viewers by finishing in 1:44.59 (2nd in the country), a time that would have won the event! 14 yr old Simon Bermudez finished second (10th overall) with a 1:50.06 (2nd in the country). In the Championship final, Matt Van Deusen captured the win with a 1:45.80, a bit off from his prelim time, but well ahead of 2nd place finisher Brett Feyerick who swam 1:47.13.
In the final event of the weekend, Torri Huske again wowed the viewership with her performance in the 200 IM. She set a blistering pace with her first two 50’s (24.06, 28.70), then brought it home strong, winning the race in 1:54.50, which is currently the #1 time in the country. 2nd place was captured by 15 yr old Eleanor Sun in 1:59.86, which is the #2 time in the country for 15 yr olds.
There are many storylines for this meet, the obvious ones being the accomplishments of Torri Huske and Anthony Grimm, but we also see a sub-current of very strong 16 yr olds. The Boys 200 IM is a good example where the top 2 finishers and 6 of the 16 in finals were 16 yr olds. Landon Gentry, who is certainly is the leader of the pack, captured his 4th win of the meet, finishing in 1:46.73. This time was 3.5 seconds clear of 2nd place and is currently the #3 time in the country. Toby Barnett finished 2nd and capped off a great weekend as well, notching wins in the 200 breaststroke and 400 IM. 15 yr old Jordan Kelly, who happens to be the cousin of Toby (thanks for the tip from one of our readers), finished 5th in 1:52.48 which is #11 in the country for 15 yr olds.
Replay of each session:
Thank you to PVS, the staff at Claude Moore Recreation Center and the countless number of volunteers, coaches, and others it took to put this meet together.
We (Reach for the Wall Staff) are certain it meant a great deal to the athletes to compete and is a great example of cooperation in adapting to the current situation. Congratulations to all the athletes that qualified and competed!! We’re hopeful for more event in the near future that take advantage of this format and that ‘we’ continue to innovate, especially with the livestreaming capabilities.