By Contributor Brenten Gilbert
Note: We received a 4-part series from Brenten Gilbert, a contributor to Reach for the Wall, and over the next few days will publish as provided. Thanks for the contribution & enjoy his perspective!
2022 Speedo Sectionals – Region 2
March 24 – 27, 2022
Speedo Sectionals are designed to be the gateway to National Championship meets. The qualifying times for these meets are typically more challenging than the LSC championships, but it is the first tier of the USA Swimming Championship Series (hence the single star in the logo).
Sectionals are typically organized by the USA Swimming Zones, but in efforts to keep entry numbers manageable, the Eastern Zone has broken up into Regions and Region 2 is hosted by Virginia Swimming at the Christiansburg Aquatics Center, home to the Virginia Tech programs.
With representative swimmers from over 50 clubs competing, this very well may be the launching pad to future successes for some of these swimmers.
Thursday Night – Distance (Timed Finals)
Girls 1000y Free
The highest seeded swimmer from the DMV coming into this event was NCAP’s Victoria Santino, who entered in 8th place with a time of 10:28, which she swam earlier this month at the PVS Senior Championships. The top three spots went to swimmers outside of the area, though as this event proved to be a less than enthusiastic start to the meet. Sixteen of the nineteen swimmers entered swam slower than their seed times.
No one from Potomac Valley finished in the top eight, but Delia Fritz of RMSC claimed tenth place with a 10:39.52, followed closely by Santino (10:39.81). Occoquan teammates Annaleagh Stahl and Katie Luetkenhaus touched just behind Santino for 12th and 13th. Sixteenth place went to RMSC’s Elena Baird, while Machine’s Anabel Huffstutler and Brooke Worth (OCCS) rounded out the event for area swimmers.
- Ashley Mellinger – 10:16.70
- Madeline Beng – 10:20.44
- Maeve Kelley – 10:21.58
Boys 1650y Free
Local swimmers accounted for 4 of the top 10 seeds coming into the mile, with Occoquan’s Ben Huffman defending his top seed with a win here. Teammate Peter Gilbert shed seven seconds from his seed time to climb through the ranks from 7th to get on the podium with a 16:05, good enough for third. Also claiming top eight spots were Alex Grocholski, also representing OCCS, and Xavier Orlix (NCAP), taking 7th and 8th overall.
NCAP’s Marco Minai moved up nine spots to claim tenth place while Linus Ament (RMSC) placed 12th and J.P. Vanderloo (NCAP) finished 15th to round out what would have equated to the B final. Matheus Feltrin delivered a 17th place performance for RMSC, while NCAP’s Andrew Char, initially seeded 12th, fell to the 20th position.
- Ben Huffman – 15:49.29
- Ian Metzgar – 15:51.04
- Peter Gilbert – 16:05.87