By Reach for the Wall Staff, all photos courtesy Marcus Chen
If you haven’t attended this meet in the past or seen the livestream, this statement from our correspondent sums it up “ISCA St. Petersburg is a wild experience”.
PVS swimmers have excelled all week against the top age group swimmers from the eastern seaboard, with many reaching the top of the podium! This is one of the few meets where the events are segmented by a single age and only the top 10 per age group qualify in prelims to swim the finals session. Here’s a rundown of some of the great swims:
The finals session started with the Girls 11-12 Year Old 1000 Freestyle with the two top qualifiers from PVS, Lila Sherman (FISH) and Virginia Strickland (FISH), both swimming in the final heat. Brinkleigh Hansen (St. Petersburg Aquatics) won the 11 yr old event last year and repeated as champion for the 12 yr olds! Lila and Virginia finished 4th and 5th respectively, setting personal bests by over 13 seconds!
In the Boys 1000, Spencer Belbot (NBAC) also repeated as champion and set a new meet record in the process! His time of 9:54.95 bested the prior record 9:55.12 set by Leo Goldblatt (NCAP) in 2015.
In the Girls 10 yr old 50 Backstroke, Ainsley Bell (ASA) finished 3rd posting a lifetime best 32.88. The Boys 9 & Under 50 back saw two PVS swimmers in the top 10, Danis Kottak (ASA) finished 3rd, and Isaiah Collazo (FISH) touched in 4th! In the 10 yr old race, William Stone (ASA) posted a lifetime best 31.92 to capture 3rd, while Jaxson Daniel (OCCS) was a bit off his prelim swim to finish 10th in 34.17. Sadie Buckley (MAKO) touched the wall 2nd in the girls 12 yr old 200 Backstroke in 2:04. 77. Not shabby as the winner Audrey Derivaux (JW) broke the meet record, finishing in 1:59.91. The prior record was 2:00.57, held by NCAP’s Katie Mack set in 2014. Lila Sherman (FISH) captured 4th place in 2:08.39 and Virginia Strickland (FISH) was 10th in 2:16.95. In the Boys 11 yr old 200 Backstroke , Jay Devinney (ASA) finished 5th in 2:25.86 and Cadell Moy-Jacobs (MAKO) was 8th in 2:32.02. The 12 yr old race was close, with Caleb Josh Camet (PM) dropping huge time from his morning swim to capture 2nd in 2:02.97. Virginia Hinds (ASA) had complete control of the 13 yr old girls 200 Backstroke and came up just shy of the meet record, winning in 1:59.86.
In the Girls 14 yr old 200 Backstroke, Nora Sherman (FISH) posted a time 2 seconds faster than her prelim swim, placing 7th overall in 2:06.22. Kirk Morgan (ASA) broke the 2:00 barrier for the first time, swimming 1:59.22, good enough for 7th place. The 14 yr old race had three from Potomac Valley- Alex Grocholski (OCCS), 4th 1:54.65, Casper Svensson (ASA) , 9th 2:00.98 and Anderson Bishop (ASA) 10th in 2:01.24. Lara Martinez (OCCS) and Molly Donnelly (MAKO) placed 4th and 6th in the girls 9 & Under 100 Breaststroke, while in the 10 yr old race, Adya Bhardwaj (ASA) captured 3rd in 1:22.43. There were 2 swimmers from ASA in the Boys 9 & Under 100 Breaststroke, Danis Kottak placing 6th and Rory Rawson 7th. In the 10 yr old race, William Stone, also from ASA finished 10th in 1:28.80. The Girls 11 yr old 50 Breaststroke had 2 from MAKO- Laura Roth, 5th (34.39) and Anna Roth 6th (34.82), while Savannah Valdecana (Dragon) finished 9th. Lionel Martinez (OCCS) placed 5th (30.75) in the Boys 12 yr old 50 Breaststroke and his teammate Gabby Hawver was 9th (32.27) in the Girls 13 yr old race. Grant Golembiewski kept the streak going for OCCS in the Boys 14 yr old 50 Breaststroke placing 4th in 28.64.
In the Boys 9 & Under 500 Freestyle, Isaiah Collazo (FISH) finished 3rd in 6:25.48 and Rory Rawson (ASA) was 5th in 6:41.73. In the 10 yr old 500 Freestyle, another meet record went down as Sawyer Hansen (St. Petersburg) touched 1st in 5:15.19, besting the prior record of 5:26.50 set be Colton Frantz (Sarasota Y) in 2014!
Moving on to the ‘Splash and Dash’ , Ellery Thomas (ASA) dropped time from her prelim swim and was just touched out to finish 2nd in 26.10, Savannah Valdecanas (Dragon) hit the wall 9th in 27.27. In the 12 yr old race, Lila Sherman finished 4th (again!) in 25.53 and Sadie Buckley (MAKO) was 7th in 25.86. The Boys 11 yr old race was tight for 1st through 3rd, with Nolan Barrett (BAD) winning in 25.65, Shane Courtois (FSC) 25.82 and Matthew Bailey (ASA) 3rd in 25.83. The 12 yr old Boys race was equally exciting as the top 4 finishers were under 24 seconds. Caleb Josh Camet (PM) touched 2nd in 23.86 and Lionel Martinez (OCCS) 4th in 23.93. In the Girls 13 yr old race, Virginia Hinds (ASA) was a bit off her prelim time, but captured 10th in 25.08. The 13 yr old Boys race saw Kirk Morgan (ASA) finished 7th in 23.50 and Ian Millsaps (OCCS) 9th in 23.83. In the 14 yr old Boys race, Alex Grocholski dropped another .3 from his prelim time to grab 6th overall in 22.62!