By Meredith Roberts // Contributor | Wednesday, December 7, 2016
The fastest 18 & unders in the country kicked off the first night of racing tonight at two meets for the 2016 Speedo Winter Junior Championships. Juniors-East is taking place in Columbus, Ohio at Ohio State University, while Juniors-West is at Texas A&M in College Station, Texas.
In the night’s highlights….
The girls 200 Medley Relay in the East was a tight race, with less than a tenth of a second between 1st place and 3rd. SwimMAC Carolina’s team of Julia Menkhaus (24.81), Caroline Hauder (27.65), Sophie Linder (24.61) and Heidi Lowe (22.93) came out on top (1:40.00) with Nashville Aquatic Club (1:40.05) and the Gator Swim Club (1:40.49) right behind for second and third. In the West, the Fort Collins Area Swim Team of Bayley Stewart (25.49), Zoe Bartel (27.47), Coleen Gillilan (24.05) and Kylee Alons (21.84) won by over half a second with a time of 1:38.85.
Bolles and SwimMac faced off in the East for the boys 200 Medley Relay, with Bolles grabbing the victory in 1:28.27 with Matthew Serra (23.02), James Daugherty (24.87), Ariel Spektor (21.30) and Willie Davis’ blistering anchor split of 19.08. In the West, standout Ryan Hoffer led off the Scottsdale Aquatic Club team of Gage, Van Deusen and Blake to an almost three second win (1:27.11) over Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics (1:30.01).
Carmel’s team of Sammie Burchill (1:48.36), Kelly Pash (1:46.32), Emma Nordin (1:46.10) and Trude Rothrock (1:47.09) took the East win for the girls 800 Free Relay, winning by over two seconds (7:07.87). In the West, the Aquazot Swim Club earned their first ever Juniors gold when Eva Merrell, Samantha Pearson, Katie Glavinovich and Kate Krolikowski cruised to a two second victory over the Austin Swim Club in 7:12.12.
In the boys 800 Free Relay, the Scottsdale Aquatic Club was at it again, with Ryan Hoffer getting way ahead with his lead off time of 1:35.27. His teammates Jack Blake (1:38.89), Terry Yang (1:40.12) and Aaron Apel (1:37.65) further secured the team’s second gold of the night (6:31.93).
In the most memorable moment of the evening, Drew Kibler of Carmel Swim Club led off the 800 free relay with a new 15-16 NAG record of 1:33.36 for the 200 free. He crushed Maxime Rooney’s previous 2014 record of 1:34.57. Despite this incredible lead off, the Cincinnati Marlins were able to edge out Carmel for the win with a time of 6:34.03.