Many of the area's top swimmers will be competing this weekend at the 2011 Winter National Championships, December 1-3, at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center in Atlanta.
With 2012 Olympic trials just seven months away, swimmers are taking advantage of every opportunity to compete in long course meters as they hone their race skills and try to make Olympic trials cuts making Winter Nationals one of the fastest meets between now and June 25, the first day of trials.
Winter Nationals will be broadcast, Sunday, 12/4, on NBC, 2:00 – 3:00 pm, and will be broadcast live on the USA Swimming website here, Friday through Saturday.
Former SNOW swimmer and University of Virginia graduate, Matt McLean is looking to defend his first place finish in the 400 free and improve upon his second place finish in the 200 free at the 2011 National Championships last August. He is seeded fifth in both the 400 free and 200 free. McLean swam for Potomac Falls High School in Sterling.
McLean will likely see competition in the Friday's 400 free from South Carolina swimmer, Michael Flach, formerly of FISH and Bishop O'Connell High School. Flach is seeded ninth. He is also scheduled to compete in the 200 butterfly and is hoping to make another “A” Final in the event after placing ninth at nationals in August.
On the women's side, former FISH and O'Connell standout Kate Ziegler is seeded first in the 800 freestyle and second in the 400 freestyle. She is hoping to keep building momentum towards a second Olympic berth.
Ziegler holds the world record in the 1500 freestyle.
Also competing this weekend will be two-time Olympian, Ryan Lochte, who is is scheduled for six individual events. Lochte is the top seed in the 200 freestyle, 400 individual medley, and 200 individual medley, in which he holds the world record, set last July in Shanghai at the 2011 World Championships. It was the first world record broken since the ban on technical suits.
Other Potomac Valley swimmers hoping to make it back for a night session are Jack Conger, seeded 10th in the 200 backstroke, and 14th in the 100 back; Sarah Haase, seeded 19th in the 100 breaststroke; and Janet Hu, seeded 19th in the 200 butterfly.
One of the youngest swimmers in the meet, SNOW's Carrie Lee, 14, is seeded 117th in the 100 backstroke. She is the only Potomac Valley participant who is still in middle school.
UPDATE: Curl-Burke's Katie Ledecky is scratching from the meet due to illness. Ledecky was seeded fifth in the 800 freestyle and tenth in 400 freestyle. Ledecky recently broke the National Age Group record in the 500 free (4 minutes 35.14 seconds) and 1,000 free (9:29.81). In her first high school meet last month, she achieved an Automatic All-American time standard in the 200 freestyle (1:49.67).
Complete list of Potomac Valley swimmers competing:
Carrie Lee, SNOW (14)
Claire McIlmail, RMSC (Urbana)
Curl-Burke will also be represented by non-high school swimmers Hilary Fritz (21) from UNC-Wilmington, Zach Hayden (23), Chuck Katis (18) from Harvard, David Kiss (21) from George Mason, Anna Macedonia (22) from Marymount University, Joe Pascale (28), Mark Sarman (18) from Georgia Tech, Suzanne Schwee (22) from University of Alabama, and Kyle Tyrrell (18). Matt Haupt (31) and Matt Fedderly (25), will also be competing for SNOW. Former SDS swimmer Ashely Danner (21) will be competing for George Mason University.
For the 2011 Winter National Championship psych sheet , click here.