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PVS Senior Champs: Cassidy Bayer breaks national age group record in 100 butterfly

By Michael Ledecky

Cassidy Bayer of Curl-Burke broke her second 11-12-year-old national age group record in three weeks last night with a first-place finish in the women’s 100-meter butterfly at the Potomac Valley Senior Long-Course Championships in College Park, Md.

Bayer’s time of 1 minute 2.31 seconds shaved eighteen hundredths of a second off the 2001 mark established by American record-holder and 2012 Olympian Dana Vollmer.

“That’s a serious swimmer who had that,” said Bayer’s coach Paul Makin of Vollmer’s record. “To take that out is pretty special.”

Bayer opened the race with a blistering 29.34 second split at the 50-meter mark — her first sub-half minute split ever, according to Makin. But despite her early speed, Bayer managed to maintain her lead over 2011 All-Met Swimmer of the Year Katilin Pawlowicz on the return leg. A solid 32.97 back-half split allowed the 12-year-old to touch the wall 1.4 seconds ahead of her personal best time (1:03.71), established during the morning’s prelims.

Makin knew that Bayer had the ability to take the race out fast after watching her set a new NVSL mark last weekend in the 50 short-course meter butterfly (28.74).

“That swim

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[last Saturday] was very relaxed,” Makin said. “She had a good, relaxed recovery.”

Bayer captured the 11-12 NAG record in the 200 butterfly earlier this summer at the PVS Senior 2 meet. Posting a time of 2:18.61, she eclipsed the previous mark held by North Baltimore’s Courtney Kalisz by .71 seconds. 

Bayer attributes her recent records, in part, to a focus on the process rather than the result.

“The last time I looked at a record really well was when I was trying to get the 100 fly short-course [yards]. I kept on thinking, ‘Get the record, get the record.’  I didn’t think of my tempo or any things to work on. I just thought about the record, and I never got it,” said Bayer. “So this summer I wanted to push that out of the way and work more on my stroke.”

Bayer will have several more opportunities to lower her records in the coming weeks. She is slated to swim the 200 butterfly this Sunday at Senior Championships, and she plans to compete next weekend at the Potomac Valley Age Group Championships. She will also travel with Curl-Burke in early August to compete at the Eastern Zone Super Sectionals in Buffalo, N.Y.

In other races Friday evening, Carsten Vissering bested the PVS Resident and Open records in the men’s 15-16-year-old 100 breaststroke. Vissering’s winning time of 1:04.64 was under the 2012 Olympic Trials standard and represented his first U.S. Open cut. 

On the women’s side, Isabella Rongione (FISH) edged out Laura Schwartz (Potomac Marlins) to win the 400 I.M. The 12-year-old Rongione lowered her Potomac Valley age group Open Record in the event after overtaking Schwartz in the final 50 meters. 

The men’s 200 freestyle was a duel between returning Trials competitors Jack Conger (RMSC) and Bradley Phillips (Curl-Burke/U-Va./Mission Viejo).  Conger edged Phillips by .23 and missed the Potomac Valley resident record by a half-second.

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