Night three of the Tom Dolan Invitational saw five national age group records go down bringing the meet’s total to seven — four more than Junior Nationals, which concluded Saturday night. Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky, Janet Hu and Reese Whitley each earned their second NAG records of the meet and were joined by Allie Szekely and Jack Conger as the record books continue to be rewritten at the University of Maryland’s Eppley Center in College Park.
Conger, 18, led the way with two NAG records, the first coming in the 17-18 boys’ 100-yard backstroke where the Rockville-Montgomery Swim Club star posted a time of 45.32 seconds, eclipsing Ryan Murphy’s record of 45.34 set last month at the Florida High School State Championship meet.
“That’s the first time I’ve ever been under 46 [in the 100 backstroke],” Conger said of his record. “I still have the goal of going under 45, but I’m really pleased with that swim, especially while I’m still recovering from mono.”
Conger and Murphy have been trading national records for years including just last week when Murphy broke Conger’s 200 backstroke record at Winter Nationals, but that too may be back in Conger’s name as the Good Counsel senior is scheduled to swim the event tomorrow. Either way, the two high school phenoms are quickly making a case for themselves as the next great American swimming rivalry.
“Ryan [Murphy] and I have been going back and forth for awhile,” said Conger. “He’ll probably break that record next time he gets a chance, and I’ll try to take it right back. We push each other.”
Conger — who recently signed with the University of Texas — also led off RMSC’s boys’ 400 medley relay, which broke the 15-18 and 17-18 NAG records by nearly a full second for a new mark of 3:17.52.
Conger lead off in 45.87 split — his second time under 46 seconds in the 100 backstroke — and then handed the relay over to his teammates. Austin Dickey, 17, split 56.66 in the breaststroke leg and Jack Foster, 17, split 50.17 in the butterfly to give anchor Barry Mangold, 18, a shot at the taking down the record. Mangold’s 44.82 split was more than enough to take down the five-year-old relay record set by the Nashville Aquatic Club in 2007.
It was the second national age group relay record of the night and third of the meet.
An event prior, the Nation’s Capital Swim Club team of Janet Hu, Brooke Malone, Kristina Li and Katie Ledecky broke the 15-16 girls’ 400 medley NAG record by 1.14 seconds.
Hu split a 52.34 in the backstroke leg to lead off, less than a second off Rachel Bootsma’s NAG record in the event. Malone and Li built the lead during the breaststroke and butterfly legs, splitting 1:01.72 and 56.51, respectively before turning over the relay to Ledecky to run down her second national age group relay record. She split 49.96 in the freestyle leg to seal the win and NCAP’s seventh short-course yards NAG record of the 2012-2013 season.
Hu, Li and Ledecky were members of the recording setting 800 freestyle relay that set the NAG record the night previously.
The relay record was far from the only accolades the NCAP girls collected on Saturday night.
With the crowd urging her on, Ledecky, 15, came within half a second of breaking Katie Hoff’s NAG record in the girls’ 500 freestyle. She won the event easily with a 15 second margin over second place. She was .32 off the record last week at Winter Nationals as well.
Hu — who turned 17 after the start of the meet — took home first place victories in the 50 freestyle and 100 backstroke. She was .13 seconds off her own NAG record in the 50 freestyle, finishing in 22.26. The time was good enough for a new Eppley Center pool record by .04 seconds, held previously by Katie Radloff, a former Arlington Aquatic Club swimmer who set the record while swimming for William & Mary. Hu won the 100 backstroke in 52.07, also half a second off the NAG record, held by Rachel Bootsma — one of Ledecky’s teenaged teammate from the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Finally, Malone, 16, won her second individual events of the weekend in the open 200 breaststroke, winning in 2:15.58. Malone — who won the 100 breaststroke the night previously — is quietly having a terrific meet, as she moves into some elite company with her times. For the past several years, the breaststroke events have been dominated by RMSC standout Sarah Haase, now a freshman at Stanford. But Malone, a junior at South County High School, seems ready to step in fill Haase’s place as the top breaststroker in the area.
Not to be out done by the locals, Pennsylvania swimmers Allie Szekely of the Central Bucks Swim Team and Reese Whitley of the Penn Charter Aquatic Club each collected a NAG record on night three as well.
Szekely — who won the 100 breast and 400 IM on day two — shattered the 13-14 girls’ NAG record in the 200 breaststroke by 1.87 seconds. She also finished second in the 100 backstroke in 55.40.
Whitley was equally impressive setting the 11-12 boys’ 100 breaststroke NAG record, becoming the youngest swimmer ever to go under the 1-minute mark in the event with a time of 59.90.
Whitley also came within a second of going under 2-minutes in the 11-12 boys’ 200 IM, winning in 2:00.62. Whitley trailed by 2.5 seconds at the half way point to RMSC’s Sanjay Wijesekera — a fantastic all around swimmer who already has four wins this weekend — but surged into the lead behind a monstrous 33.48 second breaststroke effort. He pulled away in the freestyle with a 27.11 second split, showing himself to be more than just a one-stroke specialist.
Here is Whitley’s interview from Friday night:
13-14 200 breaststroke:
[edited per comment] NCAP’s Devin Truong pulled away from the field to win in a time of 2:10.62, a full two seconds ahead of second place.
Open 200 breaststroke:
In one of the more exciting races of the night, Andrew Seliskar, 16, and Carsten Vissering, 15, went stroke for stroke in the boys’ open 200 breaststroke for the first 150 yards before Seliskar exploded in the final 50 to pull away for the win. Seliskar finished in 1:57.58, just 1.12 seconds off the 15-16 year-old NAG record in the event. Vissering was second in 1:59.82. Seliskar earned his first NAG record last week at Winter Nationals in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 54.11. The way these two NCAP teammates push each other, it should only be a matter of time before one of them goes under the NAG record in the 200 breaststroke as well.
11-12 100 breaststroke:
NCAP’s Rachel Danegger wins in 1:08.54. It was the 12 year old’s second win of the weekend, the first coming in the 50 breaststroke on Friday night.
13-14 50 freestyle:
CBST isn’t just the Allie Szekely show. Her age group teammate Hannah Zurmuhl was also breaking record on Saturday, winning the 50 freestyle in a new Potomac Valley open record of 23.49.
Michael Jensen of the Upper Dublin Aquatic Club (UDAC) is a win away from sweeping the sprint freestyle events this year. Jensen won the 50 freestyle on Saturday in 21.21, crushing the PVS open record, held by junior national team member Tanner Kurz, by .34 seconds. On Friday night, Jensen won the 200 freestyle in an impressive 1:39.64 — one of the top ten fastest times in the age group. Jensen can complete the sweep on Sunday with a win in the 100 freestyle, where, after prelims, he is seated first.
Open 50 freestyle:
NCAP’s resident “old” men, 25-year-old Zach Hayden and 29-year-old Joe Pascale topped their junior competitors, NCAP’s Andrew Seliskar and RMSC’s Barry Mangold in the open 50 freestyle. Hayden won in 20.27 over Pascale’s 20.44. Mangold — the anchor of RMSC’s record-setting medley relay — was third in 20.91, just out-touching Seliskar in 20.94.
11-12 50 freestyle:
CBST’s Morgan Scott earned her third individual win of the meet in the 50 freestyle with a winning time of 24.42.
Sam Grossi touched in 24.26 to take the boys’ event for PCAC.
13-14 100 backstroke:
NCAP’s Annie Boone captured the girls’ 100 backstroke title in 54.52.
Delaware’s David Crossland topped the boys 13-14 100 back in 52.94.
13-14 500 freestyle:
A trio of 13-year-old NCAP girls went 1-2-3 in the 13-14 distance free event. Lea Gwennap cruised to the win in 4:56.69. Cassidy Bayer — an 11-12 NAG record holder in the butterfly events — fought back from a body-length deficit to pass her teammate Emily Meilus in the final 100 yards to finish second in 4:58.53. Meilus was third in 5:00.28.
UDAC’s Michael Jensen — who already had wins in the 50 and 200 freestyle — won the boys’ event in 4:39.97. With a win the 100 free on Sunday, Jensen will compete the 50 through 500 sweep of the freestyle events.
Open 500 freestyle:
NCAP’s Andrew Seliskar must enjoy tight races. After placing fourth in the 50 freestyle by .03 seconds, he touched second in the 500 freestyle by .07 seconds. NOVA Aquatics’ Townley
Haas, 15, won the 500 free in 4:23.47 after a hard-fought race from start to finish between the two 15-16 year-olds. Seliskar’s teammate, Christopher Grimmett-Norris, was third in 4:29.06.
11-12 200 IM:
NCAC’s Madison Homovich topped the 11-12 girls’ 200 IM with a 2:08.77.
13-14 medley relays:
NCAP’s Annie Boone, Reni Moshos, Cassidy Bayer and Hannah Baker crushed the field in the 13-14 girls’ 400 medley relay in 3:47.30, less than a second off the NAG record. According to an NCAP coach, the girls will have one more shot at the record while all four girls are still 13-14 year-olds in the new year.
NCAP teammates Austin Henry, Timothy Wu, Sam Pomajevich and Brandon Fabian topped the 13-14 boys’ 400 medley relay in 3:37.13. Both relays were PVS resident and open records.