The North Carolina 18 & Under Winter Champs concluded Sunday, featuring the 100 free, 200 back, 200 IM, and 1650 free. Emily Knorr, a 17-year-old out of Mecklenburg Swim Association, took the women’s 1650 by a convincing 10-second margin. Knorr broke both 16:30 and 16:20 for the first time, finishing in 16:19.20. Her swim currently stands at 4th in the virtual rankings for the USA Swimming Winter Juniors meet.
There was a battle in the men’s 1650 between North Carolina Aquatic Club 18-year-old Jay Baker, and Unattached 16-year-old Patrick Sleater. Baker got out to a little bit of an early lead, flipping at the first 500 in 4:35.56, with Sleater not far behind in 4:37.01. Baker expanded the lead slightly over the next 500 yards, splitting 4:40.12 there for a 9:15.68 at the 100, while Sleater was 4:41.60 for a 9:18.61 1000 split. The gap between the pair stayed largely the same over the last 650 yards of the race, with Baker ultimately finishing in 15:21.45, and Sleater came in 2nd in 15:24.92. Both swimmers had massive best times, with Baker dropping 20.32 seconds, and Sleater knocking 22.23 seconds off his personal best. Baker is currently 2nd in the Winter Juniors standings, and Sleater is 4th.
Unattached 18-year-old Garrett Boone broke 44 seconds for the first time in the men’s 100 free, winning the event by over half a second. Boone swam a 43.76, undercutting his previous best of 44.05, which he swam almost exactly one year ago. That swim puts him 2nd in the Winter Juniors standings. SwimMAC Carolina’s Logan Zucker swam a huge best time, coming in 2nd with a 44.44. He entered the meet with a best of 45.67, marking an improvement of 1.23 seconds.
Mecklenburg Swim Association 18-year-old Lindsay Flynn swam a lifetime best of 48.15 en route to winning the women’s 100 free. Flynn was out quick, splitting 22.97 on the first 50, and came home in 25.18. Flynn came into the meet with a best of 48.44. The swim puts her 3rd in the Winter Juniors standings, behind only Gretchen Walsh and Torri Huske. Teammate Teresa Ivan came in 2nd with a lifetime best as well, touching in 49.04. That marks a .45 second drop for the 17-year-old.
SwimMAC’s Baylor Nelson and North Carolina Aquatic Club’s Sam Hoover had another IM showdown that ended in an electric race. The pair got out to almost identical starts, with Hoover splitting 23.16 on fly, and Nelson 23.17. Nelson then established a significant lead, posting a 26.46 back split, while Hoover came in at 28.41. That left Nelson with an almost 2-second lead at the halfway mark, 49.63 to Hoover’s 51.57. Hoover made a sizable dent in that lead on breaststroke, splitting 29.36 to Nelson’s 30.68. That put Nelson just .62 seconds ahead of Hoover going into the free 50, but were again nearly identical, with Nelson splitting 24.73 and Hoover 24.68. In the end, Nelson won the race with a 1:45.04, and Hoover was 2nd in 1:45.61. Both boys hit lifetime bests, as Nelson entered the meet with a best of 1:47.17, and Hoover 1:47.00. The swims also put Nelson 1st in the Winter Juniors rankings, and Hoover 3rd.
The pair had another race in the men’s 200 back, although in this time around, it wasn’t nearly as close. Baylor Nelson won the race with a 1:44.38, while Sam Hoover took 2nd in 1:47.49. Nelson swam a great race, taking it out in 51.22 on the first 100, and coming home in 53.16. He entered the meet with a personal best of 1:47.53, then swim a 1:46.64 in prelims, marking an overall improvement of 3.15 seconds. Nelson currently sits at 3rd in the Winter Juniors rankings in the event. Hoover also swam a best time by over a second, as he entered the meet with a lifetime best of 1:48.80.
Life Time Swim North Carolina’s Kiley Wilhelm posted a 1:58.50 to win the women’s 200 IM. Wilhelm, 15, has been as fast as 1:56.77, which she swam earlier this year at Cary. The swim puts her 5th in the Winter Juniors rankings.
SwimMAC 15-year-old Molly Donlan won the women’s 200 back with a 1:58.17, marking a personal best by 1.90 seconds.