The Florida Swimming Age Group Championships are always a crazy fast meet and this year did not disappoint.
Right away on the Day 1, Swim Florida’s Jason Tillotson put the hammer down on the 200 breaststroke record with a 2:27.94. Not to be out done, fresh off Olympic Trials for T2, Elise Haan breaks the 200 backstroke record with a 2:16.70 and looking easy doing it!
For the team score race, Sarasota Y grabbed the lead closely followed by Bolles and Clearwater. Funny thing is, my Patriot friend, coach Scott Caron, keeps telling me, they were winning the meet after the first event when Madison Murtaugh destroyed the field in the 800 freestyle.
The second day brought more records and fast swims at the University of Florida O’Connell Center. Big George McGovern, swimming for Tbay, swam a speedy 1:56.22 in the 200 freestyle breaking a record, with Jason Tillotson again, blowing away a 16 year old mark in the 400 IM held by the great Robert Margalis with a time of 4:40.79.
For the team scores at the end of the second night, the top 2 stayed the same with Tbay stepping into 3rd place.
This day saw the first relay record go down from Bolles in the men’s 13-14 200 Free Relay, along with the incredible speed of T2’s Matthew Limbacher in the 11-12 boys 50 breast with a time of 33.89. In a great race with Clearwater’s Nazareno Boscaino and Matthew Hirshberger, George McGovern broke the 8 year old mark of 4:06.54 with a 4:03.87. Funny thing is, all three guys broke the record!
The last day of competition, although everyone is dead tired from the long meet, the swimmers continued their speedy performances. Matthew Hirschberger destroyed Nicholas Caldwell’s mile record with a 16:02.09 and still has another year! Come on Jesse Vassallo’s 1978 record of 15:30! Christin Rockway of Tbay also broke the 200 IM record of 2:25.63 in a great race!
In the team competition, Sarasota Y won the meet closely followed by Bolles and Tbay. Great fun by all!
These championship meets bring many hours of preparation by meet staff, officials, and the host team. My hat goes off to all of them and their dedication to the sport of swimming and for that we thank you!