RMSC’s National Team recently travelled to Orlando, FL to compete at NCSA Junior Nationals on March 19-23. The meet featured approximately 1500 of the fastest 18&U swimmers in the country, representing nearly 200 clubs. Each event was fiercely competitive, often featuring over 200 swimmers, and occasionally over 300. The top 24 finishers scored points for the club, while the top 40 made it back to finals. 51 swimmers and six coaches made the trip, and the team produced some of our best results in several seasons, culminating with the Boys receiving a new banner for finishing 2nd with 659 points. Combined, the team finished 5th overall with 793 points, and both Boys and Combined were over 200 point improvements from last season.
Many of the best swims in this team effort came on relays, where for the first time in many years, all five Boys A relays made the podium (top 8). The quartet of Steven Mendley, Timmy Ellett, Alex Colson, and Ryan Vipavetz finished 2nd in the 200 Free Relay and 6th in the 400 Free Relay. Colson, Ellett, Connor Din, and Vipavetz finished 4th in the 800 Free Relay. Andrei Schwartz, Ellett, Colson, and Mendley took 4th in the 400 Medley Relay and 5th in the 200 Medley Relay. Our depth also showed through as two B relays added points with top 16 finishes: the 800 Free Relay (Mendley, Marrick Golladay, Cody Kim, Bobby O’Donnell) and the 400 Medley Relay (Max Casey-Bolanos, Zach Bayler, Chris Ma, Vipavetz).
Individually, Ryan Vipavetz led the team with 120 points. He won the 1000 free (9:07.56), made the podium with top 8’s in 500 free and 200 fly, was top 16 in 200 free, and top 24 in 100 fly. Alex Colson also cracked the 100 point mark, featuring 1st place finishes in 100 fly (47.32) and 200 fly (1:45.40), top 16 finishes in 100 IM and 400 IM, and top 24 finishes in 50 free and 200 IM. Timmy Ellett was top 8 in 200 IM and 400 IM, top 16 in 200 back and 100 IM, and top 24 in 100 breast and 200 breast. Steven Mendley was top 16 in 50 fly and added top 40 finishes in 50 free, 100 free, and 200 free. Chris Ma was top 16 in 100 fly, top 24 in 200 fly, and top 40 in 50 fly. Andrei Schwartz was top 24 in 50 back and top 40 in 100 back. Also adding top 40 finishes were: Zach Bayler, John Clado, Sean Santos, and Pierre Zeinnedin.
On the Girls’ side, Catherine Belyakov was our top scorer with 60 points. She had top 16 finishes in 50 breast, 100 breast, 200 breast, and 100 IM, and a top 24 in 200 IM. Kaitlin Gravell had top 16 finishes in 1000 free and 400 IM, and a top 40 in 200 breast. Joyce Wu was top 24 in 50 breast and added a top 40 in 100 breast. Also adding top 40 finishes were: Molly Benson, Abby Carr, Sarah Culkin, and Sophia Ryan.
The Girls scored points with top 24 finishes in the 800 Free Relay (C.Belyakov, Benson, Natalie Dobrzykowski, Ryan), 200 Medley Relay (Kate Cosgrove, C.Belyakov, Carr, Benson), and 400 Medley Relay (Ryan, C.Belyakov, Carr, Benson). Also contributing to top 40 relays were: Anastasia Belyakov, Moshelle Borjigin, Meaghan Doyle, Katie Gould, Alli Marney-Bell, and Tia Thomas.
Once again, we appreciate the generous contribution from the Riley Eaton Foundation to help make this trip possible. The National Team will next be in action at Long Course NCSA Junior Nationals in Indianapolis this August 6-10.