March 18, 2019
ASC set 15 long course team records and Bryanna Bellile and Hallory Domnick scored in the A and B finals at the 2019 Senior Sectional Championships in Rochester, Minnesota last weekend. Senior Sectionals is like the age group Zones, but in senior level competition there is no age groups, and only the 800 and 1500 FR are timed finals, which means the 400 FR and 400 IM events are preliminary and final events. At this championship, faster than the qualifying standards for Wisconsin State 13 & Over Championships, about 150 swimmers per event from several states including Arizona, Nebraska, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North and South Dakota and 4 final heats of 8 swimmers means making a final here is in itself quite an accomplishment, and those making the podium are Futures, Junior National and even Olympic Trials qualifiers. As we “climb the ladder” of these higher level meets, the competition includes the entire nation and gets even faster.
We normally list a percentage of best times. In this meet, the 5 qualified swimmers had improved all but one time. The last time we swam long course was last summer, but USA Swimming Sectionals and Nationals are conducted in 50 meter courses because Olympic Trial cuts can only be made in a long course pool. Last year we had two qualifiers and three team records.
Sunday finals comes late, and often swimmers scratch out of the finals. With a 5-hour drive looming after the meet it would have been easy to scratch out and go home, but all three girls qualified remained to swim their finest final swims of the meet. A special shout out goes also to the parents who made the hard decision to remain for the swims and then drive back deep into the night. Swimming is a team sport, and this includes the families of those swimmers who drive them to practice, meets, make the hotel and restaurant reservations and are working on Monday morning after a long drive back. It is true that no matter how well a swimmer does or where that kid is seeded, each has their number one fan sitting, perhaps nervously, in the stands.
Bryanna Bellile made the podium (top 3 in this case) in her final swim of the weekend. Qualified third going into the finals, Bryanna held her place improving to a 27.03 in the event. Bryanna also made A finals in 100 and 200 FR, the C finals in the 400 FR and won the D final in the 100 Fly. Her 50, 100, 200 and 400 FR were all 13-14 and senior team records, and along with Jocelyn McNicoll, Hallory Domnick and Sienna Nitke scored a team record in the senior 400 medley relay.
Bryanna’s A final appearances got her mentioned in Swimming World magazine, which is a sort of way of saying she has now “arrived” as a swimmer to watch in this sport. She is now qualified for the Futures meet, which is another level higher toward the highest levels of the sport.
Jocelyn McNicoll also scored team records in the 100 and 200 BR, winning her heat in the 200 BR and moving up several places. Perhaps next time she will make the finals.
Hallory Domnick scored team records in the 15-18 100 FR, 200 FR and 200 Fly. Not far off the 400 and 800 FR events, Hallory won the B final of the 200 Fly.
Sienna Nitke also scored an individual team record in the 13-14 girls 800 FR and was a finalist in the 50, 100, 200 and 400 FR. New to the experience of swimming prelims and finals in the 400 meter FR, this experience was valuable for her as well. Over the season our team has had a few who have made it to a first time at a higher level meet and have used that experience to grow and become better. Sienna will return to this meet even better next time.
Although Nick Messamore did not set any records yet, he won his heat in the 100 BR and was two places away from a final in that event. Fresh off a successful HS and 13 & Over State meet, Nick also will come away from this experience more ready next time.
Our Improved list (no new times as we were fully qualified for this meet):
Bryanna Bellile improved her long course times in the 400 FR, 100 FR, 200 FR, 100 Fly and 50 FR, with all her FR swims as team records. A finalist in all events, she won the D final in the 100 Fly, was in the A final in the 50, 100 and 200 FR and made the podium as a third place finish in the 50 FR. Bryanna swam the BK leg of the 400 medley relay.
Hallory Domnick improved her 800 FR, 400 FR, 100 FR, 200 FR, 100 Fly and 200 Fly. A finalist in both Fly events, Hallory was part of the 1-2 finish in the D final, and won the B final in the 200 Fly. Hallory swam the fly leg of the medley relay. Her 100 and 200 FR and 200 Fly were team records.
Jocelyn McNicoll swam the 100 and 200 BR to team records, moving up dramatically in place from her seed on the psyche sheet as she almost won the 100 BR heat and did win her heat in the 200 BR. Jocelyn swam the BR leg of the medley relay.
Nick Messamore swam the 100 BR and 100 FR on Friday, improving both of his events and he also won his heat of the 100 BR. Nick was the second alternate to making the final in the 100 BR. Perhaps some day we will also have a relay for him at Senior Sectionals or Nationals.
Sienna Nitke scored the 800 FR team record improving also in the 400 FR, 100 FR and 200 FR. Sienna was a finalist in the 50, 100, 200 FR and 400 FR and swam the FR leg of the 400 medley relay.
Our next meet will be next season. We will start that season April 1st, and our new swimmer week will be April 8-10 with a parent’s meeting April 11th and a Friday Night Sprints April 12th.
We look forward to a great banquet tomorrow, March 19th.