SunKissed 2022 Highlights

Brian Rose

Thursday, March 24th

Between our 4 swimmers in the Senior 1000, Riptide swimmers dropped MORE THAN 1 MINUTE off their best times on average!!! Kyle Talerico scored our first individual points of the meet by finishing 9th in the Senior Boys 1000 with 10:06.95. Lizzy Molinelli also added a 9th place of her own, with a 5:40.74 in Junior Girls 500 Free. Only 7 of our swimmers swam individual events on the first night, but EVERY SWIM was a personal best time!

All our A relays finished in a higher place than they were seeded! Here are our point scoring relays:

  • Senior Girls 400 Medley Relay, 13th, 4:12.37 (Vera Bacsoka, Sami Guadagnino, Katie Ryan, Mary-Liz Conway)
  • Senior Boys 400 Medley Relay, 7th, 3:37.87 (Justin Dumas, Ben Lockey, Henry Lynch, Kyle Talerico)
  • Junior Girls 400 Medley Relay, 6th, 4:33.71 (Lizzy Molinelli, Aanya Shridhar, Gianna Socio, Reagan Umbach)
  • Junior Boys (A) 400 Medley Relay, 4th, 4:13.35 (Mason Trinh, Joey Guadagnino, Patrick Blalock, Cole Eastep)
  • Junior Boys (B) 400 Medley Relay, 11th, 4:31.18 (Kaleb Mendez, Howie Askelson, Robert O'Connell, Allen Sahraoui)

Friday, March 25th

[Pictured: Katie Ryan and Henry Lynch collect their roses after making it to the podium in true Riptide butterfly tradition!]

Let's run down the rest of Friday night finals:

We opened up with some strong finishes by Junior relays:

  • Junior Boys 200 Medley Relay - 5th - 1:54.82 (Mason Trinh, Joey Guadagnino, Patrick Blalock, Cole Eastep)
  • Junior Girls 200 Medley Relay - 7th - 2:02.79 (Lizzy Molinelli, Aanya Shridhar, Maddy Keegan, Gianna Socio)

Girls Senior 100 Breast: Sami Guadagnino finishes 15th with a personal best 1:08.96.

Boys Senior 100 Breast: Ben Lockey & Henry Lynch finish respectively 5th and 6th, same as their prelim finish. Their respective prelim times of 58.65 & 58.95 stand as their personal bests, and Ben's opening prelim split of 27.17 is a NEW TEAM RECORD in 50 Breast!

Girls Junior 100 Breast: Aanya Shridhar finishes 15th with a personal best 1:17.79, and Brianna Zheng finishes 23rd with a personal best 1:22.48.

Boys Junior 100 Breast: Patrick Blalock finishes 7th in 100 Breast with 1:10.76 after setting a new personal best of 1:10.25 in the morning. In the B final, Mason Trinh and Joey Guadagnino both swam 1:12s to finish 11th and 12th. Howie Askelson won the C final for 17th with a personal best 1:12.94 and Brendan Zheng also did a personal best 1:20.58 for 22nd.

Girls Senior 200 Free: Katie Ryan finishes 5th with 1:55.83, a NEW TEAM RECORD!

Girls Junior 200 Free: Lizzy Molinelli finishes 11th with a personal best 2:05.70.

Boys Junior 200 Free: Cole Eastep finishes 14th with a personal best 2:03.87.

Girls Senior 100 Fly: Katie Ryan finishes SECOND! It's a NEW TEAM RECORD of 57.00, more than 2 seconds faster than Katie's seed time coming into the meet.

Boys Senior 100 Fly: Henry Lynch finishes SECOND with 51.59 to ensure that the dragon towel is back the podium. His personal best stands at 51.49 from prelims. Ben Lockey finishes 8th with 52.68. Kyle Talerico and Henry Roesener finished respectively 18th and 24th, and their brand new personal bests on the day are 53.75 and 54.73.

Girls Junior 100 Fly: Gianna Socio finishes 12th with 1:05.82.

Boys Junior 100 Fly: This will take too long... so let's do it this way. Listed below are the swimmers and their final place. The time listed for each swimmer will not necessary be what they swam at finals, but their fastest time on the day (whether it was from prelims or finals).

  • Patrick Blalock - 6th - 59.96
  • Cole Eastep - 10th - 1:01.80
  • Robert O'Connell - 12th - 1:02.97
  • Howie Askelson - 13th - 1:05.01
  • Mason Trinh - 15th - 1:06.33
  • Joey Guadagnino - 19th - 1:07.13
  • (Riptide butterfly army strikes again.)

Girls Junior 200 Back: Lizzy Molinelli finishes 7th in the 200 Back. Her personal best is now her prelims time of 2:20.31.

Saturday, March 26th

[Pictured: Ben Lockey, Katie Ryan, and Patrick Blalock collect their roses on the podium.]

Tons of finals swims again, even in some events which aren't always among our strongest!

But we'll start with an event that IS among our strongest, the 50 Free, with swimmers on the podium in both boys and girls! Katie Ryan finished 3rd in Senior Girls with 24.11, a NEW TEAM RECORD, and Ben Lockey finished 2nd in Senior Boys with 21.08. Henry Lynch finished 8th after making the A-final by going his first ever 21 in the prelims.

Next, the Junior Boys squad of Patrick Blalock, Mason Trinh, Robert O'Connell, and Cole Eastep finished 6th in 400 Free Relay with 3:46, and the girls team (Lizzy Molinelli, Brianna Zheng, Maddy Keegan, Gianna Socio) finished 9th with 4:07. The boys B team from the morning also scored points: Howie Askelson, Allen Sahraoui, Brendan Zheng, Joey Guadagnino 12th with 4:05.

Katie Ryan then added another A final, finishing 8th in the 500 Free and her 5:13.06 from the morning is a NEW TEAM RECORD. She's yet to swim an individual event this weekend without setting a team record.

Kyle Talerico finished 14th in the Boys 500 Free with a personal best 4:55.09

Gianna Socio finished 11th in Junior Girls 50 Free with a personal best 26.57. Four swimmers made it back in the Junior Boys. This is their place and new best time (whether the time is from the morning or night):

  • Cole Eastep - 14th - 25.55
  • Mason Trinh - 16th - 25.77
  • Robert O'Connell - 20th - 26.34
  • Howie Askelson - 23rd - 26.97
  • Henry Lynch finished 9th in Senior Boys 200 Breast with a personal best 2:15.08.

Lizzy Molinelli finished 7th in Junior Girls 200 IM with 2:25. Mason Trinh finished 16th in Junior Boys 200 IM after a personal best 2:21.68 in prelims.

The full Riptide butterfly army showed up for the final individual event of the night, Junior 200 Fly. Patrick Blalock dropped nearly 4 seconds from his state-championship-winning time just a few weeks ago, going 2:09.78 to finish SECOND and make the podium. As Patrick is still 12 despite swimming in the 13&under age division, this is a NEW TEAM RECORD in our 11-12 age group. Listed below is the entire army. Place is the final place, but time is fastest time on the day, whether prelims or finals.

Junior Girls

  • Gianna Socio - 9th - 2:36.45
  • Maddy Keegan - 14th - 2:41.20
  • Reagan Umbach - 15th - 2:53.20

Junior Boys

  • Cole Eastep - 8th - 2:19.50
  • Robert O'Connell - 9th - 2:22.79
  • Howie Askelson - 12th - 2:32.78
  • Joey Guadagnino - 13th - 2:34.12

Henry Lynch, Kyle Talerico, Henry Roesener, and Ben Lockey finished the night with a 5th place in Senior Boys 400 Free Relay, 3:15.10.

Sunday, March 27th

[Pictured: graduating seniors read "Only for the Pride" on Sunday morning. Left to right: Jay Creegan, Henry Lynch, Justin Dumas, Ben Lockey.]

Sunday night finals opened with the Junior Girls 200 Free Relay, with Lizzy Molinelli, Reagan Umbach, Brianna Zheng, and Gigi Socio finishing 7th with 1:51.29. The Boys were next, with the A relay (Patrick Blalock, Mason Trinh, Robert O'Connell, Cole Eastep) finishing 5th with 1:41.07 and the B team (Allen Sahraoui, Howie Askelson, Brendan Zheng, Joey Guadagnino) finishing 12th with 1:49.37.

Sami Guadagnino finished 4th in Girls Senior 400 IM with 4:54.79, making the A final despite it being her first year in the Senior division at 14-years-old.

In the Junior Girls 100 IM, Lizzy Molinelli finished 6th with 1:06.49, and Gigi Socio 20th with 1:10.66. On the boys side of the event, Mason Trinh earned his first A final by going 1:03.98 in the morning, and finished 7th. Here are the final places for the other boys who made it to the evening session, and their best time on the day, whether morning or night:

  • Howie Askelson - 11th - 1:06.31
  • Robert O'Connell - 13th - 1:05.31
  • Cole Eastep - 20th - 1:07.22
  • Joey Guadagnino - 21st - 1:07.43
  • Brendan Zheng - 24th - 1:09.27

Henry Roesener finished 21st in Boys Senior 100 Back with 56.62. In the Junior 100 Back, Mason Trinh finished 10th. His new best time will be his 1:03.97 from the 400 Medley Relay. Robert O'Connell finished 14th with 1:06.73. Kaleb Mendez finished 21st after a personal best in prelims of 1:10.03.

In Boys Senior 200 Fly, Henry Lynch dropped more than 9 seconds from his seed time to finish 12th with 2:01.64.

In Junior Girls 100 Free, Gigi Socio dropped more than another full second from the personal best she did in the morning, going 58.14 to finish 12th.

In Boys Junior 100 Free, Cole Eastep finished 14th with 56.10. Robert O'Connell finished 18th, and his new personal best is 57.75 from the prelims.

In the final individual event for Seniors, we got A finals from both Katie Ryan and Ben Lockey, with each finishing 4th. Katie went 52.66 and Ben 46.41. Katie's time is a NEW TEAM RECORD, meaning that Katie is 5-for-5 on team records. Five events swum, five new records. Kyle Talerico added a 20th in the boys event, with a personal best 49.52.

Aanya Shridhar had a unique and unusual accomplishment in the B final of Junior Girls 200 Breast. Having not initially qualified for finals, Aanya was inserted into the race as an alternate after another swimmer no-showed. Aanya proceeded to WIN the B final, meaning her final place is 9th with a time of 2:47.43.

Lizzy Molinelli had our final individual girls swim, finishing 8th in Junior Girls 200 Breast after qualifying with a 2:47.09 in the morning. This makes it a total of 4 A finals on the weekend for Lizzy, and an astounding 64 individual points scored.

In the final individual event of the meet, Howie Askelson won the B final of the Boys Junior 200 Breast, finishing 9th after a personal best 2:46.60 in prelims. Then, for the very last heat of any individual event at the meet, we had Patrick Blalock and Joey Guadagnino in adjacent lanes in the A final... only the most recent race of many like it since they were 8&unders! Patrick finished 4th with 2:34.04 and Joey finished 7th with 2:38.17. Both are personal bests, and Patrick's time is a NEW TEAM RECORD for the 11-12s.

In the Girls Senior 200 Free Relay, Taylor Huggup, Mary-Liz Conway, Sami Guadagnino and Katie Ryan finished 13th with 1:44.64. And then, our final relay of the meet was arguably our strongest relay performance of the whole weekend: Ben Lockey, Kyle Talerico, Justin Dumas and Henry Lynch went 1:27.55 to finish 4th.

In our last appearance at this meet in 2019, Riptide finished 10th with 359 points. [Yes, Coach Brian incorrectly cited many times that he wanted to greatly improve that 9th-place finish from 2019. But after further research... it turns out it was even lower. 10th. Womp womp.] In 2022, we finished 6th with 846.5 points. This means the constant comments during the weekend about how "It feels like there are so many more swimmers in finals" wasn't just a feeling, it was the truth. We scored well over twice as many points as last time.

Regardless of the place we finish, Riptide will always bring the most spirit and intensity to this meet. Which is why in the final awards ceremony, we were presented, naturally, with the Team Spirit Award.