GPAC’s Lalor meet draws big summer competition

Gregory Johnson

                The week’s weather heated up as schools let out and teams from across the Southeast traveled to Pensacola to welcome the first days of summer at the Tom Lalor Invitational held at UWF’s aquatic center May 31-June 2. GPAC scored a narrow team victory at the meet, edging the visiting Crawfish Aquatics team by a little over 300 points.

               “The Tom Lalor meet is usually in high-demand and competition is solid for this point in the season,” said GPAC head coach Greg Johnson. “Teams love to come for the beaches and they certainly stay for the competition that our team of fantastic swimmers provides.”

                GPAC, along with the team win, had two swimmers emerge as high-point winners in their age group.

                For the second consecutive home meet, six-year-old Lane Robinson won the award for the 8-and-under age group. Lane won three of his individual events, sweeping the 50 and 100-meter freestyle races, and taking top honors in the 100-meter backstroke. Lane erased over 12 seconds off his previous best time in the event and went on to swim best times in two other events.

                Also, for the second consecutive meet, Ian Malone, 11, was crowned the high-point winner for the 11-12 age group. Ian was the high-point winner only two weeks ago in Panama City Beach. Ian won seven of his nine individual events and swam new personal bests in four of them. Ian set a new ‘AA’ time in his 50m butterfly and a new ‘A’ time in the 50m backstroke.

                Along with these two individual event winners, Taylor Clements, 10, won four individual events, Claire Han, 14, won the 100m free, Kevin Herr, 12, won the 50 free and back, and Max Little and Belle McNally, both 12, swept the 50 and 100m breaststrokes. Lily Walker, 10, won a trio of events and Emma Wortman, 14, captured the 50 and 100m breaststroke wins.

                Congratulations to Jackson Gehrke, 12, and Ani Sekhon, 15, who posted life-best times in all their individual events at the meet.

                GPAC’s list of championship qualifiers and qualifying swims continues to grow with each successive meet. GPAC has 16 swimmers amass 25 new championship cuts at the meet: Jaysa Ciccone, 10 (50 fr), Trinity Devanney, 15 (100 br), Kevin Herr (200 fr), Braedan Jacobs, 13 (200 fly), Noah Jacobs, 10 (100 fr), Kouper Kraus, 11 (50 fly), Max Little (100, 200 fr, 50, 100 fly), Belle McNally (100 fly), William McNally, 11 (50 bk), Jack Rowell, 15 (100, 200 bk, 200 IM), Cain Scoggins, 12 (100 bk, 200 IM), Tanker Speck, 17 (100 fr, 200 IM), Hudson Trammell, 14 (200 bk), Jameson Walker, 13 (200 fly, 200 bk) and Avery Witte, 11 (100 fly).

                GPAC had two swimmers, Bailee Luciano, 12 and Coulson Voeltz, 12, who posted their first-ever Southeastern championship qualifying times. Bailee scored both the 50 and 100m breaststroke standards and Coulson nabbed the 50m breaststroke cut.

               The list of swimmers achieving new motivational times grew over the weekend with these new standard breakers:

B:           Paige Bridges, JoJo harris, Jack Hebert, Chloe Henley, Addison Lee, Kyle Longley, William McNally, Kiley Menser, Emma O’Neill, Jackson O’Neill, Cain Scoggis, Ani Sekho, Coulson Voeltz, Landis Wood

BB:         Jaysa Ciccone, Graeson Garcia, Lily Green, Braedan Jacobs, Lucan Kervin, Kouper Kraus, Max Little, Kyle Longley, Bailee Luciano, Rylee Maiorino, Owen Mayer, Belle McNally, Kobi Menser, Korbin Menser, Jackson O’Neill, Logan Robinson, Cain Scoggins, Noah Scoggins, Brianna Sith, Shelby Smith, Lily Stockton, Laurel Kate Voeltz, Jameson Walker, Liam Winans, Avery Witte

A:           Jaysa Ciccone, Taylor Clements, Sara Gray, Landry Hadder, Kevin Herr, Braedan Jacobs, Sydney London, Maren Mackey, Ian Malone, Belle McNally, Korbin Menser, Emma O’Neill, Jack Rowell, Shelby Smith, Lily Stockton, Hudson Trammell

AA:         Taylor Clements, Ian Malone, Jack Rowell, Tanker Speck, Lily Walker, Emma Wortman

AAA:      Landry Hadder, Tanker Speck

               The team now turn its attention to the end of June, where over 50 swimmers will travel to Auburn to compete in the biggest and fastest meet before they reach the championship. Teams from across the country will be in attendance to compete, with their sights set on making cuts for the Olympic Trials in Omaha next summer.