CAC Swimmers Score Icey-pops at New Hampshire Swim Meet

Twenty-eight swimmers and their families made the trek to Dover New Hampshire for a well attend meet in Dover’s 6 lane Olympic distance pool. This beautiful outdoor 50 meter facility and the meet itself are named after Olympic great and 12 time Olympic medal holder Jenny Thompson.

Weather for the Jenny Thompson started out chilly with a sprinkling of rain on Friday, June 29 but by noon that day and for the remainder of the weekend the heat rolled in and the sun shone perfectly. Parents enjoyed the welcome shade of lawn tents and watched their swimmers from natural amphitheater hillside seating, while snacking on excellent cuisine, prepared by the hosting team, Dover based Seacoast Swimming.

While spectators settled in for some much needed weekend relaxation, coaches and over 500 competitors from 19 other New England US Swim Clubs looked down the barrel of three days of very tough competition. A pool side lawn tent city sprang up as coaches and swimmers representing all of New England began preparation for three days of fast and furious racing. Throughout each long day of racing CAC Coaches Larry Chan and Annie Weeks were on deck with the CAC Swimmers. Their mentoring and guidance through the ups and down of the racing events was visible to all. They demonstrated the unfailing dedication and the excellence of CAC coaching.

Each day of the meet was divided into three competition sessions.

The Open Division splashed for warm up at 6:00am each day and competition began at 7:00am. Open Division morning sessions were swum as preliminaries with the top twelve finishers from each event returning for final round swimming in the evening.

The 12-Under Division splashed at 1:00pm, with competition starting for the afternoon session at 2:00pm. 12-Under afternoon session were swum as finals with afternoon racing determining swimmer overall placement in each event.

Open Division swimmers, returning for the evening finals session splashed at 6:00 pm for warm-up, with Finals Competition starting at 7:00pm.

In afternoon final round swimming CAC’s 12-Under swimmers simply stole the show. Shaded hillside amphitheater seating provided parents and guests the perfect vantage point to watch some really excellent age group swimming competition.

Each event had many heats, some more than 20. The young CAC Swimmers proved up to the task of competing for the coveted ‘heat-winner’ tickets which entitled the bearer to an icey-pop from the concession stand. As the young athletes bested themselves against previous best times and the competition, CAC lettered swim caps became an all too frequent sight at the icey-pop cooler. Excellent swims with good endurance and solid technique were the rule of the day for Emma McCall (9, Griswold), Abby Vetrovec (9, North Stonington), Nell Chidley (11, Westerly), TJ Ward (9, Waterford), Joe Sullivan (11, Westerly) and Sarah Spraklin (North Stonington, 11).

A number of CAC swimmers finished in the top 12 of their events. All totaled, there were 30 CAC 12-Under finishes in the top 12 spots.

Hope Valley's Jack Benavides (12) competing in the Boys 11 - 12 Division finished 1st in the 50 Breast (39.55), 2nd in the 100 Breast (1:24.76), 5th in three events; 50 Free (31.43), 50 Fly (35.16), and 50 Back (38.34). Jack 6th in the 100 Free (01:09.67) and 8th in the 100 Fly (1:22.19).

Westerly's Lea Koppermann (12) competing in the Girls 11 - 12 Division finished 2nd in the 200 Free (2:33.07), 5th in the 100 Breast (1:34.37), 7th in the 50 Free (32.41), 8th in two events; 50 Breast (43.71) and 200 IM (2:59.75). Lea also finished 9th in the 100 Free (1:11.41).

Pawcatuck's Maddy Rea (8) competing in the Girls 8 & Under Division finished 4th in the 200 Free (3:30.36), 5th in the 50 Free (43.97), 6th in two events; the 100 Fly (55.52) and the 50 Back (51.94), 7th in the 100 Free (1:39.55) and 10th in two events; 100 Breast (2:14.03) and 50 Breast (1:01.43).

Griswold's Gracie McCall (11) competing in the Girls 11 - 12 Division finished 5th in the 200 Back (2:57.03), 9th in the 100 Back (1:23.50) and 200 Free (2:39.89).

Richmond's Matt Stanley (12) competing in the Boys 11 - 12 Division finished 7th in the 200 Back (2:59.81), 8th in the 100 Back (1:22.28), and 10th in the 50 Back (39.82).

Pawcatuck's Wes Rea (11) competing in the Boys 11 - 12 Division finished 10th in the 50 Fly (36.64), 11th in two events; 200 Back (3:02.68) and 200 Free (2:41.80).

Hope Valley's Hannah Benavides (9) competing in the girls 10 & Under Division finished 10th in the 100 Breast (1:47.19).

In Open Division morning preliminaries, CAC swimmers showed their stuff. Each preliminary event consisted of multiple heats. As with the younger swimmers, each heat became hard fought race between six competitors and also offered each swimmer a chance to swim for their own personal best time. Swimming well, winning and placing 2nd in heats was a frequent occurrence for CAC 13-Over swimmers Noah Vetrovec (14, North Stonington), Andrew Lewis (18, Mystic), Lea Janz (14, North Stonington), Jordan Legg (14, Ledyard), Aaron Lewis (13, Mystic), Josh Goldstein (14, East Lyme), Michelle Saracovan (13, East Lyme), Same Rea (14, Pawcatuck), Emily Tran (14, Mystic), and Cat Ward (15, Waterford). Parents were on their feet as these athletes put their daily hard work to the test against tough competition. Old personal best fell as improvements in strength and stroke technique was obvious to all in attendance.

Several CAC 13-Over swimmers made it into the top 12 spots in preliminaries to go onto finals and grab 7 Championship and 2 Consolation round finishes.

During Friday and Saturday Consolation Final action CAC’s Pawcatuck’s Julia Gavin (15) placed 1st in the Girls Open Division 100 Breaststroke consolation final with a 1:22.94. Waterford’s Asia Langley (14), placed second in the Women’s Open division 200 Free with a 2:17.41.

During Friday and Saturday Championship Round Swimming Ledyard’s Jessica Hespeler (17) brought home four 1st places finishes; 400 Free (4:31.97), 50 Free (28.51), 100 Fly (1:07.61), and 200 Free (2:09.00). In a ‘down to the wire’ finish Waterford’s Asia Langley (14) placed 2nd in the 50 Free (28.81) just 3 tenths of a second behind Hespeler. Langley also placed 2nd in the 100 Fly (1:09.06). In the 100 Breast final North Stonington’s Andy Janz placed second after trading the lead several times in a neck and neck race with Phoenix Swimming’s Brian Poon. Janz finished second, a half second out of the 1st place spot with a 1:13.75.

In the Sunday morning prelims CAC swimmers, Hespeler, Langley, Janz, and Mystic’s Adam Tran qualified for evening finals. Hespeler’s 12th place finish in the 100 back (2:40.08) earned a consolation final spot and a 1st place finish in the 100 free (1:01.23) earned her top seed in the final round. Asia Langley’s 7th place finish in the 100 free (1:04.07) earned her top seed in the 100 free consolation final. Andy Janz’s 4th place finish in the 200 Breast (2:45.99) earned him a Championship Final Spot. And Mystic Adam Tran’s 9th place finish in the 100 Free (59.41) earned him a spot in the 100 Free Consolation Final. CAC swimmers scratched Sunday evening finals giving all 13-Over swimmers a much needed night’s rest as they are in training for the upcoming Connecticut Senior, Regional, Age Group and Eastern Zone Championships.

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