Susanna Price competes in St. George, Utah last weekend. Courtesy photo
Carson Hick during the Speedo Sectionals last weekend at Dixie State University in St. George, Utah. Courtesy photo
COACH MARK SCOTT
Los Alamos Aquatomics
More than 300 swimmers representing 55 teams from 11 states ranging from Alaska to Virginia competed April 22-25 in the Speedo Sectionals at Dixie State University, St. George, Utah including Los Alamos Aquatomics swimmers Susanna Price and Carson Hick. Both swimmers were competing in their first meet in over a year, as were more than two-thirds of the swimmers participating at the meet.
Results below are in chronological order:
Thursday, April 22 Prelim:
Carson Hick: 100 Free, dropped 2. 5 seconds 1st time under 50, 10 beat kick with a roostertail.
Susanna Price: 200 Fly, dropped .97, 14th place (Consol Finals).
Carson Hick: 200 Fly, dropped 4.57, 24th place (C finals).
Thursday, April 22 Finals:
Susanna Price : 1000 Free, 17th place.
Susanna Price : 200 Fly, TIE 13th place, moved up 4 places, with a very strong back half.
Carson Hick: 200 Fly, 19 place, dropped 2 more seconds, moved up 5 places and finished in a 1:55.99, well under 1:56.00 :o)
Susanna Price started off the meet with an iron double with two of the tougher events. Add to this she recently joined the team, after moving from upstate New York, has been adapting to new stroke techniques, training, and has been dealing with pandemic challenges as far as consistency in training (we all have) and managed it quite well. Her effort levels were outstanding, pacing, technique and mindset was great stuff throughout the meet. She won the close races, and there were a LOT of them. Her tie for 13th in this even could have been a 4 way tie, it was that close. Susanna went out in her best time in the 100 Fly on the way out on her 200.
Carson Hick started off the meet with some strong swims in events that have not been his strengths. Both swims indicate he is versatile, his strokes were radically changed from what we saw a year ago, and he won the close one, squeaking into the last scoring position by .10 seconds.
Friday, April 23 Prelim
Susanna Price: 400 IM, 27th place, dropped almost 2 seconds. She learned a new style of Breaststroke, used it and made it work, with almost 6 second improvement on that leg.
Carson Hick: 400 IM, 23rd place, dropped 43.23 seconds. NOT a typo, all his strokes looked great, good turns, good underwaters… fun to watch, i almost dropped my stopwatch.
Friday, April 23 Finals:
Susanna Price: 400 IM, 26th place, dropped another 3 seconds. It was her birthday, this was a great effort and a terrific race, with the top 5 swimmers all within a couple seconds, and it was not decided until the last half of the final lap. Susanna again swam a smart, tough race, and went even faster on the Breaststroke leg.
Carson Hick: 400 IM, 17th place, was not content with his 43 second drop earlier in the day, and dropped another 7+ seconds, and won the C finals. His Breaststroke was no longer the weak leg, and was among the biggest improvements from all swimmers at the meet.
Saturday, April 24 Prelim:
Susanna Price: 200 Back, 36th place, we have not been able to train kicking enough for this event.
Carson Hick: 500 Free, 10th place, dropped a couple tenths. We have not been able to build a base due to the pandemic precautions, Carson just plain gutted this one out.
Saturday, April 24 Finals:
Carson Hick: 500 Free, 12th place, dropped almost 3 seconds. This was one of the closest, tighter races of the meet, and could easily have been a 5 way tie going into the last 5 yards. Carson finished the last 150 yards on guts, but kept his stroke together.
Sunday, April 24 Finals:
Competitive Swimming is a fitness based sport, even the sprints require very high levels of fitness to do well in. The distance events require heavy, strenuous training loads in order to be competitive, and the pandemic has generated some significant challenges to this. Additionally, at championship meets, the 1650 is usually on the last day, similar to the marathon for track and field. Being on the last day, swimmers have to deal with effects from all their previous events, or back off during those events, or not swim them at all if they want to go in fresh for the “mile.” It’s not really a mile, sort of the yards equivalent of the Long Course Meters 1500 Free, which is used in International Competition. By the time we get to the Finals the last day, we have some tired, hurting swimmers even when training is not interrupted. Both Susanna and Carson’s efforts in the mile were exceptional.
Susanna: 1650 Free: 18:24.83, 16th place, added some time, but there was no doubt this was her maximum effort. Her technique was beautiful, and capped off a great meet effort.
Carson: 1650 Free: 15:55.55, 2nd place, added a couple seconds, which he was not happy about, but was swimming with a radically improved stroke, turns underwaters and breakouts, which is always a tough task. It’s been decades since the team has had a finish this high in a Sectionals meet, and the medal was pretty heavy. Sunday was Carson’s birthday, and the hardware was fitting.
Highlights from the meet, in no particular order, included:
Susanna scored 33.5 points, good for 21st in the Women’s Team Ranking. It’s been a while since LAA scored points in Women’s Events.
Carson scored 58 points, good for 19th in the Men’s Team Rankings.
LAA scored 91.5 points, good for 17th Overall.
This is the 4th consecutive Sectional Championship in which we’ve had a half point scored by a tie… and there’s not that many ties in the finals.
Overall, Personal Bests (PBs) were achieved by less than 30% in all splashes. LAA was 80% PBs, and averaged well over 1 second/100 improvement.
Four coaches commented to me, and at least one directly to Carson, that after the Men’s 1650 that Carson’s swim was so fun to watch that they forgot to get splits for their swimmers in the heat. I forgot to take photos of that.
LAA swimmers were winning the close ones, and swimming really tough and smart in the Finals.