The first day of the swim portion of SEC Red Championships ended Friday with host team Ann Arbor Skyline dominating the finishes before the points accumulation becomes ‘real’ in Saturday’s finals. The top 8 swimmers will be in the A heat, while swimmers finishing from 9-16 compete in the B heat. Another round of swimming takes place among finishers 17-24, who compete in the C heat.
The first event on Friday began with a victory for the Eagles. The A medley relay came in a full second ahead of Pioneer, thanks to strong swims right out of the gate by Sam Konigsberg, Michael MacGillivray, Kyle Tschannen and David Cleason. The B relay took 5th in a strong field, where they finished fewer than 3 seconds behind the top group: Matteo Procoppe, Kareen El-Tawil, Ben Keith and Wilson Noll powered ahead of cross-town rival Huron, touching a second ahead.
Three of the top four swimmers in the 200 freestyle were Eagles: Samuel Jyawook, who took first; Kyle Tschannen, at third; and Keith Kozma, fourth. Shane MacNeil joins them in the A & B finals on Saturday.
Four more Eagles will come back to the top two heats in the 200 IM, with MacGillivray coming in first and Cleason second. Procoppe took 8th, and Derek Mrachko came in 13th.
The 50 freestyle always fields dozens of swimmers, and this year three Skyline swimmers will come back on Saturday for the top two heats: El-Tawil (8); Noll (15) and Russell Noble (16). Two more qualified for the C final: Patrick Dempsey and Keegan Gardner.
Three Eagles proved their butterfly strength, taking positions in Saturday’s A final; Keith, Konigsberg and Tschannen, who tied with a Bedford swimmer for 5th. Mrachko will be the sole Eagle in the B final, while Noah Boucher and John Evangelista will represent in the C final.
Cleason finished 2nd in the 100 freestyle, giving himself a top seed for Saturday’s A final. Three Skyline swimmers will take to the blocks in the B final: MacNeil, Noll and Noble. Procoppe tied for 20th with a Huron swimmer, landing him a position in the C final.
The 500 freestyle is a tough distance race, but Skyline swimmers made it look easy, with four taking top 5 positions in the A finals: Jyawook, Kozma, Dewey and Keith. Jamison Brown, the only other Eagle to brave the contest, came in 24th.
Skyline’s 200 freestyle relays earned two positions in the A finals. The 2nd place A relay swimmers were El-Tawil, Noll, MacNeil and Jyawook.the 6th place B relay swimmers were Mrachko, Noble, Dempsey and Kozma, who finished within 1 second of both the 5th and 7th place teams.
Konigsberg swam big to take first position in the 100 backstroke, just 0.18 seconds ahead of the 2nd place swimmer. Dewey, who came in 6th, will join him in the A final. Ethan Procoppe will take a block in the C final.
The final individual event showed more of MacGillivray’s skills, with the swimmer coming in first in the 100 breaststroke. Two more Eagles – El-Tawil and Gardner – will swim in the B finals, while Nick Partridge swims again on Saturday in the C final.
Skyline’s B and C 400 freestyle relays made top 8. Swimmers included Matteo Procoppe, MacNeil, Konigsberg and Kozma in the 5th place relay; then Keith, Dewey, Partridge and Gardner in the 6th.
Swimmers and divers come back to the pool for a noon start on Saturday, when all events will be scored. Divers – who fought for position on Friday night, after the swim portion – will join them for their final dives.
Winners will be named at the end of the meet on Saturday, with awards presented for each event.