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SWIMMING Lynch, Hazlett strong for Dolphins at Winter National Championships

December 21, 2018

Greenwich YWCA Dolphins swimming stars Meghan Lynch and Kate Hazlett each registered impressive times in their respective events at the 2018 USA Winter National Championships, held in Greensboro, N.C., recently.

The meet represented the first opportunity in the “qualifying period” set by USA Swimming to achieve the standards required to participate in the USA Olympic Swimming Selection Meet in Omaha, Neb., in June 2020.

To qualify, a swimmer must achieve the time standards in a USA Swimming sanctioned or approved Long Course meet held exclusively in a 50-meter pool.

Greenwich residents Lynch and Kate Hazlett of the YWCA Dolphins traveled to Greensboro for their first opportunity.

“It was a big success and great measuring stick of where Meghan and Kate are today,” Greenwich YWCA Dolphins coach Nick Cavataro said.

For the 15-year-old Lynch, who also stars on the swim team at Greenwich High School, the Winter National Championships began with a lifetime-best effort in one her signature events — the 200-meter individual medley. Placing ninth in the morning preliminaries with a time of 2:17.03, Lynch punched her ticket to the U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, going under the 2:17.39 standard her best time by .08. The evening finals saw the Greenwich High sophomore finish 10th in 2:17.09.

The next day Lynch missed the standard of 4:51.79, with a time of 4:52.28, but appeared in her first National Championships final, placing eighth. She also finished 12th in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:34.29), just one second over the qualifying time. Lynch also finished 26th and 24th in the 100 freestyle and breaststroke events. was twenty-sixth and thirty fourth respectively in the 100-Free and breaststroke events.

For Hazlett, an 18-year-old Greenwich Academy senior, who competed in the 2016 USA selection meet, the Winter National Championships started with a 14th-place finish in the 50-meter freestyle (26.09), just .1 of a second off the qualifying standard. Hazlett, who will swim at Harvard University in the fall, was also 27th in the 100 backstroke (1:04.00), (1.31 over the standard time) and 30th in the 200 backstroke (2:19.36), just 4.67 seconds away from the qualifying mark.

“For Meghan and Kate to go up against some of the USA’s best on this stage and come away with these results is very encouraging,” Cavataro said. “I know they each have their minds made up to qualify in as many events as they can, as early as they can so they can prepare for the June 2020 meet. The times are much faster than in 2016, as USA Swimming has tried to keep the fields competitive. It will be a very exciting next 18 months.”

ANNUAL NATIONS CAPITAL HOLIDAY INVITATIONAL

Behind five first-place medals and 13 second and third-place medals, the Greenwich YWCA Dolphins Swim Team made quite a splash at the Annual Nations Capital Aquatic Club Holiday Invitational held last week at the University of Maryland.

The meet, which featured over 60 teams and 600 swimmers from across the East Coast and featured over 120 events contested over four of senior and age-group level competition.

Penny Lazar, 12, of the Dolphins claimed the 11-12 year-old girls age group High Point Awaard. She earned four first-place medals and finished second in three events. Lazar started the meet off with a winning time of 5:08.29 in the 500 freestyle and added first-place finishes in the100 and 200 freestyle with respective times of 54.43 and 1:57.23. She also touched the wall first in the 200 butterfly in 2:13.01. Her second-place finishes came in the 50 freestyle (25.15), 400 individual medley (4:42.39) and the 100 butterfly (59.13).

Lazar’s Age group teammate Abby Bleil, 12, won the 200-yard breaststroke (2:30.71) and was second in the 50 and 100 breaststroke events, clocking in at 32.02 and 1:08.02, respectively.

Swimming in the senior division, Lynch, 15, picked up where her outstanding Greenwich High season left off, taking second in the 200 (1:50.04) and 400 individual medley (4:12.07) events with personal best times of 1:59.04 and 4:12.07, respectively. Lynch also was second in the 200 breaststroke, lowering her state record to 2:12.30. She placed second in the 200 freestyle (1:48.97) and placed fourth in the 500 freestyle (4:48.56). She also had fifth-place finishes in the 100 breaststroke (1:03.04) and 100 freestyle (50.53).

Hazlett’s best finish was in the 200 backstroke, where her time of 1:56.90 was the best by a Connecticut resident this year and was good for second place. She added a bronze medal in the 50 freestyle (22.98) and a fourth place showing in the 100 backstroke (54.95).

Lynch and Hazlett also combined with Alexander Hazlett, 15, and Parker Scott, 17 for a fourth place in the mixed 200 freestyle relay (1:29.93). They were also sixth in the mixed 400 freestyle in 3:18.23.

Other Dolphins reaching the Championship finals included Ryan and Sydney Jee. Ryan Jee picked up a pair of fourth-place medals in the 200 and 400 IM with respective times of 1:58.30 and 4:15.90. Sydney Jee was fourth in the 50 breaststroke (33.25).

Rory Keller took third in the 12-and-under 200 backstroke (2:15.09) and was sixth in the 12-and-under 500 freestyle at 5:32.45. Jonathon Packard placed third in the 50 backstroke at 34.00 and added fourth and sixth-place finishes in the 100 backstroke (1:14.09) and 100 butterfly (1:13.91). Hanna Flakstad, was sixth in the 100 breaststroke in 1:21.13.

DOLPHINS NAMED SILVER MEDAL TEAM

The 2019 USA Swimming Club Excellence Teams were recently announced in Colorado Springs by USA Swimming and for the second consecutive season, the Greenwich YWCA Dolphins have been named as a Silver Medal team with its highest ranking (50th) in program history.

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