Thursday, June 29th. Indianapolis, IN, at the Phillips 66 National Championships.
The lights drop. The noise from the crowd begins welling up steadily higher and higher. A spotlight appears, and it shines down right on you! Then suddenly, everything goes quiet. “Take your mark…..” demands the official as she speaks through the starting device. “BEEEEP!”
Now maybe it’s not quite that dramatic, but for a swimmer, a “swim-off” may be one of the most gut-wrenching challenges they face. For ABSC swimmer Danielle DellaTorre, this intense task would present itself twice… in the same day!
DellaTorre recently graduated from Oconee County high school, and will be joining the Georgia Bulldogs renowned women’s swim team this fall. With “multi-time state champion,” and “Olympic Trials qualifier” on her resume, Danielle is one of the most decorated swimmers in the history of ABSC’s program. But now, the swimmer nicknamed “Duck” can add another title to her impressive list: Swim-off Champ!
Competing at the Phillips 66 National Championships for swimming in Indianapolis this weekend, Danielle experienced one of the most rare events in sports by competing in a double swim-off. On Thursday, June 29th during the prelims session, Danielle tied Janessa Matthews of Ohio in the 50 meter breaststroke in a time of 32.64 seconds.
That however, is not the rare part. Ties in swimming happen frequently, and swim-offs are a somewhat normal occasion during prelim-final meets. What happened next is the mind-boggling part. When Danielle and Janessa dove in the pool to battle it out for their spot in finals, they dueled head-to-head as they raced their one-lap sprint down the pool. Upon touching the wall, they realized the amazing had taken place: they tied again!!!
So once again, Danielle and Janessa had to muster up all of their strength and focus to battle it out for that spot in finals. This time however, Danielle would prevail, earning herself a swim in the finals and a place in the ABSC history books as the champion of a double swim-off! In finals Danielle would go on to improve her personal best time, finishing 22nd overall in a time of 32.43.
Congratulations to Danielle for another amazing feat on the path of an outstanding career as an ABSC swimmer. Luckily, Danielle will remain a member of ABSC even as she competes for UGA over the next four years. Knowing that, I highly doubt this is the last time she’ll blow us away.
To read more about this crazy race, see Danielle featured in this cool article by swimmingworldmagazine.com. https://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/swim-off-madness-danielle-dellatorre-and-janessa-mathews-tied-twice/
Pensacola, Florida – June 2-4, 2017.
For the third installment of our 2017 long course season, our Athens Bulldogs took a smaller group down to Pensacola, Fl where we certainly made an impact. ABSC took numerous top-5 finishes in the meet, and McKee Thorsen even brought home the 11-12 boys high point award! The state of Florida may not want us back any time soon…
A small contingent of Senior 1 swimmers was lead by Jackson Harvin, who’s worst finish in all of his 13 races was 8th place! Jackson pulled off a shocking swim with a 20.04 second drop in the 400 IM (5:01.11), moving up from his seed of 13th to finish 2nd overall! He also placed 2nd in the 200 IM, dropping 2.15 seconds for a final time of 2:15.99. Grace Mauldin added to the fast swimming with a 2nd place finish in the 200 back (2:29.15), and 4th place finishes in the 100 back, 100 free, and 200 IM. Sarah Riley added 3rd place finishes in the 100 free (1:01.60) and 400 IM (5:25.41), going personal best times in both.
The Dawgs Group was lead by ABSC’s man of the meet, McKee Thorsen. McKee earned his high point award easily, with 1st place finishes in 8 of his 11 swims!!! He never finished lower than 3rd. Those winning finishes included times drops of 8.82 seconds in the 200 IM (2:43.53), 13.16 seconds in the 400 free (5:11.63), and 1.57 seconds in the 200 free (2:29.66). He dominated the 11-12 boys age group.
Other top performers from the Dawgs included Olivia Dellatorre, Macy Mullis, and Felicia and Rebecca Pursner. Olivia improved her personal best time in every event she swam, including a 6.11 second drop in the 200 breast (3:03.96) for a 6th place overall finish in her age group. She added a 19.67 second drop in the 200 back (2:52.66), and an 8.17 second improvement in the 200 free (2:32.35). Macy blew the state of Florida away in the backstroke, claiming 1st place in the 50 back (32.88) and 3rd overall in the 100 back (1:12.13). Felicia did quite a number on her old personal best times, improving her 50 breast (this is a 50, mind you) by 27.03 seconds!! She also dropped 14.94 off of her 400 IM (6:01.33), and 8.69 off of her 200 free (2:29.12). Rebecca followed a trend with her teammates and threw down personal bests in every one of her events! She highlighted her meet with a 6.81 second drop in the 100 fly (1:24.37, and a 9.93 second improvement in the 100 breast (1:41.98). Rebecca took care of business!
Not wanting to be left out of the fun, the Superpups group made some noise in their time in Pensacola as well! Ginny Thorsen paced the Superpup group, achieving personal best times in every single event she swam all weekend long! Ginny cracked the top 10 (as a young 11 year-old) in the 50 free, with a 9th place finish and personal best time of 32.41. She added a time drop of 10.11 seconds in the 400 free (5:34.45) and 3.65 seconds in the 100 free (1:11.33). In these great swims she achieved several new state qualifying times as well.
Ansley Halbach of the Superpups wins the award for largest time drop of the meet, with a drop of 45.56 seconds (!!) in the 100 fly. She also achieved several new state times. Hannah Torres swam her first long course meet of the summer, and did not disappoint. Hannah destroyed every one of her old personal best times, including her old 200 IM time by roughly 30 seconds, for a new time of 3:14.52.
Other notable swims/results:
Charlotte Foggin: 22.28 second drop in the 200 free. 4 second drop in the 200 IM, new state qualifying time!
Will Foggin: 3 second drop in the 200 IM (2:41.97), 2.87 second drop in the 50 breast (40.18)
Brynn Halbach: 6th place finish 50 back (35.74), 1.5 second drop 200 breast (3:09.70)
Gavin Jones: 7th place finish in 50 fly (30.58), 5.58 second drop 200 back (2:37.59).
Shaan Kanaan: 24.36 second drop in the 50 breast!
Siya Kanaan: big improvements in breaststroke events! 11.04 second drop in the 50 (wow!), and 4.70 seconds in the 100!
Crow Thorsen: 6th place finish 200 fly and 6th place 400 IM