Most memorable/exciting race at PAC championships.

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    • #11920

      At the main general D3 forum there is a thread going on about the one’s most favorite race of all time. Some interesting comments there, but I thought what about PAC swimming – maybe we could draw out some comments as to the most memorable/exciting race at the PAC championships.

      As a starter, here are some which might qualify in recent history:

      1. Swims by Peggy Whitbeck in 2003 (200 Fly) and Kaitlyn Orstein in 2005 (200 I.M.), both setting then national records in their events.

      2. Also in 2003 the women’s 400 Free Relay, with GCC edging out Westminster by .06 seconds, winning in what was then a new conference record of 3:40.11.

      3. Joel Boerckel’s 2005 victory in the 100 backstroke, out touching by .01 sec. four swimmers from Westminster.

      4. Also in 2005, Ryan Trunk’s victory in the 200 Free, holding off a hard charging Caleb Courage by .02 secs. (a pool record at the time).

      5. The men’s 800 Free Relay in 2006, and Westminster’s amazing come from behind victory. (also a pool record)

      Perhaps others can name a more exciting race, but I would have to go with the 800 Relay. Any comments?

    • #29890

      That’s a pretty good list, weedwacker. I too would vote for the 800 free relay this past February as the most exciting. Very hard to top. My hands were shaking trying to tell the computer to print the results afterward.

      A couple to add:

      The men’s 400 IM in 2004. Pat Smith (Westminster) vs. Felix Mason (Grove City). They were pretty well even most of the way through the freestyle, neck-and-neck for a good 60 yards or more.

      The men’s 1650 in 2003. Luke Downer (swam one year as a freshman for GC in 2000; re-appeared for one year as a sophomore for Westminster in 2003; hasn’t been seen in the PAC since) vs. Rich Korb. Korb won the 500 and 1000 and was comfortably ahead in the 1650 until he unexpectedly slowed down, and Downer went on to catch him and win the event. Very strange. Unknown to everyone watching, Korb threw up in the middle of the race. Rather than stop, he just swallowed it back down and kept on swimming.

      It was before my time, but the men’s 200 fly in 1999 had to have been interesting. With a total of four people in the entire event, Eric Sweeney of Misericordia swims a breezy 1:53.15 in the 200 fly (an A-cut at the time, I believe) and takes first place by 21.5 seconds. A month later, he drops three seconds off that time and wins a national championship.

      And speaking of the 200 fly, a comment:
      @weedwacker2000 wrote:

      Peggy Whitbeck in 2003

      When the announcer read the names and such for the men’s 200 fly, at least one person had written, “I want to beat Peggy!” I was in lane 4 in the heat after her, and I was standing right behind the block as she came into the wall. She had already broken the record in prelims, and her dropping another second in finals made it even more amazing. It totally threw off my concentration, and I ended up going far too hard. Coach Fritz, who wanted me to save up for the 400 free relay, had a few words with me afterward.

    • #29891

      Those are definitely some good choices. Had Rich Korb been that sick before the event, or was it just the grueling nature of the 1650 which did him in?

      I also checked up on Eric Sweeney. I find it had to imagine that he kept up his concentration for an “A” time, being 21 seconds ahead. That’s like over a length of the pool. Winning the national championship was pretty sweet, and still the only swimmer from Misericordia to do so.

    • #29892

      I realize this is an old topic, but for whatever reason I remembered another memborable PAC moment. I believe it was the 2005 championships, and BJ Sieg and Lee Knight, both from Westminster, tied for 8th in the 100 free. So after the morning session was over, they both had to have a swim off to see who was going to be the 8th seed. During the head to head battle for the swim off, they tied again. I actually can’t recall who won after the second swim off, but as far as crazy moments and races go, that has to be toward the top-I don’t think we’ll ever see something like that again.

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