Homovich tops age group, leads NCAC to 6th in Junior nationals
Madison Homovich, age 14, made a splash at USA Swimming’s Speedo Junior Nationals, where she emerged from the pool at Irvine, Cal., as the top points-winner for all females.
Swimming at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Complex against competitors as old as 18, Homovich placed in five events: the 400, 800 and 1500 freestyle, the 200 individual medley and the 200 butterfly. She finished in the top eight overall of each.
Homovich earned 77 points, the best of any female at the meet – good enough to place her N.C. Aquatics Club at No. 6 in the team standings.
Also competing at the Nationals for the NCAC were: Carrboro High senior Tom Bilden (100 & 200 butterfly), Cardinal Gibbons senior Noah Cairns (400 IM), Chapel Hill junior Claire DeSelm (200 IM, 400 IM, 200 butterfly), Panther Creek senior Julie Hu (100 & 200 breaststroke) and Carrboro junior Will Macmillan (200 free, 100 & 200 butterfly).
Koya Osada, an East Chapel Hill grad who’ll swim for Harvard next semester, competed for Duke Aquatics in several events. He placed 11th in the men’s 200 IM, 14th in the 200 butterfly, 15th in the 200 backstroke, 21st in the 400 IM, 29th in the 200 free, and 46th in the 100 butterfly.
Homovich finished second in the 400 free in 4:12.30 and the 800 in 8:36.82 both times about 2 seconds behind winner Sierra Schmidt of Maryland, age 18. Schmidt (16:24.09) had a slightly larger edge in the 1500 free over Homovich (16:32.95). In each freestyle event, Homovich was the top 13-14 finisher. She also was tops in her age group with her fourth place in the women’s 400 individual medley (4:49.83).
The only event in which Homovoch finished behind a 14-year-old was in the 200 butterfly, won by Easop Lee of Maryland (2:10.40). Homovich finished that in 2:16.44.
Other highlights for the NCAC team included:
• Deselm — 23rd in the 200 butterfly.
• Bilden and Macmillan both making their first Senior Nationals cut in time trials for 200 fly.
• Cairns — a Junior National cut in the 400 free while time trialing.
• Hu — a lifetime best in the 100 breast, earning a Junior National A standard.
Kim, Griffin at top of TYGA rankings for junior golfers
Gina Kim, a rising ninth-grader from Chapel Hill has emerged as the No. 1 girls golfer in North Carolina, while East Chapel Hill grad Ben Griffin is rated No. 2 among male juniors in the latest ranking by the Tar Heel Youth Golf Association.
Other local junior golfers to make the top 100 included ninth-grader Hailey Freedman, at No. 50, and East Chapel Hill senior Sarah Towne, at No. 58.
Of the 18 events Kim has played in the last year, she’s had 12 finishes in the top 10 and nine in the top five. That includes three wins: in the 2013 Twin States Junior Championship, the 2014 Ballantyne Junior Open and June’s USGA Junior Girls qualifying tournament in Columbia, S.C.
Griffin finished in the top 10 in eight of the 15 junior events he’s entered in the last 12 months including wins in the 2013 Rolex Tournament of Champions and March’s North State High School Challenge. He’s committed to play this fall for North Carolina.