Records fall at EFSL long-distance meet
The Kaiserslautern Kingfish topped the field at this year’s European Forces Swim League long distance championship meet at Lignano, Italy, with 13 first place finishes.
Fifteen teams comprised of swimmers who attend DODDS and international schools throughout Europe competed Nov. 13-14 in the 800 and 1,500-meter freestyle events and the 400-meter individual medley in the meet that showcased the top qualifiers for the league’s longest events.
Because these events are not usually swam at EFSL competitions, teams either offer the events at the end of a regular meet or hold time trials during their practice times for the swimmers to qualify, according to EFSL secretary Erin Grazak.
Danielle Davis, 11, highlighted the Kaiserslautern performance by capturing three first place finishes and broke an EFSL record for her age in the 1,500-meter freestyle with a time of 22:05.03.
The record was the result of a lot of early practices for Davis, who has been swimming competitively since she was 5. “I get up at 5 a.m. so I can attend the 6 a.m. practice with the senior varsity squad,” Davis said the week after the meet. “I try to do my best at each practice and just love the sport.”
The record she broke was set last year by Greta Kinsey of Sigonella. Kinsey didn’t have to wait long to get back in the record books, though, as she set a league mark in the girl’s 12-year-old 1,500-meter freestyle with a time of 21:07.90. Kinsey, 12, who moved up an age group this year, broke the previous mark set by SHAPE’s Kaylynn Donnolly two years ago.
Other standout performances on the girls side were SHAPE’s Heidi Northshield, 15, who captured three golds, Kaiserslautern’s Holly Roth, 14, who swam away with two first-place finishes, and Elizabeth Doe, 17, from Lakenheath, who earned top honors in the 800 and 1,500-meter freestyle events for the 17-19 age group.
On the boys side, Kaiserslautern teammates Connor Davis, 16, and Blake Davis, 19, each captured gold in three events. Lakenheath’s Daniel Orcutt, 12, swam to victory in the 800-meter freestyle and the 400-meter individual medley and Vicenza’s Matteo Borsi, 13, won the 400-meter individual medley and 1,500-meter freestyle in his age group.
The Kingfish captured the team title with 522 points, followed by the Stuttgart Piranhas with 326 and the SHAPE Seals with 266.
The EFSL championships are slated for Feb. 12-13 at the Nationaal Zwemcentrum de Tongelreep in Eindhoven, Netherlands.