Caeleb Dressel Stuns World With Sub-19 50 Free; Plenty of Other Records Tumble on Night One

GREENSBORO, North Carolina, December 12. IT was a busy night at the USA Swimming Winter Junior Nationals as Bolles’ Caeleb Dressel became the first 18-and-under to clear 19 seconds in the 50 free, while a handful of other meet and National Age Group records fell as well.

It didn’t take long for Carmel Swim Club to undercut its own 15-18 U.S. National Age Group relay record in the 200-yard event at the USA Swimming Winter Junior Nationals. In fact, it happened in the first swim of the evening.

Carmel’s Rachel Hayden (22.82), Amy Bilquist (22.07), Claire Adams (22.87) and Veronica Burchill (22.37) put together a sizzling time of 1:30.13. That performance beat the 1:30.49 posted this morning by Rachel Hayden (22.95), Amy Bilquist (22.07), Claire Adams (22.71) and Veronica Burchill (22.76) in prelims.

Previously, Janet Hu, Laura Branton, Kylie Jordan and Katie Ledecky had set the record at USA Swimming Nationals with a 1:31.09 swimming for Nation’s Capital.

Carmel’s swim is so fast that it would have placed 12th last season at the NCAA Division I Women’s Championships, just ahead of Missouri’s 1:30.16 and behind SMU’s 1:30.07. That’s a ridiculously impressive time for a group of 15-18 year olds.

SwimMAC’s Jessica Merritt, Nora McCullagh, Alyssa Marsh and Lauren Rhodes took second in 1:31.44, while Bolles’ Kasey Schmidt, Claire Rasmus, Sherridon Dressel and Mckenna Debever took thir din 1:31.61.

Bolles’ Caeleb Dressel demonstrated just how transcendent of an 18-and-under sprinter he is as he became the first age group ever to break 19 seconds in the 50-yard free at the USA Swimming Winter Junior Nationals.

Dressel, a future Florida Gator, blew the top off the Greensboro Aquatic Center with a sizzling time of 18.94 as the Bolles’ relay leadoff. That performance beat a pair of 19.29s from Dressel, including one this morning to tie his own 17-18 U.S. National Age Group record. Dressel now stands 15th all time in the history of the event, and is one of just 20 men to ever have broken 19.

Incredibly, that time would have placed him second only to the Sizzling Siberian Vlad Morozov at this year’s NCAA Division I Men’s Championships. Morozov (18.63) and Auburn’s Marcelo Chierighini (18.99) were the only sub-19s in the individual event in March.

The rest of the Bolles squad can’t be forgotten as Dressel (18.94), Josh Booth (20.00), Arthur Pace (20.30) and William McKinney (20.03) threw down a 1:19:27. Booth, however, is an international swimmer and thus the time does not count as a NAG.

Scottsdale’s Ryan Hoffer (19.54), Nicholas Magana (19.77), Joseph Starkweather (20.59) and Jack Blake (19.66), however, did take down a NAG with a second-place 1:19.56. The 15-18 year old foursome beat the 15-18 U.S. NAG for the 200-yard freestyle previously held by SwimMAC’s Matt Josa, Michael Chadwick, Jack Manchester and Kyle Darmody who clocked a 1:20.44 in 2012.

Hoffer, just 15, also took down a NAG of his own as his leadoff beat Dressel’s 15-16 mark of 19.82 set in 2012.

Triangle’s Hannah Moore took home the women’s 500-yard freestyle title in 4:43.04, while Area Tallahassee’s CeCe Williams claimed second in 4:44.03. Mason Manta Ray’s Zoe Thatcher rounded out the top three in 4:45.03 in the first individual event.

It continued to become routine at the USA Swimming Winter Junior Nationals as U.S. National Age Group records just kept on falling with regularity. On the back of Caeleb Dressel’s incredible sub-19 50-yard free, NOVA’s Francis Haas shot down an epic Michael Phelps record in the 500-yard free.

Haas clocked a time of 4:17.45 as a 16-year-old. Not only did it clear Evan Pinion’s meet record of 4:18.88 from 2010, it also beat Phelps’ 2002 15-16 National Age Group record of 4:18.12. That’s some rare company for Haas.

Event 4 Men 500 Yard Freestyle
SC Jrs Meet: J 4:18.88 12/09/2010Evan Pinion, Pilot Aquatic Cl
Name Age Team Prelims Finals HyPts Points
=== A – Final ===

1 Haas, Francis 16 NOVA of Virginia 4:21.59 4:17.45J 919 20
r:+0.76 23.25 48.57 (25.32)
1:14.38 (25.81) 1:40.66 (26.28)
2:06.88 (26.22) 2:33.06 (26.18)
2:59.15 (26.09) 3:25.36 (26.21)
3:51.68 (26.32) 4:17.45 (25.77)

Another meet record fell in the women’s 200-yard IM as SoCal’s Ella Eastin clocked a 1:56.02. That beat the 1:56.53 set by SwimMAC’s Kathleen Baker last year. Hershey’s Meaghan Raab took second in 1:56.92, while AquaKids’ Clara Smiddy wound up third in 1:57.82.

In a big-time battle in the men’s 200-yard IM, Palo Alto’s Curtis Ogren topped a pair of Dynamos with a 1:45.08. That time beat Ryan Murphy’s 2011 meet mark of 1:45.77. Jay Litherland took second in 1:45.99, while Gunnar Bentz clinched third in 1:46.41.

The sprint 50s followed with Canyons’ Abby Weitzeil posting a 22.29 to win the women’s 50 free. That’s off her prelim meet record of 22.02. Carmel’s Amy Bilquist took second in 22.51, while Zionsville’s Alex Cleveland placed third in 22.55. Dressel followed up his sub-19 with a 19.10 to win the finale for the men. Splash’s Paul Powers took second in 19.58, while Trojan’s Dylan Carter captured third in 19.65.

SwimMAC owned the women’s 400 medley relay with a top-two sweep. Nora McCullagh, Maija Roses, Else Welshofer and Lauren Rhodes won in 3:38.17. That smashed the 2012 meet record of 3:40.15 set by Crow Canyon. Heather Merritt, Caitlin Casazza, Alyssa Marsh and Jessica Merritt took second in 3:40.68. Y-Sparaquatics wound up third in 3:41.21.

Bolles closed the show with Josh Booth, Rio Kurihara, Javier Barrena and Dressel (42.65) winning the men’s 400 medley relay in 3:15.68. Tide took second in 3:18.29, while Palo Alto placed third in 3:18.74.

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