Gretchen Walsh, Kieran Smith Set Themselves Up For Busy Thursday Night at Speedo Juniors East

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The first prelims session of the 2017 Speedo Junior Nationals East in Knoxville finished on Thursday morning. No records were broken but it will surely be a fast finals session with many swimmers gaining a chance to take down meet records and national age group records in Knoxville on Thursday night.

Women’s 500 Free

17-year-old Leah Braswell will be the top seed in the 500 for tonight with a 4:44.24 this morning. She is just ahead of Madison Homovich of Marlins of Raleigh, who swam a 4:44.71 this morning. Homovich was a 4:39.74 seed so she could have a big swim in her tonight. If she is on her game, she could challenge the meet record of 4:37.82 held by Hannah Cox, but even that could be a stretch.

Mary Smutny (4:46.92), Lola Mull (4:47.28), Olwyn Bartis (4:47.31), Emma Weyant (4:47.68), Sinclair Larson (4:47.82) and Emily Hetzer (4:47.99) will also swim in the championship final.

14-year-old Mariah Denigan of Northern Kentucky Clippers cracked the top 100 in the 13-14 all-time list with a 4:48.67 for 10th at this meet.

 Event 5  Women 500 Yard Freestyle
==================================================================
  SC Jrs Meet: J 4:37.82  12/09/15  Hannah Cox, Upper Valley A.C
    Name            Age Team                 Seed    Prelims HyPts       
==================================================================
                      === Preliminaries ===                       
 
  1 Leah Braswell    17 York YMCA-MA      4:43.90    4:44.24  q890  
             27.01        55.66 (28.65)
        1:24.47 (28.81)     1:53.14 (28.67)
        2:21.96 (28.82)     2:50.72 (28.76)
        3:19.40 (28.68)     3:48.33 (28.93)
        4:17.37 (29.04)     4:44.24 (26.87)
  2 Madison Homovic  17 Marlins of Ralei  4:39.74    4:44.71  q885  
             26.38        54.91 (28.53)
        1:23.79 (28.88)     1:52.71 (28.92)
        2:21.63 (28.92)     2:50.37 (28.74)
        3:19.02 (28.65)     3:48.04 (29.02)
        4:16.80 (28.76)     4:44.71 (27.91)
  3 Mary Smutny      17 AquaKids Sharks-  4:46.12    4:46.92  q861  
             26.17        54.50 (28.33)
        1:23.02 (28.52)     1:51.47 (28.45)
        2:19.99 (28.52)     2:48.80 (28.81)
        3:17.85 (29.05)     3:47.61 (29.76)
        4:17.69 (30.08)     4:46.92 (29.23)
  4 Lola Mull        15 Mid-Michigan Aqu  4:44.47    4:47.28  q858  
             26.36        54.99 (28.63)
        1:24.15 (29.16)     1:53.34 (29.19)
        2:22.89 (29.55)     2:51.83 (28.94)
        3:21.20 (29.37)     3:50.55 (29.35)
        4:19.16 (28.61)     4:47.28 (28.12)
  5 Olwyn Bartis     16 SwimMAC Carolina  4:18.40L   4:47.31  q857  
             25.56        53.48 (27.92)
        1:22.01 (28.53)     1:50.83 (28.82)
        2:20.17 (29.34)     2:49.50 (29.33)
        3:19.16 (29.66)     3:48.69 (29.53)
        4:18.37 (29.68)     4:47.31 (28.94)
  6 Emma Weyant      15 Sarasota YMCA Sh  4:48.53    4:47.68  q853  
             26.67        56.00 (29.33)
        1:24.87 (28.87)     1:54.14 (29.27)
        2:23.11 (28.97)     2:52.38 (29.27)
        3:21.27 (28.89)     3:50.04 (28.77)
        4:19.25 (29.21)     4:47.68 (28.43)
  7 Sinclair Larson  17 SwimMAC Carolina  4:20.58L   4:47.82  q852  
             26.12        54.30 (28.18)
        1:22.87 (28.57)     1:52.05 (29.18)
        2:21.09 (29.04)     2:50.34 (29.25)
        3:19.76 (29.42)     3:49.16 (29.40)
        4:18.90 (29.74)     4:47.82 (28.92)
  8 Emily Hetzer     17 Occoquan Swimmin  4:47.23    4:47.99  q850  
             26.16        54.45 (28.29)
        1:23.19 (28.74)     1:52.23 (29.04)
        2:21.43 (29.20)     2:50.93 (29.50)
        3:20.33 (29.40)     3:49.65 (29.32)
        4:19.13 (29.48)     4:47.99 (28.86)
 -----------------------------------------------------------------

Men’s 500 Free

National junior teamers Kieran Smith and Drew Kibler cruised to the top two seeds in the men’s 500 final with Smith leading the way at 4:18.22. Kibler did not take a hard stroke in his 4:18.71 swim this morning as he will have lane five in the A-final. Smith and Kibler will be chasing the latter’s meet record of 4:15.36 set last year.

Bradley Dunham (4:19.07), Trey Freeman (4:19.28), Ross Dant (4:19.29), Cody Bybee (4:20.16), Hayden Curley (4:22.09) and John Dubois (4:22.43) also will swim in the A-final. 16-year-old Dant out of Hickory Foundation in North Carolina tied for 12th all-time in the 15-16 age group with his swim this morning. Dant is now tied on the all-time list with Matias Koski.

Event 6  Men 500 Yard Freestyle
==================================================================
  SC Jrs Meet: J 4:15.36  12/08/16  Drew Kibler, Carmel Swim Club
    Name            Age Team                 Seed    Prelims HyPts       
==================================================================
                      === Preliminaries ===                       
 
  1 Kieran Smith     17 Ridgefield Aquat  4:22.67    4:18.22  q911  
             23.15        48.82 (25.67)
        1:15.01 (26.19)     1:41.40 (26.39)
        2:07.82 (26.42)     2:34.11 (26.29)
        3:00.46 (26.35)     3:26.83 (26.37)
        3:53.03 (26.20)     4:18.22 (25.19)
  2 Drew Kibler      17 Carmel Swim Club  4:15.36    4:18.71  q906  
             23.12        48.78 (25.66)
        1:15.01 (26.23)     1:41.56 (26.55)
        2:08.26 (26.70)     2:34.61 (26.35)
        3:01.06 (26.45)     3:27.76 (26.70)
        3:54.12 (26.36)     4:18.71 (24.59)
  3 Bradley Dunham   17 SwimAtlanta-GA    4:24.87    4:19.07  q902  
             23.95        49.94 (25.99)
        1:15.85 (25.91)     1:41.86 (26.01)
        2:07.99 (26.13)     2:34.58 (26.59)
        3:01.27 (26.69)     3:27.75 (26.48)
        3:54.04 (26.29)     4:19.07 (25.03)
  4 Trey Freeman     17 Baylor Swim Club  4:16.99    4:19.28  q900  
             23.43        49.29 (25.86)
        1:15.56 (26.27)     1:42.12 (26.56)
        2:08.81 (26.69)     2:35.57 (26.76)
        3:02.41 (26.84)     3:28.89 (26.48)
        3:54.59 (25.70)     4:19.28 (24.69)
  5 Ross Dant        16 Hickory Foundati  4:21.33    4:19.29  q900  
             23.42        49.02 (25.60)
        1:15.26 (26.24)     1:41.65 (26.39)
        2:08.20 (26.55)     2:34.35 (26.15)
        3:00.89 (26.54)     3:27.35 (26.46)
        3:53.83 (26.48)     4:19.29 (25.46)
  6 Cody Bybee       18 Dayton Raiders-O  4:23.53    4:20.16  q891  
             23.71        49.75 (26.04)
        1:15.83 (26.08)     1:42.37 (26.54)
        2:09.09 (26.72)     2:35.84 (26.75)
        3:02.59 (26.75)     3:28.99 (26.40)
        3:54.83 (25.84)     4:20.16 (25.33)
  7 Hayden Curley    18 Highlander Aquat  4:21.92    4:22.09  q871  
             24.06        50.35 (26.29)
        1:17.06 (26.71)     1:43.48 (26.42)
        2:10.30 (26.82)     2:36.66 (26.36)
        3:03.51 (26.85)     3:29.92 (26.41)
        3:56.27 (26.35)     4:22.09 (25.82)
  8 John Dubois      17 SwimAtlanta-GA    4:29.32    4:22.43  q868  
             24.19        50.08 (25.89)
        1:16.35 (26.27)     1:42.99 (26.64)
        2:09.45 (26.46)     2:36.07 (26.62)
        3:03.10 (27.03)     3:29.84 (26.74)
        3:56.36 (26.52)     4:22.43 (26.07)

Women’s 200 IM

16-year-old Alex Walsh cruised to a 1:56.08 for the top seed in the 200 IM tonight. Walsh will be chasing her meet record of 1:54.48 that she set at this meet a year ago. Walsh has gained a lot of experience since swimming that time, like swimming at the World Junior Championships. Walsh sits fourth all-time in the 200 IM in the 15-16 age group rankings. If she is on her game, she has a chance to break Dagny Knutson‘s NAG record of 1:54.03 set at the Winter Nationals in December 2008.

Olivia Carter (1:57.91), Katherine Douglass (1:58.32), Kelly Pash (1:58.81), Allie Raab (1:59.34), Ella Nelson (1:59.39), Hannah Foster (1:59.63) and Kathleen Golding (1:59.93) will also be swimming in the championship final.

Looking down the results, 13-year-old Charlotte Hook from North Carolina swam a 2:01.31 to place 20th. She is now 40th all-time in the 13-14 all-time rankings, moving ahead of Caroline Kulp (2:01.34) and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Maya DiRado (2:01.35).

 Event 7  Women 200 Yard IM
==================================================================
  SC Jrs Meet: J 1:54.48  12/08/16  Alexandra Walsh, Nashville A.C.
    Name            Age Team                 Seed    Prelims HyPts       
==================================================================
                      === Preliminaries ===                       
 
  1 Alexandra Walsh  16 Nashville Aquati  1:54.48    1:56.08  q981  
             25.62        54.45 (28.83)
        1:27.64 (33.19)     1:56.08 (28.44)
  2 Olivia Carter    17 Enfinity Aquatic  1:57.92    1:57.91  q942  
             25.15        54.25 (29.10)
        1:29.39 (35.14)     1:57.91 (28.52)
  3 Katherine Dougl  16 Chelsea Piers Aq  1:59.32    1:58.32  q933  
             25.52        55.72 (30.20)
        1:30.01 (34.29)     1:58.32 (28.31)
  4 Kelly Pash       16 Carmel Swim Club  1:58.30    1:58.81  q922  
             25.59        55.01 (29.42)
        1:30.42 (35.41)     1:58.81 (28.39)
  5 Allison Raab     17 Nashville Aquati  1:58.67    1:59.34  q911  
             26.60        56.80 (30.20)
        1:30.88 (34.08)     1:59.34 (28.46)
  6 Ella Nelson      16 Nashville Aquati  1:58.75    1:59.39  q910  
             26.15        56.47 (30.32)
        1:30.61 (34.14)     1:59.39 (28.78)
  7 Hannah Foster    18 Mason Manta Rays  1:59.32    1:59.63  q905  
             26.25        56.51 (30.26)
        1:31.39 (34.88)     1:59.63 (28.24)
  8 Kathleen Goldin  17 South Florida Aq  1:59.72    1:59.93  q899  
             25.75        56.68 (30.93)
        1:31.87 (35.19)     1:59.93 (28.06)
 -----------------------------------------------------------------

Men’s 200 IM

16-year-old Carson Foster continues to impress with a 1:44.57 for the top seed in the 200 IM. His brother Jake Foster is second in tonight’s A-final with a 1:44.82 for the second seed. Foster is chasing Michael Andrew‘s NAG record of 1:42.77 that also stands as the meet record he set in December 2015. Foster moves up to fifth all-time in the 15-16 all-time rankings ahead of Gunnar Bentz (1:45.17). Jake is now 25th all-time in the 17-18 age group to move ahead of Nic Fink (1:44.86). Those two have a legit chance to go 1-2 in tonight’s final.

Dillon Hillis (1:46.35), Raunak Khosla (1:46.95), Kieran Smith (1:47.13), Destin Lasco (1:47.53), William Chan (1:47.79) and Timothy Connery (1:47.85) will also compete in the A-final.

Smith had cruised on the freestyle leg and will pose a serious challenge to both the Foster boys in tonight’s A-final.

14-year-old Tyler Hong of Great Lakes Sailfish swam a 1:51.43 for 40th place, but he moves up to 13th in the all-time rankings in the 13-14 age group ahead of notable names Ryan Murphy (1:51.67) and Maxime Rooney (1:51.71).

 Event 8  Men 200 Yard IM
==================================================================
  SC Jrs Meet: J 1:42.77  12/2015   Michael Andrew, Indie Swimming
    Name            Age Team                 Seed    Prelims HyPts       
==================================================================
                      === Preliminaries ===                       
 
  1 Carson Foster    16 Mason Manta Rays  1:46.92    1:44.57  q965  
             23.20        48.77 (25.57)
        1:19.91 (31.14)     1:44.57 (24.66)
  2 Jacob Foster     17 Mason Manta Rays  1:47.62    1:44.82  q958  
             23.08        50.05 (26.97)
        1:19.56 (29.51)     1:44.82 (25.26)
  3 Dillon Hillis    17 Bolles School Sh  1:49.60    1:46.35  q920  
             23.12        50.19 (27.07)
        1:20.51 (30.32)     1:46.35 (25.84)
  4 Raunak Khosla    17 Dynamo Swim Club  1:49.26    1:46.95  q905  
             23.06        50.58 (27.52)
        1:21.12 (30.54)     1:46.95 (25.83)
  5 Kieran Smith     17 Ridgefield Aquat  1:46.41    1:47.13  q900  
             22.59        49.11 (26.52)
        1:20.37 (31.26)     1:47.13 (26.76)
  6 Destin Lasco     16 Pleasantville Aq  1:48.07    1:47.53  q890  
             23.81        50.69 (26.88)
        1:23.03 (32.34)     1:47.53 (24.50)
  7 William Chan     17 SwimMAC Carolina  1:48.91    1:47.79  q884  
             23.43        51.21 (27.78)
        1:21.77 (30.56)     1:47.79 (26.02)
  8 Timothy Connery  15 SwimMAC Carolina  2:06.38L   1:47.85  q883  
             23.86        51.36 (27.50)
        1:21.70 (30.34)     1:47.85 (26.15)
 -----------------------------------------------------------------

Women’s 50 Free

14-year-old Gretchen Walsh broke the 13-14 NAG record in the 50 free with a 22.26 on Thursday morning in Knoxville at the Speedo Juniors East Championships. Walsh had a big split last night in the 200 medley relay with a 21 relay split. Walsh broke the NAG record that was a 22.32 set by Katherine Douglass.

Walsh is the top seed of her sister Alex, who swam a 22.35 this morning for the second seed. Douglass is the third seed at 22.48 to set up a huge race. The meet record may not be in jeopardy of 21.49 held by Abbey Weitzeil, but Walsh could potentially be the first 14-year-old under 22 seconds.

Cora Dupre (22.51), Grace Countie (22.52), Gabriela Albiero (22.80), Talia Bates and Olwyn Bartis (22.84) will also swim in the A-final.

 Event 9  Women 50 Yard Freestyle
==================================================================
  SC Jrs Meet: J 21.49  12/12/14  Abbigail Weitzeil, Canyons Aquatic
    Name            Age Team                 Seed    Prelims HyPts       
==================================================================
                      === Preliminaries ===                       
 
  1 Gretchen Walsh   14 Nashville Aquati    22.77      22.26  q943  
  2 Alexandra Walsh  16 Nashville Aquati    22.48      22.35  q934  
  3 Katherine Dougl  16 Chelsea Piers Aq    22.04      22.48  q921  
  4 Cora Dupre       16 Mason Manta Rays    22.84      22.51  q917  
  5 Grace Countie    18 Marlins of Ralei    22.37      22.52  q916  
  6 Gabriela Albier  15 Cardinal Aquatic    22.78      22.80  q888  
  7 Talia Bates      16 Gator Swim Club-    22.64      22.84  q884  
  7 Olwyn Bartis     16 SwimMAC Carolina    23.47      22.84  q884

Men’s 50 Free

Indiana swimmers Drew Kibler and Jack Franzman are the top two seeds in tonight’s 50 free as the only swimmers under 20 seconds this morning in Knoxville at Speedo Juniors East. Kibler swam a 19.55 to Franzman’s 19.98. It will take a lot for Kibler to break 19 seconds, but it will be a fun race between the two Indianapolis natives.

Kibler is now 19th in the 17-18 all-time rankings ahead of Nathan Adrian (19.57) at the 2007 NCAA’s.

Justin Grender (20.01), John Walker (20.18), Cody Bybee (20.19), Mason Gonzalez (20.25), Matthew Yish (20.28) and Carson Foster (20.28) will also swim in the A-final.

 Event 10  Men 50 Yard Freestyle
==================================================================
  SC Jrs Meet: J 18.71  12/10/16  Ryan Hoffer, Scottsdale Aq.
    Name            Age Team                 Seed    Prelims HyPts       
==================================================================
                      === Preliminaries ===                       
 
  1 Drew Kibler      17 Carmel Swim Club    19.66      19.55  q926  
  2 Jack Franzman    18 Zionsville Swim-    19.81      19.98  q882  
  3 Justin Grender   17 Cincinnati Marli    20.43      20.01  q879  
  4 John Walker      16 SwimMAC Carolina    20.10      20.18  q862  
  5 Cody Bybee       18 Dayton Raiders-O    20.31      20.19  q861  
  6 Mason Gonzalez   17 Allegheny North-    19.99      20.25  q854  
  7 Matthew Yish     17 SOLO Aquatics-NE    20.48      20.28  q851  
  7 Carson Foster    16 Mason Manta Rays    20.91      20.28  q851  
 -----------------------------------------------------------------
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Author: Andy Ross

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Andy Ross graduated Cum Laude from Southern Illinois University where he studied Radio and Television and Journalism. He is a native of West Lafayette, Indiana and has been on board with Swimming World since January 2015.

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