ORLANDO, Florida, March 22. THE sprints continued with the signature splash and dash 50 freestyle on the last night of finals at the NCSA Junior National Championships.
Women’s 50 Freestyle:
All eyes were on the women’s 50 freestyle, as both Janet Hu and Simone Manuel had the chance to dip under Hu’s 17-18 National Age Group of 21.82. Manuel’s best stood at a 22.04 before tonight’s final, when she blasted a 21.70 for the win. She adds this 50 NAG to her 100 freestyle NAG set on the second night of finals.
Even though Manuel took Hu’s NAG, the two are friendly rivals, and will be attending Stanford together in the fall. Hu took second in the race with a 22.27, and 50 backstroke champion Elizabeth Nelson took third with a 22.56.
“It’s pretty exciting, I’ve been stuck on the 00 all weekend, so getting under [22 seconds] was really nice,” said Manuel after the race.
Men’s 50 Freestyle:
16 year old James Jones surprised the competition with a sub-20 50 freestyle for the win. Jones, who took second in the 100 freestyle earlier in the meet, was the only one to break the barrier, winning with a 19.99, a time that was four tenths faster than his preliminary swim.
“It’s a huge relief,” Jones said after the race. “I decided to go out here and swim it and I’m really happy with it.”
Andrew Seliskar took second with a 20.06 and Michael Andrew, who was chasing down his own 13-14 NAG in the event, touched third with a 20.09. Andrew’s NAG stands at a 19.85.