Editorial coverage for U.S. Junior Nationals proudly sponsored by Q Swimwear!
IRVINE, California, July 23. WITH the junior nationals and senior nationals both taking place in Irvine — separated by just two days — many of the top swimmers will use the junior nationals as a tune-up for the senior national meet.
No international racing squads will be picked from the junior national meet that starts next Wednesday, diluting the importance of the competition a bit for many teams. It will help to select the members of the junior national team, which travels abroad in the fall to such meets as the FINA World Cup, so some swimmers who make that team might come solely based on swims from junior nationals.
In addition to picking squads for the Pan Pacific championships, world championships and World University Games, the senior nationals will be the only meet that will pick swimmers for the junior Pan Pacific championships.
According to USA Swimming, Caeleb Dressel and Ella Eastin are two of the top names racing at juniors. Dressel is a strong contender for a spot on a senior-level squad, and will likely work his way up to fast swims against the likes of Nathan Adrian and Anthony Ervin. Eastin told Swimming World in a “Morning Swim Show” interview that she will not swim her major events — the 200 IM and 400 IM — at junior nationals, but rather race in off-events to “get the first-race jitters out.”
USA Swimming’s announcement about next week’s meet mentions that 1,100 swimmers will race in Irvine at junior nationals. The large size of the meet puts more weight on the issue that will face the USA Swimming House of Delegates this fall at the United States Aquatic Sports convention to create another junior-level national meet in the summer to decrease the numbers for junior nationals. Also on the table is a proposal to split the short course junior nationals in December into two regional meets.
Psych sheets for junior nationals are expected to be released in the coming days.