ORLANDO, Florida, March 24. THIS final night of swimming at the National Club Swimming Association Junior Nationals kicked off in a big way with Aquajets' Rachel Bootsma posting the fastest 50-meter backstroke in the world. The meet is broadcast LIVE via pay per view by SwimmingWorld.TV. For more info on the stream, click here.
Bootsma tore through the 50-meter back with a scorching time of 27.84. That swim eclipsed the 27.90 clocked by Emily Seebohm of Australia last month. That performance smashed Bootsma's previous best of 28.35 set at the 2010 Pan Pacific Championships, and moved her to 12th all time in the event's history. She trails only Hayley McGregory (27.80) by only .04 seconds for the American record. McGregory set the record at the 2008 Texas Senior Circuit. Mary Schneider of Academy Bullets placed second in 29.09, while Northern Kentucky Clipper Caitlyn Forman finished third in 29.52.
Lancaster's Emily Cameron captured the women's 200-meter IM title in 2:16.13, her second fastest time ever. She posted a 2:15.93 for her best time at the 2010 USA Swimming Junior Nationals. Bootsma placed second in 2:17.82, also her second-best effort ever. She clocked a 2:17.25 at the 2012 Missouri Grand Prix earlier this year. Rockville Montgomery's Sarah Haase checked in with a third-place 2:18.74. Bootsma then placed third in the women's 50-meter free. Baylor's Kristen Vredeveld clocked a 25.92 for the win, while Curl Burke's Janet Hu took second in 26.09. Bootsma turned in a 26.15 for third.
Rockville Montgomery's Jack Conger nearly cracked 26 seconds for the first time in the men's 50-meter back. He won in 26.06, smashing his personal best of 26.36 from the FINA World Junior Championships in August 2011. Baylor's Lucas Kaliszak took second in 26.82, while New Trier's Max Grodecki placed third in 27.06. In other notable swims in other final heats, Curl Burke's Kyle Tyrrell (26.81) and NASA Wildcat's Andrew Jovanovic (27.00) won the C and B finals respectively.
Conger doubled up by tying Rec Plex' Andrew Sansoucie for the men's 50-meter free title, 23.23 each. Conger bettered his personal record of 23.59 from 2011 Winter Nationals, while also cleared his own lifetime best of 23.51 from the sectional circuit earlier this month. New Trier's Max Grodecki earned third in 23.32.
Curl Burke's Katie Ledecky won the women's 800-meter free in 8:33.48, three seconds off her personal best of 8:30.14 set at the 2012 Missouri Grand Prix. Megan Rankin snared second in 8:43.60, while Marietta Marlin Madison Jacobi touched third in 8:45.67. Five minutes later, Rankin jumped back in the pool to win the women's 200-meter IM C final with a 2:21.18.
Northern Kentucky Clipper Max Williamson slashed a huge swath of time from his personal best with a winning 2:02.96 in the men's 200-meter IM. The swim far surpassed his 2:04.80 from the 2011 Winter Nationals. YMCA Hub Fin Tynan Stewart placed second in 2:03.60, while Curl Burke's Andrew Seliskar touched third in 2:05.70.
James Powell won the men's 1500-meter free title in 15:41.66, while Daniel Thompson of Hinsdale took second in 15:53.03. Crimson's Liam Egan placed third in 15:55.78.
Short course yard prelims
Rockville Montgomery's Jack Conger dominated the men's 50 back with a 22.45, while Penn Charter's Joseph Maginnis tied Baylor's Lucas Kaliszak with matching 22.97s for second. The swim is Conger's best in the event, having bested his personal record of 22.85 from the 2011 NCSA Junior Nationals.
Jack Conger's previous personal best via SwimmingWorld.TV
Conger snared his second title of the morning with a 20.23 in the men's 50-yard free. That is his second-fastest performance behind his personal best of 19.85 from the Washington Metros last month. SwimAtlanta's Brent Murray placed second in 20.58, while New Trier's Max Grodecki finished third in 20.63.
Aquajet's Rachel Bootsma turned in a 24.15 for the women's 50 back win, tying for her third-fastest effort in the event. Her bests are a 24.02 leadoff from 2011 NCSA Junior Nationals, along with a 24.10 and another 24.15. Curl Burke's Janet Hu (25.45) and Academy Bullets' Mary Schneider (25.63) placed second and third.
Bootsma doubled with a 1:59.28 to win the women's 200-yard IM, well off her personal best time of 1:58.16 to win last year's NCSAs. Lancaster's Emily Cameron finished second in 2:00.53, while Rockville Montgomery's Sarah Haase touched third in 2:01.19.
Rachel Bootsma's personal best via SwimmingWorld.TV
Bootsma completed a remarkable morning with a 22.59 to lead the women's 50-yard free. That swim proved to be her first sub-23 second swim, bettering her lifetime best of 23.00 from last year's NCSAs. Baylor's Kristen Vredeveld finished second in 22.84, while Janet Hu of Curl Burke turned in a third-place 23.05.
YMCA Hub Fin Tynan Stewart clinched the top men's 200-yard IM time with a 1:48.38, just missing his personal best of 1:48.27 from last year's NCSA Juniors. Northern Kentucky Clipper Maxwell Williamson placed second in 1:48.74, while Blue Tide's Jordan Jones earned third in 1:49.09.
Tynan Stewart's personal best via SwimmingWorld.TV
In relay action, Rockville-Montgomery's James Powerll, Austin Dickey, Jack Conger and Barrett Mangold won the men's 400 medley relay in 3:19.05, while the Aquatjets' Rachel Bootsma, Olivia Anderson, Breinne Thorne and Kaia Grobe topped the women's 400 medley relay in 3:40.26. Bootsma posted a strong 51.56 100 back relay leadoff.