Editorial coverage for U.S. Junior Nationals proudly sponsored by Q Swimwear!
IRVINE, California, July 31. A sizzling C final in the women’s 200-meter fly highlights the 200 fly events at the USA Swimming Junior Nationals in Irvine.
Women’s 200 fly
NBAC’s Easop Lee, 14, produced a sterling time of 2:10.40 to win the 200 fly tonight. That dropped a second off her 2:11.66 lifetime best from the Bulldog Grand Slam, and is the third-fastest time in the 13-14 age division. The great Mary T. Meagher owns the top time there with a 2:07.01 from 1979 that will likely never be touched. Chattahoochee Gold’s Lauren Case placed second in the finale with a time of 2:11.60, while Metro’s Isabella Paez finished third in 2:11.94. Don’t forget to look at the C final below, as the winner would have placed second in the championship heat.
Kingfish’s Madison Wright (2:12.33), Redlands’ Sonia Wang (2:12.72), Longhorn’s Victoria Edwards (2:12.99), SwimMAC’s Caitlin Casazza (2:14.40) and North Carolina’s Madison Homovich (2:16.44) also competed in the championship finale. Notably, Jasmine Tosky’s 2:09.28 from 2010 survived another year as the meet record.
Carmel’s Veronica Burchill claimed the B final win with a time of 2:13.10. That’s another second off her lifetime best of 2:14.19 set this morning in prelims. Patriot’s Jen Marrkand chased down second in the consolation heat with a 2:13.43, while Tampa Bay’s Christin Rockway snared third in 2:14.24.
Crown Point’s Hannah Kukurugya topped the C final in a time of 2:10.64. That’s a three-second drop from her personal best 2:13.83 from a month ago. Walnut Creek’s Brittany Usinger placed second in the C final with a 2:13.95, while Beach Cities’ Jasmine Margetts posted a time of 2:14.58.
For some reference points, the top 20 in the world currently is anchored by Sakiko Shimizu with a 2:09.19 from the Japan Open. The 2:10s by Lee and Kukurugya are just more than a second off that international-level time, which is pretty special considering we’re talking about a junior national event here.
Men’s 200 fly
Aquazot’s Corey Okubo could not replicate the speed he had last year in the 200 fly as he won tonight in 1:58.30. That’s just off his lifetime best of 1:58.28 from his swim in Irvine a year ago. But, it was more than enough to win tonight as Upper Dublin’s Michael Thomas took second in 1:59.11 with Pleasanton’s Maxime Rooney also beating 2:00 with a third-place effort of 1:59.26. Chattahoochee Gold’s Mark Jurek raced to fourth in 1:59.41 as he also cleared 2:00.
NBAC’s Cole Buese (2:00.20), KING’s Mathias Oh (2:00.34), Executive’s Matthew Grauslys (2:01.56) and Huntsville’s Zach Harting (2:01.91) also competed for the national title with Oh having a bit of a fly-and-die strategy as he went out under meet-record pace with a 56.44 at the 100. He was unable to keep up with the pace that Andrew Seliskar used to win last year as his 1:56.54 meet record will last another year.
Aquazot’s Chris Taber cleared 2:01 for the first time with a 2:00.72 to win the B final this evening. That’s better than his 2:01.46 personal best set in prelims. Indiana University’s Max Irwin hit the wall second in 2:01.50 with Wilton Y’s Ian Rainey and Tule Nation Triton Chris Nolan tying for third in the consolation heat with 2:01.99s.
In a close contest in the C final, Birmingham’s Will Freeman tracked down the heat win in 2:01.11 with Tualatin’s Patrick Mulcare claiming second in 2:01.28. Northern Kentucky Clipper Brendan Meyer also posted a 2:01. with a 2:01.69. Freeman entered the swim with a lifetime best of 2:02.51 from this morning.
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