Photo by David Carr
Editorial coverage for U.S. Junior Nationals proudly sponsored by Q Swimwear!
IRVINE, California, August 3. MICHAEL Andrew won his first junior national title, while Carmel conquered the women’s 100-meter backstroke at the USA Swimming Junior Nationals.
Women’s 100 Back
The Carmel girls have been on fire this week. Tonight, they went 1-2 with Amy Bilquist edging teammate Claire Adams for the title, 1:01.04 to 1:01.12. That’s a best for Bilquist, lowering her 1:01.27 from prelims. Adams also bettered her best of 1:01.59. T2′s Elise Haan raced her way into third with a time of 1:01.67 to account for all of the 1:01s tonight. That’s a trio of 16 year olds at the top of the podium.
Y-Sparta’s Danielle Galyer (1:02.29), BCH’s Abby Richter (1:02.47), Bryon Center’s Taylor Garcia (1:02.52), CyFari’s Cameron McHugh (1:02.73) and SoCal’s Emily Easton (1:03.17) also vied for the junior national title tonight.
PASA’s Ally Howe cruised to victory in the B final with a time of 1:02.79, while Aquazot’s 14-year-old Eva Merrell touched second in 1:03.06. Tualatin’s Keaton Blovad tied with Hopkins Mariner Erin Earley for third with matching 1:03.12s.
Lifetime best for Grace Ariola of the Bloomington Waves as she won the C final in 1:03.19. That’s just a bit better than her 1:03.87 from sectionals. Longhorn’s Victoria Edwards raced to second in 1:03.40 with Emma Seiberlich earning third in 1:03.54.
(audio muted due to a copyright claim made against the video, likely due to the intro music)
Men’s 100 Back
The 15-year-old professional swimmer Michael Andrew had the biggest breakthrough of his career as he captured a junior national championship with a 55.73 in the A final. In his first time under 56 seconds, Andrew moved to sixth all time in the 15-16 age division. He still has a bit to go to track down Ryan Murphy’s national age group record of 53.76 from 2012, but he still has more than a year to make that happen. While Andrew draws an exorbitant amount of attention as the youngest swimmer to ever turn pro and his unreal amount of national age group performances in 14-and-under categories, tonight’s win is a big step in his career.
Dynamo’s Michael Taylor finished second in 56.07 with Badger’s Patrick Conaton taking third in 56.68. Roadrunner’s Brock Bonetti (56.74), Tualatin’s Patrick Mulcare (56.93) and Cheyenne Mountain’s Daniel Carr (56.97) also posted 56s. FAST’s Joey Reilman (57.04) and KING’s Thomas Anderson (58.00) finished seventh and eighth.
Class’ David Puczkowski shaved a bit from his personal best in the event with a B final-winning effort of 56.58. That’s under the 56.58 he clocked at the Fran Crippen Memorial meet in June in Mission Viejo. Munster’s Wilson Beckman hit the wall second in 57.58, while Pleasanton’s Maxime Rooney tied Tampa Bay’s Wesley McGovern for third with 57.70s just a bit after swimming the 200 free.
Terrapins’ Brandon James clipped Canyons’ Cole Cogswell in the C final, 57.32 to 57.41. That’s a bit better than James’ personal best of 57.52, while Cogswell also cleared his best of 57.90. Bellevue’s Todd McCarthy touched third in 57.50.