Race Video: Townley Haas, Sierra Schmidt Win Distance Frees at Juniors

Photo by Kristin Karkoska

Editorial coverage for U.S. Junior Nationals proudly sponsored by Q Swimwear!

IRVINE, California, August 3

Women’s 1500 free

Sierra Schmidt claimed her third title of the meet, winning the 400, 800 and 1500 freestyle, by way of a 16:24.09 tonight in the metric mile.  That’s nearly 10 seconds better than her previous time of 16:32.90 from last year’s juniors.  That put 16-year-old Schmidt 16th in the 15-16 age division.  North Carolina’s Madison Homovich, 14, moved to 11th in the 13-14 age division with a sizzling time of 16:32.95.  She cut a huge amount from her 16:46.03 best from June.  SwimFlorida’s Kendall Brent rounded out the top three in 16:33.87.

Frisco’s Gabrielle Kopenski, another 14 year old, was fearless as she was several seconds under meet-record pace throughout the first half of the race before settling down to take fourth overall in 16:33.93.  Egg Harbor’s Amanda Nunan took fifth in 16:36.77 from the early heats, while Nashville’s Elizabeth Stinson also made the top eight from the early heats with a 16:38.21 for sixth.

Pleasanton’s Moriah Simonds (16:42.83) and Cougar’s Cailley Silbert (16:43.58) finished seventh and eighth to also made the podium.

Men’s 800 free

NOVA of Virginia’s Townley Haas has been unstoppable this week as he claimed his fourth junior national title of the meet tonight.  He raced his way to an 8:01.82, just off Chad La Tourette’s meet record of 8:01.75 from 2006. Haas dropped a monster amount of time, down from an 8:13.08 personal best from a year ago.  He added this title to his wins in the 100 free, 200 free and 400 free to easily prove himself as one of the top junior freestylers in the country.

Nitro’s Sean Grieshop, 15, finished second in 8:03.14 to move to eighth all time in the 15-16 age division. Coming into today, he has only recorded a pair of 800-meter freestyle swims competitively with an 8:12.23 as his previous best. Pacific’s Grant Schenk earned third-place honors with a time of 8:06.03.  Parkland’s Sam Magnan, who won the 1500 free on night one out of an early seeded heat, took fourth tonight with an 8:06.04 out of the afternoon heats as well.

SwimAtlanta’s Cody Bekemeyer (8:06.86), Wilton Y’s Ian Rainey (8:07.20), Santa Clara’s Michael Messner (8:07.28) and Marlins of Raleigh’s Adam Linker (8:09.72) grabbed the rest of the top eight spots in the timed final swim.

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Author: Jason Marsteller

Jason Marsteller is the general manager of digital properties at Swimming World. He joined Swimming World in June 2006 as the managing editor after previous stints as a media relations professional at Indiana University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Utah University and the Utah Summer Games.

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