Editorial coverage for U.S. Junior Nationals proudly sponsored by Q Swimwear!
IRVINE, California, July 31. THE distance freestylers put on a show last night at the USA Swimming Junior Nationals, and USA Swimming has provided race footage of each of the fastest seeded heats.
Women’s 800 free
Sierra Schmidt smashed the field in the final heat, and had enough speed to take down the 8:36.82 clocked by North Carolina’s Madison Homovich in the earlier heats as Schmidt won in 8:34.58. That’s a five-second drop for Schmidt, blasting her lifetime best of 8:39.28 from the Bulldog Grand Slam. Homovich’s best had been an 8:48.69 from the Charlotte stop of the Arena Grand Prix. Amanda Nunen took third in the distance event with a time of 8:42.84.
BNY’s Melissa Pish (8:43.22), SwimFlorida’s Kendall Brent (8:43.27), Indiana University’s Stephanie Marchuk (8:43.31), Frisco’s Gabrielle Kopenski (8:43.80) and Nashville’s Elizabeth Stinson (8:44.29) rounded out the top eight podium-placers in the timed final event. No one challenged Gillian Ryan’s 2012 meet record of 8:30.84.
Men’s 1500 free
It doesn’t happen often, but it happened tonight as Parkland’s Sam Magnan won the junior national title from the slower seeded heats. That’s a monstrous time drop for Magnan as he came into today with a lifetime best 15:56.56 from last year’s junior nationals. Nitro’s Taylor Abbott gave that winning time a run, and even gave the meet-record a try as he was two seconds under the pace about halfway through the race. But, Abbott settled for silver with a 15:29.88. That’s a huge drop for Abbott as well, down from his 15:43.08 from the Santa Clara stop of the Arena Grand Prix.
Marlins of Raleigh’s Adam Linker took third in 15:30.79, while 13-year-old Andrew Abruzzo of Germantown blasted a 15:36.03. That’s the second-best swim from a 13 year old behind Jesse Vassallo’s national age group record of 15:31.03 from 1976.
PS’ Grant Schenk (15:37.21), Wilton Y’s Stephen Holmquist (15:41.42), Team Santa Monica’s Brendan Casey (15:43.99) and Sarasota Y’s Carter Page (15:44.23) made up the rest of the top eight finishers in the timed final event.