Check out our amazing Peter Bick Photo Gallery from Speedo Junior Nationals!
By David Rieder
IRVINE, California, August 5. THE Speedo Junior Nationals kicked off on Monday with preliminary action in the women’s and men’s 200 fly and women’s and men’s 200 breast, as well as early heats of the women’s 800 free and men’s 1500 free. The meet is taking place at the William Woollett Aquatic Center in Irvine.
Women’s 200 Fly
Mission Viejo’s Katie McLaughlin set the pace in the meet’s first event. The 16 year old led the way with a 2:11.07 in prelims of the 200 fly, giving her a fourth-tenth-of-a-second cushion headed into tonight’s final. McLaughlin has been faster this year, placing third at U.S. Nationals in 2:10.37. Sandpiper’s Olivia Barker picked up second in the heats in 2:11.45, while Flint Y’s Courtney Weaver finished third in 2:11.50. Mount Pleasant’s Megan Kingsley rounded out the sub-2:12 qualifying times.
Socal’s Ella Eastin (2:12.60), Tualatin Hill’s Michelle Cefal (2:12.60), Clearwater’s Becca Mann (2:12.83), and Shenandoah’s Remedy Rule (2:12.89) will also vie for the title in finals. Weaver (eighth), Kingsley (seventh), and Mann (fourth) also swam in the final at Nationals back in June.
Men’s 200 Fly
National’s Capital’s Andrew Seliskar cruised into the top spot in the men’s 200 fly. Seliskar clocked 1:57.26 for the top seed, improving upon his seed time of 1:57.48 from U.S. Nationals, where he placed fifth. He finished less than a second away from qualifying for the World Championships team. Aquazot’s Corey Orubo took second in 1:58.97, while Terrapins’ Justin Lynch (1:59.29) and Fresno Dolphins’ Justin Wright (1:59.62) joined the top two in recording sub-2:00 performances.
Blue Devil’s Matthew Conway (2:00.12), Dynamo’s Mick Litherland (2:00.83), Stingrays’ James Yoder (2:01.29), and Dayton Raiders’ Joshua Quallen (2:01.50) all picked up spots in the A-final.
After the session, Aquazot’s Justin Hanson defeated Marietta Marlins’ Connor Oslin in a swim-off to determine 24th place and the final spot in the C-final. After both clocked 2:03.89 in prelims, Hanson clocked 2:03.02 in his second swim, to Oslin’s 2:03.36.
Women’s 200 Breast
SwimMAC Carolina’s Maija Roses finished first in the women’s 200 breast heats in a time of 2:31.87. Lubbock’s Madisyn Cox picked up the second spot for lane five in the finals in 2:32.22, while Bluefish’s Brooke Zeiger finished exactly one second behind (2:33.22). Emily Kopas (2:33.90), Lakeland Hills’ Abigail Fisher (2:34.23), Wild West’s Jordan Ehly (2:34.24), Sarasota Y’s Bethany Leap (2:34.25) and Ozaukee’s Katherine Drabot (2:34.35) all earned their way into the top heat.
In a surprising result, Central Bucks’ Allie Szekely finished 23rd after entering with the race’s top seed. She clocked 2:26.35 in her outstanding performance at last year’s Junior Nationals. Szekely raced in and won a swim-off to determine the first alternate in this event at Olympic Trials last year, earning recognition in the swimming community despite being only 14 at the time.
Men’s 200 Breast
Jersey Wahoo’s Andrew Schuehler beat out the field in the men’s 200 breast by more than a second, clocking 2:14.39 for the top qualifying time, while Dynamo’s Joseph Bentz finished well cclear of the rest of the pack for the second-best time, touching in 2:15.52. Nation’s Capital’s Carsten Vissering edged Loveland’s Nicolas Hatanaka for third, 2:16.39 to 2:16.42. Current’s Thomas Brewer (2:16.68), Hudson Explorer’s Ross Palazzo (2:16.69), Duke Aquatics’ Garrett House (2:17.24), and Central Bucks’ Michael McBryan (2:17.27) will all swim in the championship final later on.