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By David Rieder
IRVINE, California, August 9. PRELIMS are in the books for the 2013 Speedo Junior Nationals. Action wrapped up on Friday morning with heats of the women’s and men’s 200 IM and 50 free. Highlights included a National Age Group record performance from Caeleb Dressel in the men’s 50 free. Additionally, slower heats of the men’s 800 free and women’s 1500 free are being swum during the day, while the top heats of these events will be contested in finals tonight.
Women’s 200 IM
Socal’s Ella Eastin continued her stellar meet with the top time in the prelims of the women’s 200 IM. Eastin checked in with a 2:15.95, cutting more than a second off her previous best time. She will be looking to complete the IM sweep in finals after previously setting a meet record on her way to victory in the 400 IM. This meet record, however, will be tougher to get, as Missy Franklin set the mark at 2:12.73 in 2009. Bluefish’s Brooke Zeiger qualified second in 2:16.66, and Ozaukee’s Katherine Drabot finished in third after prelims in 2:17.86.
South Bend’s Bethany Galat could make a run at another podium finish after winning the 100 breast on Thursday. She qualified fourth in 2:18.02, while Fox Chapel’s Heidi Miller (2:18.04), Bellevue’s Kimberly Williams (2:18.14), Dynamo’s Kylie Stewart (2:18.21), and York YMCA’s Meghan Small all earned spots in the finale.
Men’s 200 IM
Nation’s Capital’s Andrew Seliskar hopes to bookend his week with wins after he qualified first in the 200 IM prelims with a 2:02.59. He previously won the 200 fly on Monday. Seliskar, though, figuresto get a big challenge from Dynamo’s Gunnar Bentz, the only swimmer to have already picked up three wins at the meet. Bentz tied for the second qualifying spot with Palo Alto Stanford’s Curtis Ogren in 2:03.63. The pair just edged Dynamo’s Jay Litherland, who swam a 2:03.68 for fourth place.
Dayton Raiders Patrick Mulcare (2:04.45), Aquazot’s Corey Okubo (2:04.55), Hudson Explorer’s Ross Palazzo (2:04.87), and Jersey Wahoos’ Grant Proctor (2:04.98) all swam under 2:05 to ensure themselves spots in the final eight.
Women’s 50 Free
Just over a half second will separate a tight field in the final of the women’s 50 free. Canyons’ Abbigail Weitzeil touched first in 25.66, while San Clemente’s Kaitlyn Albertoli and Katie McLaughlin tied for second in 25.91. Academy Bullets’ Mary Schneider qualified fourth in 26.03, followed by Lindsey Engel (26.07), SwimMAC’s Nora McCullagh (26.13), Dynamo’s Caitlin Cooper (26.14), and Schroeder YMCA’s Alexandra Meyers (26.20).
Denver Swim Academy’s Alyssa Ochitwa and Scottsdale’s Amy Bilquist tied for ninth in prelims in 26.23, but the two had to swim off, likely after a scratch in the top eight bumped one of them into the A-final. Ochitwa ended up winning a tight race, 26.25 to 26.29. Meanwhile, SwimStrong’s Macie McNichols and Roadrunner’s Constanze Moseley tied for 26th in 26.57, setting up a swim-off for second alternate. McNichols cut her time to 26.35 in winning the swim-off which, based on scratches, may earn her a second swim in finals. Moseley ended up touching in 26.59.
Men’s 50 Free
Bolles’ Caeleb Dressel blasted the prelims of the 50 free, clocking 22.39 for the top seed. That blew away the 15-16 National Age Group record which he had previously set at 22.59, and with a strong swim in finals, he could challenge Vlad Morozov’s meet record of 22.13 from 2010. Dressel should be favored to win his second event in the final after taking the 100 free on Tuesday, and he also set a meet record in winning the consolation final of the 200 free on Thursday. Dressel should dominate tonight, Bolles teammate Santo Condorelli qualified second, but he finished almost a half second behind in 22.88. Splash Aquatic Club’s Paul Powers touched third in 22.96.
North Texas Nadadores’ Brett Ringgold (23.11), Eagle Swim Association’s Steven Richardson (23.35), Crescenta-Canada’s Frederick Abramyan (23.47), Terrapins’ Justin Lynch (23.49), and Greater Omaha’s Jacob Molacek (23.50) all earned spots in the top eight for the championship heat.
The race featured three swim-offs; Duneland’s Blake Pieroni crushed University’s Jack Nee and after the pair tied for 17th in prelims, 23.41 to 24.08. Both clocked 23.75 earlier in the day. Canyon’s Cole Cogswell and Rec Plex Sharks’ Andrew Sansoucie tied for 24th in 23.83. Cogswell took the advantage over Sansoucie in the swim-off, clocking 23.86 while Sansoucie was disqualified. Meanwhile, Denver Swim Academy’s Justin Beach took down Swift Aquatics’ Jonathan Salomon in a swim-off for 26th place. After both clocked 23.84 in prelims, Beach won the second swim, 23.73 to 24.12.