PHOENIX, Arizona, March 18. COLLEGE swimming took a break last weekend while some of the country's best 18-and-under swimmers got their chance to shine in meets across the country. Let's start with inarguably the best 18-and-under swimmer in the world, Missy Franklin, who nearly broke two American records at the sectional championships in Federal Way, Washington. We told you about her near record in the 200 back on Friday's Streamlined News, and on Friday evening, she almost took down Megan Romano's 200 free American record of 1:41.21 with a 1:41.81. She capped off her weekend with a lifetime best 4:34.62 in the 500 free and 1:55.49 in the 200 IM, which was almost a personal best.
Ryan Hoffer was just as impressive in Washington with two national records in the 13-14 age group. Hoffer almost became the youngest swimmer under 20 seconds in the 50-yard free with a 20.02 after posting a 44.81 in the 100 free.
Down at the National Club Swimming Assocation's junior nationals in Orlando, four swimmers broke six national age group marks. Simone Manuel was responsible for two of those records, swimming a 47.73 in the 100 free and 22.04 in the 50 free.
Andrew Seliskar also broke two records in the 200 breast with a very fast 1:54.87 and 1:44.03 in the 200 IM.
Kylie Stewart took down Elizabeth Pelton's 200 back 15-16 national age group record with a 1:50.66, while Matthew Hirschberger was the first record setter of the meet, swimming a 9:02.37 in the 1000 freestyle on Tuesday night.
Nation's Capital broke the 15-18 national age group record in the men's 400 medley relay with a 3:15.03 on Saturday in Orlando, but that record was broken the following day by SwimMAC Carolina, who was dominant at the Speedo Champions Series meet in Nashville, Tennessee. Jack Manchester, Michael Chadwick, Matthew Josa and Kyle Darmody swam a 3:13.70 in the relay, a full three seconds faster than they swam at last winter's junior nationals. That relay swim was their second record of the meet, as the same four also put up a 2:56.15 in the 400 free relay.
A couple of Olympians also had very impressive swims at the Speedo Champions Series, with both marking last weekend as their first competitions since surgery. Cesar Cielo raced for the first time since knee surgery last fall, putting up a very fast 22.02 in the 50 long course freestyle at the Fort Lauderdale sectionals. Claire Donahue, who had shoulder surgery just a couple of months ago, swam a 52.74 in the 100 fly and 23.47 in the 50 fly during the 50 free final in Nashville.
If you missed any of these swims, you can read recaps about them on our USA channel at swimmingworld.com. And you can see race videos from the NCSA junior nationals on the event's landing page at swimmingworld.tv.