Editorial coverage for U.S. Junior Nationals proudly sponsored by Q Swimwear!
IRVINE, California, July 30. ALL four meet records from events swum this morning are in play tonight as swimmers brought the fireworks on day one at the USA Swimming Junior Nationals here in Irvine.
Women’s 200 fly
It’s going to take a big-time drop for anyone to challenge Jasmine Tosky’s 2010 meet record of 2:09.28, but Gold’s Lauren Case and NBAC’s Easop Lee certainly put up some strong times to take the top two slots this evening. Case posted a 2:12.01, while Lee finished second this morning in 2:12.08. That’s a full second drop for Case from her lifetime best of 2:13.13, while Lee has a 2:11.66 to her credit from the Bulldog Grand Slam.
Redlands’ Sonia Wang also cleared 2:13 this morning with a third-seeded time of 2:12.78, while Metro Aquatics’ Isabella Paez snared fourth overall in 2:13.44. Kingfish’s Caitlin Casazza (2:13.73), Longhorn’s Victoria Edwards (2:13.85) and NCAC’s Madison Homovich (2:13.96) also earned their way into the championship heat this evening.
Carmel’s Veronica Burchill nearly pulled off an epic drop in terms of her original seeding as she qualified ninth in 2:14.19 in heat 5 of 12. That crushed her lifetime best of 2:17.46 from the Santa Clara stop of the Arena Grand Prix.
Men’s 200 fly
Aquazot’s Corey Okubo is definitely going to take a run at Andrew Seliskar’s meet record of 1:56.54 tonight. Seliskar clocked that swim in 2013, and Okubo just blasted a 1:58.89 in prelims. His lifetime best is a 1:58.28 from last summer’s Juniors, and there’s little reason why he won’t be on point tonight to take a huge chunk of his best this evening.
There’s a handful of swimmers who will likely be battling for second-place honors as five swimmers put up 2:00s this morning. KING’s Mathias Oh (2:00.00), Gold’s Mark Jurek (2:00.34), NBAC’s Cole Buese (2:00.63), UDAC’s Michael Thomas (2:00.80) and ESC’s Matthew Grauslys (2:00.89) all cleared 2:01 in preliminary competition. HSA’s Zach Harting had a screamer of a swim out of heat 4 of 12 to make finals with a 2:01.12, while PLS’ Maxime Rooney took eighth overall in 2:01.43.
In the Michael Andrew watch, he finished 32nd this morning in the event with a 2:03.54.
Women’s 100 breast
Kasey Carlson’s meet record of 1:08.29 from 2008 is definitely living on borrowed time as Lindsey Horejsi (1:09.54), Carolyn McCann (1:09.77) and Jorie Caneta (1:09.89) all roared to 1:09s this morning. Horejsi smashed her lifetime best of 1:11.36 from two months ago, and could have more in the tank tonight. McCann entered today with a personal best of 1:10.66, while Caneta has a 1:11.23 personal record. With the way those three were swimming this morning, there’s a big chance they can drop even more time tonight.
Rachel Munson (1:10.18), Lauren Barber (1:10.21), Nikol Popov (1:10.69), Allie Szekely (1:10.81) and Madison Winstead (1:10.89) also will return for the championship heat. Szekely is one of those swimmers who can fire a big time out of nowhere, and has a 1:09.87 lifetime best to prove it. So, she could be a bit of a darkhorse for the junior national title tonight.
Men’s 100 breast
Canyons’ Peter Kropp had a special swim this morning with a 1:02.21 for the top seed. That’s well under his personal best of 1:04.03 from the LA Invite, and just short of the meet record of 1:01.94 set by Carsten Vissering a year ago here in Irvine. Kropp’s definitely going to be vying for another huge time drop tonight and will be pushed by national high school record holder Jacob Molacek. Molacek qualified second in 1:03.03 with Blair Bish taking third overall in 1:03.13 as he dropped under 1:04 for the first time in his career.
Chandler Bray and Connor Hoppe both put up 1:03.18s to tie for the fourth seed, and will be looking to challenge the favorites this evening for the title. Meanwhile, Todd Owen (1:03.35), Ross Palazzo (1:03.38) and Curtis Ogren (1:03.47) also made the finale.
15-year-old pro Michael Andrew qualified 15th overall with a 1:04.03 as he is still looking for his first junior national title.
Women’s 800 freestyle and men’s 1500 freestyle slower-seeded heats will take place later this afternoon before finals begin at 6 p.m. Pacific time.