Editorial coverage for U.S. Junior Nationals proudly sponsored by Q Swimwear!
IRVINE, California, August 1. INDIANA University Swim Team has had a pretty strong meet thus far, closing out the second night straight with a meet record. This time the team also took down a national age group relay record in the process here at the USA Swimming Junior Nationals.
- Women’s 400 free
- Men’s 400 free
- Women’s 100 fly
- Men’s 100 fly
- Men’s 800 free relay
Women’s 400 free
Sierra Schmidt would not be denied her second junior national title of the meet as the 800 free victor raced her way to a 4:10.92 in the middle distance event. That cut more than two seconds from her best of 4:13.08 set this morning, and was more than enough to beat a pair of 14-year-old prodigies to the top of the podium. North Carolina’s Madison Homovich edged NBAC’s Easop Lee for silver, 4:12.30 to 4:12.65. The two moved into the top 10 in the U.S. 13-14 age group rankings with Homovich in fourth. Sippy Woodhead still holds the record with a stunning 4:07.15 from 1978. Homovich (4:14.97) and Lee (4:13.65) both set lifetime bests this morning.
IU’s Stephanie Marchuck (4:12.77), NOVA’s Jessie Gvozdas (4:13.27), Marietta Marlins’ Stephanie Peters (4:14.01), Tallahassee’s Cece Williams (4:15.82) and Pleasanton’s Moriah Simonds (4:16.63) also swam in the the finale.
Lakeside’s Leah Stevens looked in control of the B final throughout the first 325 meters, but La Mirada’s Taylor Ault hit the nitrous to get the afterburners going en route to edging Stevens, 4:12.84 to 4:12.96 for the consolation heat win. That’s a huge drop for Ault, coming into today with a 4:14.73 best from the LA Invite. Stevens just missed her lifetime best of 4:12.78 from the 2012 American Championships in Austin. She’s been chasing that mark for quite some time, and would love to break through the plateau. City of Mobile’s Paige Madden took third with a 4:13.39. Ault and Stevens would have finished fifth and sixth in the A final.
Badger’s Anina Lunda came roaring home down the final 100 meters to win the C final with a 4:15.35. That’s a full second off her personal best of 4:16.74 from the Quebec Cup in June. Mission Viejo’s Brooke Lorentzen snared second in 4:16.05, while Saint Andrew’s Megan Moroney picked up third in 4:17.22. Lorentzen was a second fastest last year with a 4:15.06, while Moroney set a 4:16.99 personal best this morning but could not replicate that swim.
Men’s 400 free
NOVA’s Townley Haas just missed his meet record in the championship finale with a 3:52.01. Last summer, he set the record with a 3:51.99 and just could not match the time tonight. He still won this evening by a second-and-a-half as the rest of the field was in chase mode. That’s two wins for Haas as he already demonstrated his versatility with a 100 free triumph earlier this week.
Nitro’s Sean Grieshop, 15, blazed his way to second with a time of 3:53.54. That’s the sixth-fastest time in the 15-16 age group behind Larsen Jensen’s national age group record of 3:50.68 from 2002. Grieshop had set a personal best with a 3:55.35 this morning. Dayton Raiders’ Brock Turner snared third overall in 3:53.89.
Parkland’s Sam Magnan, the surprise 1500 freestyle winner, took fourth in 3:55.55, while Santa Clara’s Michael Messner took fifth in 3:56.07. PASA’s Curtis Ogren (3:56.10), Marlins of Raleigh’s Adam Linker (3:57.77) and Scarlet’s Eric Stobbe (3:58.97) rounded out the podium tonight.
The B final wasn’t even close as Pacific Swim’s Grant Schenk threw down a 3:56.01 to win by more than a second. He had never broken 4:00 heading into today before he clocked a 3:58.09 this morning. That’s a four-second drop today! AGUA’s John Nunez hit the wall second as he battled SwimAtlanta’s Nick Hogsed down the stretch, 3:57.27 to 3:57.75. Both Nunez (3:58.87) and Hogsed (3:57.98) managed to get under their lifetime bests in the event.
La Mirada definitely looks to have been working on its last 100-meter speed as for the second event in a row, a La Mirada swimmer overhauled an early leader down the stretch. After Ault took down Stevens in the women’s 400-meter free B final, Ryan Kao dropped the hammer to beat NBAC’s Cole Buese, 3:57.51 to 3:57.74, in the C final of the men’s 400 free. Kao was much faster last summer with a 3:54.69, while Buese beat his best of 3:59.08 from this morning. SwimAtlanta’s Cody Bekemeyer took third in the bonus heat with a 3:58.43.
Women’s 100 fly
Carmel’s squad kept on cruising as its team just hasn’t missed a beat all week. Veronica Burchill powered to a 59.63 to win the junior national title. Burchill was faster this morning with a 59.28, but did enough to win this evening as three swimmers broke 1:00 in the A final. Duneland’s Vanessa Krause (59.80) and Longhorn’s Victoria Edwards (59.98) both broke 1:00 for the first time in their career tonight.
Redlands’ Sonia Wang (1:00.27), SwimAtlanta’s Haley McInerny (1:00.29), OC Waves’ Lindsey Engel (1:00.36), Aquazot’s Eva Merrell (1:00.58) and Quest’s Maddie Banic (1:01.05) also put up swims in the championship heat.
Chattahoochee Gold’s Lauren Case broke the 1:00 barrier for the first time with a sizzling effort of 59.63 to win the B final. That cleared her best of 1:00.37 from the Orlando stop of the Arena Grand Prix, and would have tied her for the junior national title tonight. SwimMAC’s Caitlin Casazza turned in a second-place time of 1:00.33, while Crown Point’s Aly Tetzloff placed third in 1:00.95. Both Casazza (1:00.95) and Tetzloff (1:01.31) served up personal bests in the consolation heat.
Fort Collins’ Bailey Nero captured the C final with a time of 1:00.74 as PASA’s Ally Howe snared second in 1:00.88. Nero downed her best of 1:00.81 from prelims with Howe missing her Austin Grand Prix time of 1:00.75. Royal’s Amy Okada took third overall in 1:01.19.
Men’s 100 fly
Buenaventura’s Alex Valente had a powerful swim this evening as he won in 53.09. That clipped the 53.10 he clocked this morning that stands as his personal best. He has now dropped a second from last year as his best effort a year ago was a 54.20 at these junior national championships. Azura’s Luis Martinez snared silver with a time of 53.34 while 15-year-old pro Michael Andrew posted a best time of 53.46. That not only beat the 53.90 he posted this morning but moved him to sixth all time in the 15-16 age division. He has a ways to go to catch up to Justin Lynch’s 52.75 national age group record from 2013.
PASA’s Andrew Liang (53.94), Rose Bowl’s Sascha Subarsky (54.16), Central Bucks’ Greg Brocato (54.21), FAST’s Max Holter (54.31) and Peddie’s Patrick Park (54.72) also competed in the finale.
Pleasanton’s Maxime Rooney broke through 54 seconds with a B final winning time of 53.85. His lifetime best had been a 54.44 from prelims this morning, and he had just enough final stretch speed to separate himself from the pack. AGUA’s Michael Domagala (54.62) and Nitro’s Mason Tenney (54.85) chased down second and third in the consolation heat tonight.
Charger’s Anthony Kim won the C final in the 100 fly with a time of 54.93. That’s his first time under 55 seconds after posting a lifetime best 55.32 this morning. Upper Dublin’s Michael Jensen picked up second-place honors in the heat with a time of 55.20, while Dynamo’s Derek Cox took third overall in 55.26.
Men’s 800 free relay
For the second night in a row, the Indiana University Swim Team – not to be confused with the IU Hoosier athletics college squad even though most of this team will be headed to IU in the fall – took down a meet record. The foursome of Ian Finnerty, Max Irwin, Brandon Colonis and Blake Pieroni checked in with a 7:28.28. The previous meet record also happened to be the 17-18 and 15-18 national age group record of 7:30.87 set by the Litherland triplets and Gunnar Bentz at the 2013 junior nationals. Read a full report on the national age group record, as well as splits from both squads.
The Dayton Raiders’ Tommy Cope, Jackson Higgins, Henrik Pohlmann and Brock Turner took second tonight in 7:31.89, while Tennessee’s Will Arthur, Joshua Romany, Walker Higgins and Hayden Burns touched third in the timed final event with a 7:32.10.
Santa Clara (7:33.49), SwimAtlanta (7:34.33), Upper Dublin (7:35.82), Sarasota YMCA (7:36.76) and Palo Alto Stanford (7:37.33) comprised the rest of the podium placers in the timed finals.