PALO ALTO, California, August 8. AFTER senior swimming has been on center stage the past few weeks with the FINA World Long Course Championships and the USA Swimming Long Course Nationals taking place, the top junior-level talent in the United States is now on display. The USA Swimming Long Course Junior Nationals opened up with competition today.
Women's 200 fly
In an exciting finale, four swimmers all finished in the 2:11s with Flint's Courtney Weaver winning in 2:11.52. Franco's Kara Kopcso touched just behind with a 2:11.72, while Pleasanton's Celina Li and Kingfish's Madison Wright tied for third with matching times of 2:11.77s. The top 25 times cleared the Olympic Trials cut of 2:16.49.
Men's 200 fly
Denver's Clark Smith topped the men's 200 fly with a 1:59.33 to be the only sub 2:00 time in the event this evening. Mission Viejo's Alejandro Cisneros finished second in 2:00.78, while Stingray's Jimmy Yoder completed the top three in 2:01.12. Nearly 20 swimmers cleared the Olympic Trials cut of 2:03.99.
Women's 200 breast
Center Grove's Emma Schoettmer cleared the meet record in the event with a winning effort of 2:27.99. That time eclipsed the 2:28.70 set by Andrea Kropp of Rattler last year. New Canaan's Kaylin Moss took second in 2:30.95, while SwimMAC's Maija Roses turned in a third-place 2:32.04. A total of 13 swimmers beat the Olympic Trials cut of 2:35.99.
Men's 200 breast
Nitro's William Licon cruised to victory in the distance breaststroke event with a 2:16.09 for the win. Dynamo's Gunnar Bentz turned in a second-place time of 2:17.22, while Curl Burke's Charles Katis hit the wall in 2:17.33 for third-place honors. A total of 16 swimmers posted times faster than the Olympic Trials cut of 2:20.79.
Women's 800 free
Curl Burke's Kathleen Ledecky raced to a win with a time of 8:36.05, just off Lauren Driscoll's 2010 meet record of 8:35.43. Aquazot's Megan Rankin touched second in 8:39.19, while Sarasota's Danielle Valley completed the top three in 8:44.49. The top 10 finishers all beat the Olympic Trials cut of 8:50.49.
Men's 1500 free
Mission Viejo showed its distance prowess with a 1-2 finish in the event. Janardan Burns, a former TYR Age Group Swimmer of the Month in Swimming World Magazine, won the race in 15:34.36. Teammate Logan Redondo took second in 15:37.74, while Sarasota's Derek Pridemore picked up third with a 15:38.14. 17 swimmers beat the Olympic Trials cut of 15:53.59.