13- & 14-Year-Olds Set to Tackle 2018 Phillips 66 U.S. National Championships

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The 2018 Phillips 66 U.S. Nationals will splash into action next week in Irvine, California as an important selection meet for the upcoming 2018 Pan Pacific Championships, 2018 Junior Pan Pacific Championships, 2019 World Championships, 2019 World University Games, and 2019 Pan American Games.

While many will be keeping tabs on elite athletes and anxiously awaiting the results of the ‘A’ finals each evening, athletes of all ages will be represented in the competition line-up. Among the Olympians, National teamers, Junior National teamers, and NCAA champions, there are also nine 14-year-olds and one 13-year-olds who will be racing.

Click here to view the entire psych sheet. 

Here is a closer look at the ten youngest athletes competing in Irvine:

1. Charlotte Hook (14)

Charlotte Hook, representing TAC Titans, is one of four 14-year-olds entering five events while in Irvine, California. Hook has elected to swim the 100 and 200 back, 200 fly, and 200 and 400 IM. Her highest seed is in the 200 fly, where she sits at 18th with a 2:11.55. Despite her impressive seed, the LCM National Age Group (NAG) record may be slightly out of reach as it has sat perched at a 2:07.01 since Mary T. Meagher posted it in 1979. Meagher’s NAG record is faster than #1 seed time in the women’s 200 fly (2:07.60) for Nationals.

Hook also sits high on the psych sheet for the women’s 200 IM with a seed time of 2:15.85, just over three seconds off the 13-14 LCM NAG record of 2:12.73 owned by Missy Franklin.

Hook is no stranger to the NAG record book, however, providing the breaststroke relay leg to the TAC Titans’ 200 medley relay NAG record of 1:42.25.

2. Justina Kozan (14)

Justina Kozan of Brea Aquatics has been making a splash on the Southern California Swimming scene for several years now. Kozan holds multiple Age Group records with SoCal Swimming across the 11-12 and 13-14 age groups. For SCY, she holds the 11-12 1000 free (10:12.69) and the 13-14 200 fly (1:57.28), while in LCM she holds the 11-12 200 free (2:05.63), 100 fly (1:03.24), and 400 IM (5:03.21) and the 13-14 100 (1:00.00) and 200 (2:12.35) fly.

Kozan has entered five events for the Phillips 66 U.S. National Championships, emphasizing the butterfly events. She will swim all three butterfly distances, the 200 IM, and the 200 free. Her highest seed of the meet is in the 200 fly, where she sits at 21st with a 2:12.35, just behind fellow 14-year-old Hook.

3. Grace Monahan (14)

Grace Monahan has been making her name known more and more in the swimming community within the last year. An athlete with the Kamehameha Swim Club in Hawaii, Monaham recently traveled to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea as a member of Team Hawaii for the 2018 Oceania Championships. While there, she collected a total of 13 individual and relay medals (4 gold, 1 silver, 8 bronze).

The young Hawaiian has staked her place in history among the Hawaiian Age Group records, holding a whopping 16 LCM and 30 SCY records between individual and relay events. Her records span the age groups of 10 & under, 11-12, and 13-14. For the 11-12 SCY age group records, Monahan owns all but the 50 back and 50, 100, & 200 breast for individual event records.

Monahan has entered a total of three events for her trip to Irvine, entering all three individual butterfly events. Her highest seed is the 200 fly, where she sits at 49th with a seed time of 2:14.23.

4. Rye Ulett (13)

Rye Ulett of Dynamo Swim Club is the youngest swimmer who will be swimming at the Phillips 66 U.S. National Championships. At 13-years-old, she will be swimming in a total of three individual events.

Unlike older sister Tristen, who largely specializes in the butterfly events, the younger Ulett is an avid backstroker and is entered in each of the three backstroke distances. Her highest seed of the week will be in the 200 back where she sits at 28th with a seed time of 2:13.34.

Ulett’s accomplishments were featured in the September 2017 issue of Swimming World Magazine.

5. Claire Tuggle (14)

Claire Tuggle of Clovis Swim club is arguably one of the better known names among the young competitors who will be swimming in Irvine.

The 14-year-old holds a total of eight individual NAG records across two age groups (10 & under and 11-12) and in both SCY and LCM. In SCY, she holds the 10 & under 200 free (1:58.20) and 500 free (5:13.74), while in the 11-12 category she holds the 200 (1:47.71) and 500 (4:49.32) free and the 200 IM (2:03.23. In LCM, she holds the 10 & under 400 free (4:37.41) and the 11-12 200 (2:02.21) and 400 (4:18.41) free.

Tuggle has entered a total of five events for her stay in Irvine: 100, 200 and 400 free, as well as the 200 and 400 IM. Her highest seed is in the 400 free, where she sits as the 12th seed with a 4:11.37, while her second highest is a 15th place seed in the 200 free (1:59.11).

Going up against strong competition in Irvine could push Tuggle to new NAG records as she has been inching closer and closer to Cynthia “Sippy” Woodhead’s 1978 NAG records in both the 200 (1:58.53) and 400 (4:07.15) free.

Tuggle’s accomplishments were celebrated in the June 2017 edition of Swimming World Magazine. 

6. Meghan Lynch (14)

Four years ago, Meghan Lynch did some serious damage to USA Swimming’s NAG record book and tore down three individual breaststroke records. To date, she still holds the 50 (31.73) and 100 (1:08.07) SCY and 100 (1:17.74) LCM breaststroke NAG records.

Lynch, who swims for the Greenwich YWCA Dolphins, is entered a total of five events for the Phillips 66 U.S. Nationals. She will be swimming the 100 and 200 breast, 200 and 400 IM, and the 400 free. Her highest seeds are in the 200 breast and 400 IM where she sits at 46th in both.

The now 14-year-old was featured in 2014 in the July issue of Swimming World Magazine during her NAG record-breaking streak. 

7. Natalie Mannion (14)

Natalie Mannion, who represents Commonwealth Swimming in competition, has entered a total of three events for the Phillips 66 U.S. National Championships. She will be swimming all three distances of backstroke events.

Her highest seed is in the 200 backstroke where she currently sits 43rd with a time of 2:14.65. She sits 81st and 104th in the 50 and 100 respectively.

8. Chase Davison (14)

Chase Davison will be focusing all of her energy on a single event in Irvine – the women’s 200 breast. The 14-year-old from Flatiron Athletic Club currently sits at 49th on the psych sheet with a seed time of 2:33.36.

7 Comments

7 comments

  1. Jim Liguori

    I just hope we still see them in college.

    • Imani Burrell

      As a female swimmer of 17 years, and coach for 30… the greatest determining factor that I’ve seen… is how the girls are treated by the boys team, and their coach. Swimmers are tough, maybe even a bit masochistic… but, if you were unaware, the emotional pressure the men’s team creates for the ladies, along with the physical demands of our sport, is just too much.
      Its time we start talking to our young swimmers. When we make it as easy and enjoyable for our girls, as it is for our boys, we will see more females competing in college, and beyond.

    • Rae Rae

      Imani Burrell this 🙌🏻🙌🏻

  2. avatar
    Anonymous

    Chase now swims with TOPS in Denver.

Author: Taylor Brien

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Taylor Brien is the Assistant Operations Manager and a staff writer at Swimming World. A native of Bettendorf, IA and a 2015 graduate of Illinois College, she has covered a variety of events since joining the SW team in 2015, including the NCAA Championships, World Championships, Olympic Trials, and 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

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