15-Year-Old Joshua Matheny Blasts 1:01.06 100 Breast on Night 1 of Speedo Juniors

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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During the first full morning of fast racing at the 2018 Speedo Junior National Championships, Allie PiccirilloJean-Pierre Khouzam, Olivia Calegan and Joshua Matheny all put up the top times in their respective events. They will all have their won set of challengers throughout the heats including big names like Jake Foster in the 100 Breast.

The early heats of the women’s 800 and men’s 1500 Freestyles also posted some big swims – Elise Bauer (8:45.75) and Abigail McCulloh (8:45.87) both posted times that would have been seeded in the top four headed into the meet.

On the men’s side, 16-year-old Jake Mitchell dropped over twenty-seven seconds to swim a 15:36.21. The time is now the fifty-first best performance in history for American 15 to 16-year-old males. The swim is faster than all seed times in tonight’s timed final.

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Women’s 200 Fly

14-year-old Justina Kozan of Brea Aquatics narrowly beat out New Wave’s Amanda Ray to take the 200 Fly 2:10.83 to 2:10.87. The swim was just enough to win, as well as land Kozan as the fifth best 13-14 performer in this event all time.

Ray’s swim lands her just outside the top twenty 15-16 rankings. Kozan was out first at the 100 in a quick 1:03.56, and was able to hold off Ray as the two only differed by one one-hundredth on the back half.

NOVA of Virginia’s Grace Sheble took third in 2:12.72 after being second at the 100. NCAP’s Abby Harter led the remaining swimmers in a close battle for fourth. Her time of 2:13.00 edged out Allie Piccirillo (2:13.01), Ashlyn Fiorilli (2:13.12), Natalie Whalen (2:13.32) and Lauryn Johnson (2:13.91).

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Men’s 200 Fly

Bluefish Swim Club’s Harry Homans got to the wall first in the men’s race finishing in 2:00.29. Coming into the meet with the seventeenth seed, Homans dropped over three seconds to secure the victory. Out in a 57.65, Homans was second at the 100 to Star Aquatics’ Noah Henderson (2:01.01).

It was another close race to top the podium as Zachary Smith came in at 2:00.36 ahead of Ben Miller in 2:00.70. Jean-Pierce Khouzam, the youngest competitor in the heat at 16 years old, took fourth in 2:00.89. The time was just off his prelims mark that ties him for twenty-fifth all time in the 15-16 rankings.

His teammate Nicholas Perera (2:01.07), La Mirada Armada’s Kevin Vargas (2:01.21) and Asphalt Green’s Dylan Porges (2:02.95) rounded out the field.

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Women’s 100 Breast

16-year-old Kaitlyn Dobler blasted a 1:08.90 in the women’s 100 Breast – she is now the tenth best performer in history in this event for 15 and 16 year olds. Fourth at the fifty, Dobler out-split the field in 36.51 to take home the lead. Olivia Coleman was second in 1:09.10 after having the lead halfway in 21.74. Coming in with the eighteenth seed, today was the first time Coleman broke the 1:10 barrier.

Dublin Community’s Ellie Andrews also broke 1:10 for the first time coming in at 1:09.12 for second and the thirteenth-best performance all time. Machine Aquatics’ Anna Keating bettered her prelims swim in a 1:09.45 for fourth.

Val Tarazi led a quartet of 1:10s in the final, coming in at 1:10.01. She was followed by Claire Donan (1:10.25), Taylor Steele (1:10.46) and Isabelle Odgers (1:10.71).

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Men’s 100 Breast

15-year-old Joshua Matheny of Pittsburgh Elite dropped a huge 1:01.06 in the A final of the men’s 100 breast for the win. He dropped nearly three seconds on the day to post the fourth best time in history for 15-16 year olds. He is only behind big names Michael Andrew, Reece Whitley and Noah Emerson with another year to go in this age category. Matheny out-split the field on both fifties, completely dominating this race.

Portland Aquatics’s Josh Bottelberghe finished second in 1:02.05 and was followed closely by Mason Manta Rays’ Jake Foster (1:02.22) and Eastern Iowa’s Forrest Frazier (1:02.63).

Ben Dillard (1:02.64), AJ Pouch (1:02.95), Jason Louser (1:03.47) and Shane Blinkman (1:03.71) placed fifth through eighth.

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Women’s 800 Free

Kensey McMahon of the Bolles School Sharks led the women’s 800 Free from start to finish. The 18-year-old Alabama commit swam a lifetime best to maintain her top spot. NBAC’s Easop Lee, also 18 and a Duke commit, was second in 8:42.78.

NCAP’s Paige McKenna posted an 8:45.51 for third as she cracked the top 100 all-time performances in this event for 15-16 year old swimmers. Swim Florida’s Olivia McMurray, also just 15 years of age, was not far behind in 8:45.53. Both swims were personal bests.

Bauer and McCulloh were able to earn their way onto the podium with their afternoon swims, while Liberty Williams (8:50.27) and Maggie Wallace (8:51.90) took seventh and eighth.

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Men’s 1500 Free

Open Water National Junior Team Member Ivan Puskovitch used his trusted endurance to claim a come-from-behind win in the men’s 1500 free. At the halfway point, Thomas Bretzmann of NCAC held a lead at 7:46.02, while Puskovitch and Christopher Lindley and Mitchell from the afternoon heats were all at 7:48.

The USC commit did not overcome Bretzmann until the 1200 meter mark, but had enough for the win in 15:31.28. The swim was a 14-second drop and places him well into the all-time 17-18 rankings at seventy-eighth. Bretzmann ultimately took second with a twelve-second drop of his own in 15:33.26.

Mitchell and Lindley’s times held for third and fourth overall, while AGUA’s CJ Hinckley raced to a 15:41.41 for fifth. He was followed by Jack Dubois (15:46.02), Jude Williams (15:48.44) and Cale Russell (15:49.76).

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