2019 Speedo USA Junior Nationals Day 1 Finals: More Than 60 Swimmers Qualify For the 2020 Olympic Trials On Night One

Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

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The first night of the Speedo USA Junior Nationals turned into a celebratory affair for more than 60 swimmers who garnered qualifying times for the 2020 Olympic Trials in Omaha. Being held at Stanford’s Avery Aquatic Center, the meet follows last week’s U.S. Nationals and features a mix of athletes who raced at Nationals and who are making this week their primary summer competition. Here’s a look at how Night One unfolded.

Women’s 200 Fly 

Olympic Trials cut: 2:14.59 

Returning champion Justina Kozan had her eye on the prize this evening in the women’s 200 fly. Kozan started off fast by going out in a 1:01.19. In the end, Kozan went a time of 2:09.68, 1.50 seconds ahead of her competitors.

Dropping over a second form prelims was Lucy Bell with a time of 2:11.18, followed very closely by Tess Howley (2:11.41), Grace Sheble (2:11.62), and Tristen Ulett (2:11.68).

Taking sixth was Rachel Klinker with a time of 2:12.25, followed in seventh by Kate McCarville with a time of 2:13.16, and in eighth Brynn Wright with a time of 2:13.17.

All of the women in the 200 fly A finals swam well and earned an Olympic Trials cut. On top of that, nine other swimmers between the B and C heats qualified for Trials.

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Men’s 200 Fly 

Olympic Trials cut: 2:01.19 

The top four swimmers in the men’s 200 fly managed to break the two minute mark in this evening’s A final. Mason Laur, who had already dropped an impressive amount of time in prelims, dropped yet another 1.44 seconds to go a time of 1:59.25 and claim the victory.

Dropping from both his prelims time and seed time was second place finisher Ben Miller with a time of 1:59.49. Miller held a very strong and consistent pace throughout his race by holding onto two 30-second 50s in the middle of his race.

Following Miller by only .01 of a second was Matthew Fenlon with a time of 1:59.50. Fenlon went out strong and was first to the wall with a 25.49 in his first 50, and managed to hold onto first place until the last few meters of the race.

Also coming in under the Olympics Trials cut was Carl Bloebaum, who came in fourth with a time of 1:59.94 and Jace Crawford who came in fifth with a time of 2:00.85.

In sixth was Adam Mahler (2:01.49), in seventh was Stephen Jones (2:01.66), and in eighth was Justin Hussong (2:03.55).

Three of the men in the B finals and one of the men in the C finals also succeeded in getting their qualifying time for Trials.

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Women’s 100 Breast 

Olympic Trial cuts: 1:10.99 

Coming in first at the age of 15 was Lydia Jacoby with a time of 1:08.12. Jacoby dropped nearly two seconds from this mornings swim, and .69 from her time at Nationals. Jacoby celebrated not only a time drop but winning her first Speedo USA Junior Nationals title.

In second place was Emma Weber with a time of 1:08.73, followed by Taylor Steele with a time of 1:09.07. Steele was first at the 50m mark with a split of 31.80.

In fourth was Aubree Brouwer (1:09.07), in fifth was Grace Rainey (1:09.42), in sixth was Sophia Zhang (1:09.74), in seventh was Janessa Mathews (1:10.22), and in eighth was Morganne Malloy (1:10.58).

All eight women in the A finals qualified for the Olympic Trials, along with five other girls in the B and C heats. Including Natalie Bercutt in the C final who managed to be exactly on the trials time with a 1:10.99.

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Men’s 100 Breast 

Olympic Trial cuts: 1:03.29 

Liam Bell took the gold by dropping .30 of a second and going a final time of 1:01.19. Bell was off to a quick start going a 28.49 in the first 50m of the race.

Ben Dillard and Keven Houseman were neck and neck throughout the entire race. Both boys came into the 50m mark at a 28.78, but it was Dillard who got his hands on the wall first with a time of 1:01.97, followed by Houseman with a time of 1:01.97.

In fourth place was Maxwell Reich (1:02.27), in fifth was Hayden Zheng (1:02.43), and in sixth was Tim Connery (1:02.55).

Will Goodwin came in seventh with a time of 1:02.64, but had the fastest reaction time of the heat at .59 of a second. Following Goodwin was Andrew Karpenko in eighth with a time 1:03.55.

The top seven men of the A final qualified for the Olympic Trials cut as well as five of the men from the B final.

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Women’s 800 Free 

Olympic Trial cuts: 8:48.09 

The top three women in the 800 free powered through the race to earn an Olympic Trials Cut.

Taking the gold was 15 year old Claire Tuggle with a time of 8:38.55. Tuggle was averaging an impressive speed of 32 seconds for her 50s throughout the race.

Coming in second place, at just 14 years of age, was Jillian Cox. Despite her young age, Cox knows how to race. Her final time was a 8:44.99.

Kaitlynn Sims came in third with a time of 8:47.20, less than a second under the Olympics Trials cut. Coming in fourth and a second after Sims was Sophia Karras with a time of 8:48.20.

In fifth was Juli Arzave (8:49.63), in sixth was Yulia Groysman (8:49.65), in seventh was Eliot Kennedy (8:49.93), and in eighth was Morgan Razewski (8:50.54).

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Men’s 1500 Free 

Olympic Trial cuts: 15:44.89 

James Plage captured the title in the men’s 1500 free, out-touching the second place finisher, David Johnston, by just over 16 seconds. Plage went a time of 15:16.97, and Johnston went a 15:33.36. Taking the bronze and following very closely behind Johnston was Charlie Clark with a time of 15:33.51. The two boys were only .15 of a second apart, though they weren’t personally racing one another being that they were in separate heats.

In fourth was Scott Pekarske with a time of 15:33.86, followed by his FORD teammate, Aidan Reagan with a time of 15:35.35.

In sixth was Peter Thompson (15:35.51), in seventh was Cole Kuster (15:39.04), and in eighth was Brendan Driscoll (15:39.43).

The top ten men in the 1500 free were under 15:44.89, qualifying them for the 2020 Olympic Trials.

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John M Razi
3 years ago

McKenna E. , great work SW, Love your coverage ! Your ‘new-format’, so good – a “difference-maker” !!! Still appreciate ‘splits’ ! Many first rate journalists !!!! +++ the recent addition of superb writers..Craig Lord & John Lohn – a world-class move. They bring so much ! Fun, vibrant, well delineated….!

3 years ago

Joe Hale