Carson Foster, Andrei Minakov Challenge Meet Records On Second Morning Of Speedo Junior Nationals

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The second full morning of the 2018 Speedo Junior Nationals from Irvine, California had some records under threat with Carson Foster challenging Alex Katz’s meet record in the 200 back and Andrei Minakov challenging Vlad Morozov’s meet record in the 100 free.

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Women’s 200 Back

17-year-old Alexandra Crisera topped the leaderboard in the 200 back heats with a 2:13.17. Crisera swims out of the Beach Cities Swimming club out of Manhattan Beach, California. Crisera is the top seed as only her and North Baltimore’s Lauren Poole broke 2:14 in the prelims. Poole is the second seed at 2:13.43. Poole is going to be a senior but has already committed to Kentucky.

A trio of 18-year-olds follow the leaders with Kylee Alons (2:14.05) in third place with Mara Newman (2:14.59) and Sinclair Larson (2:14.87) following her. Alons will be a freshman at NC State, Newman will be a freshman at UCLA, and Larson will be a freshman at Tennessee this fall.

Annie Behm is the youngest A-finalist at 15 for the Jersey Wahoos (2:15.24) as she is the sixth seed.

Emily Lenihan (2:15.54) and Jessica Davis (2:15.62) are the other two A-finalists for tonight.


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Men’s 200 Back

Carson Foster of the Mason Manta Rays easily qualified as the number one swimmer in the 200 back heats to start his Speedo Junior Nationals campaign with a 1:59.13 on Wednesday morning in Irvine. Foster was the only swimmer under two minutes in the 200 back as he is well ahead of second place Will Grant (2:00.35).

Ethan Harder from Billings in Montana is the third seed at 2:01.22 ahead of Swim Atlanta’s Keegan Walsh (2:01.41). Foster and Harder have both committed to Texas with Harder getting there a year before Foster will.

Foster is also within striking distance of the meet record of 1:58.83 held by Alexander Katz from 2013. Foster has already been faster this season.

Walsh will be a freshman this fall at Georgia.

Nathan Hayes (2:03.33), Tim Gallagher (2:03.33), Jared Daigle (2:03.43) and 200 fly champion Harry Homans (2:03.54) qualified for the A-Final.


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Women’s 100 Free

Christiana Regenauer of Condors Swim Club took the top spot in the 100 free heats on Wednesday morning in Irvine at the Speedo Junior Nationals. Regenauer was the only one to break 56 seconds with her 55.73 to lead the prelims. Regenauer is going to be a senior but has already committed to the University of Louisville.

Regenauer is half a second ahead of second seed Samantha Pearson (56.20) of nearby Brea Aquatics. Pearson saw her teammate, Justina Kozan take out the 200 fly win last night. Carmel’s Trude Rothrock (56.46) is the third seed as she is committed to Tennessee.

The field behind Regenauer is very tight as all seven of them swam 56’s in the prelims. Amalie Fackenthal, who was the original top seed coming into the meet, is the fourth seed at 56.50, a little slower than her 55.61 seed time. Fackenthal is about to start her freshman season at Stanford this fall.

Ayla Spitz (56.56), Melissa Pish (56.57), Janelle Rudolph (56.59) and Erin Gemmell (56.62) also swam to get in the top eight tonight.

Gemmell is the youngest swimmer in the field at just 13 years of age as she is now tied for 17th all-time in the 13-14 NAG rankings with Lindsey McKnight.


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Men’s 100 Free

The Terrapins Swim Team took the top two spots in the men’s 100 free heats with 16-year-old Andrei Minakov (49.72) and 18-year-old Alexei Sancov (50.13) taking the top two seeds for tonight. Minakov moved up to number three all-time in the 15-16 age group with his time behind Caeleb Dressel (49.28) and Destin Lasco (49.40). Minakov joins Lasco and Adam Chaney in the sub-50 second club in 2018 for 15-16 year olds.

Sancov is the defending champion in this event as he won in 2017. Sancov is headed to USC this fall and he will be eyeing the meet record of 49.06 by former Trojan Vlad Morozov from 2010.

The rest of the A-Final is pretty tight with Skyler Cook-Weeks(50.43) and Matthew Willenbring (50.48) following in third and fourth. Cook-Weeks will be a freshman at Queens this fall and Willenbring is headed to Texas.

Jack Walker (50.66), Coco Bratanov (50.76), Topher Stensby (50.81) and David Madej (50.97) also will join the stacked A-Final.

Walker is headed to Virginia, Bratanov is headed to Texas A&M, Stensby is headed to Notre Dame and Madej is headed to Stanford.


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Women’s 400 IM

15-year-old Grace Sheble of Nova of Virginia took the top spot in the 400 IM heats with a time of 4:47.48. Sheble was a 4:46 last week at Senior Nationals so she could be in to lower her best time tonight if she can continue that double taper.

Sheble is over a second ahead of 14-year-old Claire Tuggle (4:48.72) as she moved up to 12th all-time in the 13-14 age group with that swim. Tuggle moved ahead of Annie Zhu and sits just behind 2004 Olympian Kristen Caverly.

Lauren Poole (4:49.03) of North Baltimore and Isabel Gormley (4:49.39) were the other two swimmers to break 4:50 in the prelims. Poole is already committed to Kentucky.

This is a very young field in the 400 IM final with 18-year-old Samantha Shelton (4:51.97) in eighth spot being the oldest swimmer. Poole and Kaitlynn Sims (4:51.31) are both 17 years old as Sims is committed to swim at the University of Michigan.

Gormley, Colby Hurt (4:50.47) and Paige McCormick are all 16, while Sheble and Summer Smith (4:51.97) are 15.


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Men’s 400 IM

17-year-old Jason Louser of Long Island closed out the Wednesday morning heats in Irvine with a smooth 4:21.82 in the 400 IM to lead the qualifiers. Louser is ahead of fellow 17-year-olds Kevin Vargas (4:22.65) and Jake Foster (4:23.15) as the winner could likely come from that trio tonight.

Louser is already committed to Cal while Foster is going to Texas and Vargas has yet to commit.

The rest of the field is pretty experienced as everyone is either 17 or 18 years of age with the exception of 15-year-old Zachary Tan in the seventh spot (4:26.57).

18-year-olds Nicholas Perera (4:24.22) and Andrew Winton (4:26.69) advanced to the final. Perera has committed to Alabama while Winton has committed to Notre Dame.

17-year-olds Jarod Arroyo (4:24.81) and 1500 champion Ivan Puskovitch (4:25.27) will also swim in tonight’s A-Final.


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