Claire Tuggle Posts Fifth-Fastest 13-14 400 IM in History at Speedo Junior Nationals

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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Meet records were on the line tonight after the second morning of competition at the 2018 Speedo Junior National Championships. Andrei Minakov was the only swimmer to hit the mark as he tied Vlad Morozov’s meet record in the 100 free in 49.06.

Other top seeds included Alexandra Crisera and Christiana Regenauer in the 200 back and 100 free, as well as Grace Sheble and Jason Louser in the 400 IM. Crisera, Regenauer and Louser maintained their positions at the top of the pack while 14-year-old Claire Tuggle edged out AGUA’s Isabel Gormley for the win in the 400 IM.

Heat Sheets
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Women’s 200 Back

Beach Cities Swimming’s Crisera remained atop the 200 back standings by dropping even more time off her prelims swim in 2:12.52. The 17-year-old came into the meet as the third seed in 2:14.96 before winning the event this evening. Her time is now thirty-ninth in the all-time rankings for this age category.

Crisera was nearly dead-even with runner-up Mara Newman of Lake Oswego Swimming at the 100, but pulled away on the back half. Newman also came into the meet with a 2:14, setting a personal best in tonight’s finals (2:13.21). Fort Collins’ Kylee Alons won a close battle for third over NBAC’s Lauren Poole (2:13.59) and SwimMAC’s Sinclair Larson (2:13.88) with a time of 2:13.54.

Jessica Davis (Crow Canyon – 2:14.38), Annie Behm (Jersey Wahoos – 2:14.56) and Emily Lenihan (Lakeside – 2:15.55) placed sixth through eighth. Davis was the top 15-16 finisher, earning a spot in the all-time top 100 rankings in this event at sixty-third.

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Men’s 200 Back

Ethan Harder of Billings Aquatics broke two minutes for the first time with a 1:59.07 to win the 200 back. The swim is now nineteenth in the all-time 17-18 rankings for this event. Harder out-split the field on the back half in 1:00.87 after a controlled start. His patient approach allowed him to pass Foster and Heart of Texas’ Will Grant on the final fifty.

After getting off to a quick start of 57.70, Foster faded to second after posting a 1:57.70 at last week’s Phillips 66 National Championships. Grant finished third in 1:59.95.

SwimAtlanta’s Keegan Walsh led the remaining swimmers in 2:00.68. He was followed by Tim Gallagher (Poulsbo Pirhanas – 2:03.14), Nathan Hayes (SMAC – 2:04.31), Harry Homans (Bluefish – 2:05.16) and Jared Daigle (North Shore- 2:07.03).

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Women’s 100 Free

16-year-old Christiana Regenauer of Condors Swim Club blasted a personal best 55.59 to win the women’s 100 free. The swim is now tied for twentieth all time for 15 to 16 year olds. Regenauer was tied with runner-up Samantha Pearson (55.65) of Brea Aquatics at the halfway point, but was the only swimmer to return under twenty-nine seconds. Pearson’s swim ranks just behind in twenty-sixth.

Dart Swimming’s Amalie Fackenthal took third in 56.36 and was closely followed by Irvine Novaquatics’ Ayla Spitz (56.43) and Carmel Swim Club’s Trude Rothrock (56.61).

NCAP’s Erin Gemmell was out third to the wall in a quick 27.01. The thirteen year old posted a 56.72, just off her prelims swim which ranks seventeenth in the all-time rankings. Waves of Bloomington’s Melissa Pish was seventh in 56.76 while Pro Swimming’s Janelle Rudolph was eighth in 56.97.

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Men’s 100 Free

Terrapins’ Andrei Minakov put up a huge 49.06 to win tonight’s 100 free – the swim ties the Championship Meet Record. The previous mark of 49.06 was set in 2010 by World Championship and Olympic Gold Medalist Vladimir Morozov. The 16-year-old was out in a blistering 23.47 and held on for the win.

He was challenged on the back half by Terrapin teammate Alexei Sancov who out-split the field on the second fifty with a 25.33.

18-year-old Matthew Willenbring claimed the third spot in 50.57 just ahead of Michigan Lakeshore’s Skyler Cook-Weeks in 50.61. The men were followed by Coco Bratanov (Katy – 50.77), Jack Walker (SwimMAC – 50.99), David Madej (SwimUnited – 51.17) and Topher Stensby (Patriot – 51.59).

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Women’s 400 IM

The closest battle of the night came not from the sprint event, but the women’s 400 IM as Clovis Swim Club’s 14-year-old Claire Tuggle (4:44.91) and Asphalt Green’s Isabel Gormley (4:45.06) went back-and-forth in a race separated by just fifteen one-hundredths in the end.

Tuggle was out an early lead in 1:04.47, but was out-split by Gormley on the backstroke 1:13.42-1:14.64. The 16-year-old from New York City then maintained the lead but could not hold off a charging Tuggle on the final fifty. The overall times are now fifth and twenty-fifth in their respective all-time age groups.

Grace Sheble of NOVA of Virginia was also in the mix coming in at a lifetime best 4:46.97 while 757’s Colby Hurt was next in a best 4:47.80. Magnolia’s Kaitlynn Sims (4:48.27), NBAC’s Lauren Poole (4:52.68), Hudson Explorer’s Paige McCormick (4:54.45) and Bluefish’s Summer Smith (4:54.75) rounded out the top eight.

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Men’s 400 IM

Cal Commit and Long Island Aquatic Club’s Jason Louser ran away with the men’s 400 IM in 4:18.59 – the twenty-second best performance in history for 17-18 year olds. Louser came into the meet as the fifth seed with a 4:23.29 before shattering his personal best for the victory.

Jake Foster earned second place in the field with a swim of 4:20.20, just off his 4:19.18 from last week’s National Championships. Likewise, Kevin Vargas of La Mirada Armada was third in 4:23.17, off his personal best from Nationals.

Nicholas Perera of the Dayton Raiders and 1500 Champion Ivan Puskovitch of Episcopal Academy then tied for fourth  in 4:23.17. Both swims were lifetime bests. Andrew Winton (SwimAtlanta – 4:23.81), Jarod Arroyo (Pitchfork Aquatics – 4:24.86) and Zachary Tan (Phoenix Swim Club – 4:27.34) were the remaining top eight finishers.


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