Jake Magahey, Colleen Gillilan Swim To Top Seeds On Third Morning At Speedo Junior Nationals

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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The third morning of the 2018 Speedo Junior Nationals from Irvine, California was a relatively short one with the heats of the 400 free and the 100 fly on the schedule. Andrei Minakov and Alexei Sancov continued their dominance on the short events as they have the top times in the 100 fly.

Colleen Gillilan was the only one to break a minute in the 100 fly heats and Kensey McMahon and Claire Tuggle will battle for their second win of the meet in the 400 free final.

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Women’s 400 Free

800 champion Kensey McMahon cruised to the top seed for the 400 free for tonight with a 4:13.39. McMahon will have a good race tonight with Claire Tuggle in the second spot at 4:13.45 this morning. Tuggle was as quick as a 4:10 last week at Seniors as she is still chasing the 4:07.15 NAG record of Sippy Woodhead’s from 1978. Tuggle is currently fourth all-time in the 13-14 age group behind Woodhead, Becca Mann (4:08.65) and Katie Ledecky (4:09.30).

McMahon has committed to Alabama.

Tuggle is the youngest in the field tonight as 15-year-old Olivia McMurray is the next youngest in the eighth spot. She swam a 4:18.66 in the prelims to get the last spot in the A-Final.

Kaitlynn Sims (4:15.16), Miranda Heckman (4:15.93) and Easop Lee (4:16.59) are all within striking distance of stealing a win tonight as well. Sims is committed to Michigan and was a 4:13 last week, Heckman is committed to Texas and was a 4:15 last week, and Lee is committed to Duke and has a best of 4:11.

Abigail McCulloh (4:18.03) and Amanda Ray (4:18.30) round out the top eight.

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Men’s 400 Free

Swim Atlanta’s Jake Magahey will have the top seed tonight in the 400 free final with his 3:54.13 this morning in Irvine at the Speedo Junior Nationals. Magahey is a second and a half ahead of second place Coleman Kramer (3:55.62) and Owen Kao (3:55.75).

Kramer is about to start his freshman year at South Carolina and Kao is about to start school at Southern California. Kramer had a big drop from his seed time of 4:02 and he climbed all the way to the second seed for tonight.

Julian Hill (3:56.28) is just ahead of 1500 champion Ivan Puskovitch (3:56.39) as the latter will be joining Kao for school at USC next year. Hill will be headed to Arizona State in the fall of 2019.

Jake Mitchell (3:56.73), Calvin David (3:57.57) and Arik Katz (3:57.94) will also swim in the A-final tonight.

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Women’s 100 Fly

Colleen Gillilan of the Fort Collins Area Swim Team was the only swimmer to break 60 seconds in the heats of the 100 fly on Thursday morning at the Speedo Junior Nationals in Irvine. Gillilan was a 59.40 to get the top seed for tonight’s final as the 17-year-old is ahead of 14-year-old Justina Kozan (1:00.39) and 17-year-old Talia Bates (1:00.62).

Gillilan is already committed to Notre Dame and will start in the fall of 2019.

Trude Rothrock is the fourth seed at 1:00.64 as she is already committed to Tennessee.

Gillilan’s Fort Collins teammate Kylee Alons is also in the final in the fifth seed at 1:00.75. Alons is committed to North Carolina State already.

Emma Sticklen (1:00.86) and Jewels Harris (1:00.95) also qualified for the A-Final as there was a tie for eighth between Claire Curzan (1:00.98) and Gillilan’s little sister Renee Gillilan.

Fort Collins has a chance to get three A-finalists if Gillilan can win the swim-off ahead of Curzan. Both swimmers are 14-years-old.

Both Gillilan and Curzan are already in the top 100 for the 13-14 age group for this event. Gillilan is 23rd (1:00.88) and Curzan is 26th (1:00.98) tying her best time today.

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Men’s 100 Fly

The Terrapins Swim Team has been on a role with the duo of Andrei Minakov (53.28) and Alexei Sancov (53.43) swimming lights out this week in Irvine at the Speedo Junior Nationals. Minakov tied the meet record in the 100 free last night and the two teamed up to break the 4×100 free relay meet record from 2014 last night as well.

The rest of the field is pretty solid in tonight’s 100 fly with River Wright (53.81) and Spencer Daily (53.97) breaking 54 seconds. Daily is going to be a freshman at UC San Diego this fall.

Zachary Smith (54.04), Connor Lee (54.21), Ethan Hu (54.46) and Noah Henderson (54.46) also qualified for the A-Final.

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Author: Andy Ross

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Andy Ross is the new man on board at Swimming World. He is based out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He is a 2017 graduate of Southern Illinois University where he graduated cum laude.

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