Joshua Matheny Shakes Up NAG Rankings On First Morning Of Speedo Junior Nationals

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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The first full morning of the 2018 Speedo Junior Nationals kick started Tuesday morning with Joshua Matheny of Pittsburgh Elite dropping two seconds off his entry time to snag the top spot in the 100 breast for tonight. Matheny swam a 1:01.98 to move up to sixth all-time in the event in the 15-16 NAG rankings. The record itself is a 1:00.68 by Michael Andrew from 2015 but Matheny has another year to try and drop from that swim this morning.

Allie PiccirilloJean-Pierre Khouzam and Olivia Calegan put up the other top times in the other events this morning in Irvine.

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Women’s 200 Fly

Allie Piccirillo of Northern Kentucky Clippers posted the number one time in the 200 fly heats on Tuesday morning in Irvine at the Speedo Junior Nationals. Piccirillo is ahead of 14-year-old Justina Kozan of nearby Brea Aquatics, who swam a 2:12.85. Kozan was a little off her best time of 2:12.35 from earlier in the summer at the Swim Meet of Champions in neighboring Mission Viejo.

Piccirillo has also been faster this summer as she was a 2:11.30 for 15th last week at the Phillips 66 Nationals. She is going to be a senior but has already committed to the University of Florida.

Kozan is currently 13th all-time in the 13-14 NAG rankings just behind swimming legend Tracy Caulkins. Kozan was a 2:15 last week at the Phillips 66 Nationals.

Another big name in the A-Final is Ashlyn Fiorilli who is the eighth seed for tonight at 2:15.29. Fiorilli was 13th last week with a 2:11.17.

Amanda Ray (2:13.12), Natalie Whalen (2:13.14), Grace Sheble (2:13.89), Lauryn Johnson (2:14.02) and Abby Harter (2:14.78) also qualified for the A-Final tonight.

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Men’s 200 Fly

Dayton Raiders’ Jean-Pierre Khouzam had the number one time in the 200 fly heats on Tuesday morning at the Speedo Junior Nationals in Irvine. Khouzam swam a 2:00.52 from heat 10 to take lane four for tonight’s A-Final. Khouzam did not swim last week at the Senior Nationals so he is coming in fresh this week.

Zach Smith and Harry Homans are second and third at 2:01.05 and 2:01.24 respectively. Smith just missed making the D-Final last week in Irvine but he swam almost a full second faster this week to get the second seed. Smith swims for Crimson Tide Aquatics but will be swimming at Notre Dame in the fall.

Homans will be a senior but has committed to North Carolina.

Ben Miller (2:01.40), Dylan Porges (2:01.63) and Noah Henderson (2:01.87) also all posted 2:01’s in the heats as it will be a tight field to try and get on top of the podium in the 200 fly final.

Kevin Vargas (2:02.21) and Nicholas Perera (2:02.33) also will swim in the A-Final tonight.

Notably, top seed Carson Foster scratched and did not swim in the heats.

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Women’s 100 Breast

NC State sophomore-to-be Olivia Calegan posted the number one time in the 100 breast heats to open up her Speedo Junior Nationals campaign with a 1:09.54. Calegan did not swim in Irvine last week at the Nationals so she is coming in fresh this week. She already finished her freshman year at North Carolina State where she was 11th in the 100 breast at ACC’s.

Calegan and Ellie Andrews of the Delaware Swim Team were the only ones under 1:10 in the heats as Andrews swam a 1:09.62. Andrew is just 15-years-old and she moved up to 25th in the all-time rankings for the 15-16 age group.

Kaitlyn Dobler (1:10.16) is the third seed tonight ahead of Val Tarazi (1:10.20). Tarazi is about to start her freshman year at Auburn.

Taylor Steele (1:10.41), Anna Keating (1:10.43), Isabelle Odgers (1:10.74) and Claire Donan (1:10.79) also qualified for the A-Final.

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Men’s 100 Breast

Joshua Matheny of Pittsburgh Elite had a two second drop from his seed to go 1:01.98 for the top spot in tonight’s A-Final in the 100 breast. Matheny moved up to sixth all-time in the 15-16 NAG rankings in that event to move just ahead of Daniel Roy (1:02.11) and just behind current USC senior Carsten Vissering (1:01.94).

Matheny is about to start sophomore year in Pittsburgh but he has moved up into one of the best breaststrokers in high school. He is almost a full second ahead of Jake Foster (1:02.91) and Ben Dillard (1:02.97). Foster was a 1:02.69 last week at the Nationals and Dillard is coming in fresh.

Foster has already committed to swim for Texas.

Josh Bottelberghe is about to start his freshman season at Notre Dame and he is the fourth seed for tonight at 1:03.02.

Forrest Frazier (1:03.10), Jason Louser (1:03.14), AJ Pouch (1:03.15) and Shane Blinkman (1:03.21) will also swim in tonight’s A-Final.

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4 Comments

4 comments

  1. Karen Gast

    Is this meet being televised? If so, what channel? Thx!

  2. avatar
    Eileen Shaughnessy

    Ellie Andrews swims for Dublin Community Swim team in Ohio. Go Ellie, Go Seadragons!!

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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