Junior National Championships: Trials Sweetheart Allie Szekely in Reach of 200 Breaststroke Meet Record

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, August 13. THE USA Swimming Junior National Championships kicked off in style this morning at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis. The lanes have barely cooled down from last week's US Open Championships before this morning's women's 200 butterfly fired them up again, the first event of Junior Nationals.

200 butterfly:

Of the eight women qualified for the 200 butterfly final, seven bettered their entry times. Anna Quinn of Conejo Simi Swim had the largest drop, knocking almost five seconds off her 2:20.42 entry time, qualifying eighth with a 2:15.66. Lane four tonight goes to Michelle Cefal of Tualatin Hills, with a 2:13.30. Sarasota's Taylor Katz took over a second off her time, posting a 2:13.87, placing her in lane 5 for finals. Sonia Wang of Claremont will compete out of lane 3, with a 2:14.35. Madison Wright from Kingfish Aquatics was the top prelims entrant (2:11.75), but added almost three seconds this morning, bumping her down to fifth going into finals.

The entire finals field is as follows:
Lane 1: Caitlin Casazza — SwimMAC Carolina (2:15.49)
Lane 2: Madison Wright — Kingfish Aquatics (2:14.68)
Lane 3: Sonia Wang — Claremont (2:14.35)
Lane 4: Michelle Cefal — Tualatin Hills (2:13.30)
Lane 5: Taylor Katz — Sarasota (2:13.87)
Lane 6: Kathryn McLaughlin — Mission Viejo Nadadores (2:14.65)
Lane 7: Katelyn Sowinski — Eagle Swim Team (2:15.38)
Lane 8: Anna Quinn — Conejo Simi Swim (2:15.66)

In the men's 200 butterfly, Blue Devil's Matthew Conway took about half a second off his time, qualifying first for finals with a 2:00.82. Of the finals field, Conway displayed some of the most even pacing, going out in a 57.05, and splitting 31-highs the last two 50's. Second-place qualifier James Yoder, of the Georgia Stingrays, had a similar game plan, going out a little slower (58.35), but bringing the second 100 back in a low 1:03, posting a final 2:01.39. Lane 3 tonight goes to Denver Swim Academy's Clark Smith, the top morning seed. Smith posted a 2:01.42 this morning, up from a 1:59.33.

The entire finals field is as follows:
Lane 1: Scott Fortier — Tallahassee (2:03.46)
Lane 2: Joshua Quallen –Dayton Raiders (2:03.09)
Lane 3: Clark Smith — Denver Swim Academy (2:01.42)
Lane 4: Matthew Conway — Blue Devil Swim Club (2:00.82)
Lane 5: James Yoder — Georgia Stingrays (2:01.39)
Lane 6: Justin Lynch — Terrapins (2:02.05)
Lane 7: Andrew Seliskar — CUBU-PV (2:03.27)
Lane 8: Nickolaus Orf — Parkway Swim Club (2:03.70)

200 breaststroke:

Allie Szekely stole the spotlight at the Olympic Trials when she destroyed her 200 breaststroke prelims heat, crushing her best time in the process. This swim boosted her to a 17th-place tie and swim-off, which she also easily won, again improving her best time. Junior Nationals seems to be no different for 14-year-old Szekely, who took over a second and a half off her best time in this morning's prelims, qualifying her first for finals with a 2:28.30. She is in dangerously close reach of the Junior National meet record (2:27.99), set in 2011 by Emma Schoettmer of Center Grove Aquatics. Marisa Pulaski of the Dayton Raiders took off over three second, qualifying second for finals with a 2:33.45. Sarasota's Bethany Leap will swim out of lane 3, also taking off over two seconds with a 2:34.05.

The entire finals field is as follows:
Lane 1: Amy Bopp — Schenectady (2:37.05)
Lane 2: Abigail Fisher — Lakeland Hills (2:36.26)
Lane 3: Bethany Leap — Sarasota YMCA (2:34.05)
Lane 4: Allie Szekely — Central Bucks (2:28.30)
Lane 5: Marisa Pulaski — Dayton Raiders (2:33.45)
Lane 6: Katherine Drabot — Ozaukee Aquatics (2:36.02)
Lane 7: Sara Borendame — Tucson Ford Dealers (2:36.95)
Lane 8: Kate Didion — Terrapins (2:37.55)

In the men's 200 breaststroke, Steven Stumph of Orinda Aquatics demolished his entry time (2:21.21) by over five seconds, clocking a 2:16.10, and qualifying first for finals. This time places him far ahead of second-place qualifier, Loveland's Nicolas Hatanaka, who touched the wall at a 2:18.69. Fort Worth's Joseph Daniels took off nearly two seconds to qualify third tonight with a 2:19.76. Gage Crosby of Razorback Aquatics, was entered first in the event at a 2:17.20, but slipped to fifth in finals after swimming a 2:19.86 this morning.

The entire finals field is as follows:
Lane 1: Eric Holden — SoNoCo Swim Club (2:20.43)
Lane 2: Gage Crosby — Razorback Aquatics (2:19.86)
Lane 3: Joseph Daniels — Fort Worth (2:19.76)
Lane 4: Steven Strumph — Orinda Aquatics (2:16.10)
Lane 5: Nicolas Hatanaka — Loveland (2:18.69)
Lane 6: Michael Duderstadt — Panama City Swim (2:19.77)
Lane 7: Cole Hurwitz — The Dolphins (2:20.38)
Lane 8: Zachary Yong — Orange County (2:20.77)

Check out more of Peter Bick's photos from the Junior Nationals Photo Gallery, like the one below: