Regan Smith Leads 200 IM Prelims Field at Winter Juniors-West

Photo Courtesy: Donna Nelson

Competition for the 2016 Speedo Winter Junior Championships West continued in College Station, Texas this morning as athletes vied for the finals spots in the 500 free, 200 IM, and 50 free.

Women’s 500 Free:

Evie Pfeifer of CSP Tideriders and Zoe Gawronska of Tidal Wave posted close times in prelims of the women’s 500 free, stopping the clock a slim .05 seconds apart to take the top two seeds going into tonight’s finals. Pfeifer claims the top seed with a 4:44.68, followed closely by Gawronska’s 4:44.73.

Kaitlynn Sims of Magnolia Aquatics turned in a time of 4:45.02 to take the third place seed, while Taylor Ault of La Mirada Armada was fourth with a close 4:45.08.

Austin Swim Club’s Dakota Luther (4:45.12), Mansfield Aquatics Haley Yelle (4:43.63), Texas Ford Aquatics Gabrielle Kopenski (4:46.96), and Iowa Flyers’ Ruby Martin (4:47.47) complete the top eight qualifiers.

Men’s 500 Free:

Jack Levant of North Texas picked up the top seed in prelims of the men’s 500 free, stopping the clock at a time of 4:18.20.

Lakeside Aquatics’ Alexander Zettle grabbed the second place seed with a 4:19.73, while Patrick Callan of Trident Aquatics turned in a 4:19.86 for third.

Zach Yeadon of Alamo Area Aquatics posted a 4:22.21 for fourth, followed by Scottsdale Aquatic Club’s Aaron Apel and his time of 4:22.88.

Edina Swim Club’s Johnthomas Larson (4:23.52), Empire KC Swim Club’s Liam Bresette (4:23.52), and North Texas’ Colter Carman (4:23.62) rounded out the top eight.

Women’s 200 IM:

14-year-old Regan Smith led a trio of swimmers beneath the two-minute mark in prelims of the women’s 200 individual medley. Smith stopped the clock at a 1:59.16 to return as the top seed for tonight’s finals.

Chloe Clark of Sierra Marlins and Fort Collins’ Zoe Bartel picked up second and third respectively with times of 1:59.19 and 1:59.43.

CSP Tideriders’ Evie Pfeifer returned from a short break after the 500 free to grab the fourth place seed with a time of 2:00.07, just ahead of Aggie Swim Club’s Julia Cook and her time of 2:00.20.

Longhorn Aquatics’ Regan Barney (2:00.58), Sierra Marlins’ Dasha Pastushenko (2:00.79), and Iowa Flyers’ Ruby Martin (2:01.15) finished sixth through eighth.

Men’s 200 IM:

Shane Blinkman of St. Croix Swim Club took first in prelims of the men’s 200 individual medley with a top qualifying time of 1:46.03.

Austin Swim Club’s Matthew Willenbring grabbed the second place seed with a 1:47.00, followed closely by Pikes Peak’s Daniel Carr and his time of 1:47.03.

Bryce Mefford of the Sierra Marlins posted a 1:47.05 for the fourth place seed, just ahead of Palo Alto Stanford’s Alex Liang’s 1:47.47.

Jeffco Hurricane’s Michael Zarian (1:47.87), Shaine Casas (1:47.90), and Lane Four Aquatics’ Caleb Aman (1:49.02) qualified sixth through eighth.

Women’s 50 Free:

Grace Ariola of Waves Bloomington led a tightly packed field of 16- and 17-year-olds in prelims of the women’s 50 free. Ariola delivered a top qualifying time of 22.55.

Aquzaot’s Eva Merrell posted a second place qualifying time of 22.62, followed closely by Aggie Swim Club’s Julia Cook (22.73) and Quicksilver’s Lauren Green (22.74).

Amalie Fackenthal of Davis Aquadarts grabbed the fifth place seed with a time of 22.76, just ahead of CATs Aquatic Team’s Daria Pyshnenko and her time of 22.78.

Fort Collins’ Kylee Alons and SOCAL’s Elise Garcia were seventh and eighth respectively with times of 22.84 and 23.02.

Men’s 50 Free:

Ryan Hoffer of Scottsdale Aquatic Club uncorked a sizzling 18.88 to obliterate the men’s 50 free prelims field. Hoffer’s time is just shy of Caeleb Dressel’s 18.67 National Age Group record from 2015 and improves upon his second place standing in the All-Time Top 100 records. His previous best was a 19.06 making him only the second 17-18 year old to post a sub-19 second swim in the 50 free.

Teammate Jack Blake and Dads Club’s Clayton Bobo delivered matching times of 20.03 to tie for the second place seed in tonight’s final, while North Texas’ Jack LeVant took fourth with a 20.23.

Cooper Deryk of Truckee-Tahoe turned in a 20.32 for the fifth place seed, just ahead of Sierra Marlins’ Bryce Medford’s 20.33.

Shaine Casas and Austin Swim Club’s Matthew Willenbring rounded out the top eight qualifiers with times of 20.34 and 20.38 respectively.

1 Comment

1 comment

  1. avatar
    Dunc1952

    Ryan actually the 4th teenager (includes 19 year olds) to go sub-19 (best teenagers/times below):
    *************
    1 18.20 Dressel, Caeleb 19 FL Unattached 2016 Mens NCAA D1 03/24/16
    2 18.84 Feigen, James 19 ST Unattached 2009 Men’s NCAA DI 03/26/09
    3 18.88 Hoffer, Ryan 18 AZ Scottsdale Aquatics 2016 Speedo Short Course Juniors 12/8/16
    4 18.94 Adrian, Nathan 19 PN Tacoma Swim Club 2008 Husky Invite 12/04/08

Author: Taylor Brien

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Taylor Brien is the Assistant Operations Manager and a staff writer at Swimming World. A native of Bettendorf, IA and a 2015 graduate of Illinois College, she has covered a variety of events since joining the SW team in 2015, including the NCAA Championships, World Championships, Olympic Trials, and 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

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