Speedo East Winter Juniors: Alex Shackell Lowers 100 Fly Meet Record in Golden Double

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Speedo East Winter Juniors: Alex Shackell Lowers 100 Fly Meet Record in Golden Double

Alex Shackell lowered her meet record in the girls 100 butterfly Friday night at the Speedo East Winter Junior Championships, then turned around to win the 200 freestyle one event later.

Shackell won the 100 fly in 49.49 seconds, nearly a second quicker than the meet record of 50.28 seconds that the Carmel swimmer set last year. She also put a scare into the 17-18 National Age Group record, set in 2022 by Claire Curzan at 49.24.

Just minutes later, Shackell was back in the water to win the 200 free in 1:42.72, edging Lillie Nesty by a full second.

Kayla Han started the session by winning the 400 individual medley in 4:06.20. She was two seconds clear of runner-up Emily Thompson, who went 4:08.31. Audrey Derivaux, just 14, finished third in 4:08.51. (Han holds that NAG at 4:06.95).

Second to Shackell in the 100 fly was Lakeside’s Charlotte Crush, the 15-year-old going 5.46. Leah Shackley followed in 50.60, with Annie Jia fourth and Molly Sweeney of Carmel fifth. Derivaux finished seventh in 53.37, .02 slower than she went in the morning.

Nesty clocked in at 1:43.87 in the 200 free. Rylee Erisman, another 14-year-old, finished third in 1:45.28, ahead of Carmel’s Lyndsey Bowen. Han finished eighth in the 200 free final; her best time was 1:47.45 from the morning.

McKenzie Siroky won the 100 breaststroke in 58.81, opening up a massive lead on the opening leg to hold off Addie Robillard, who finished second in 59.33 and was the only swimmer to crack 31 seconds on the final 50. Sweeney was third, also breaking a minute at 59.66.

Crush got the better of Shackley in the 100 backstroke. The 15-year-old won in 50.23 seconds, two tenths off the NAG set in 2021 by Curzan. Shackley was second in 50.63. Jillian Crooks finished third in 51.54, the only other swimmers under 52 seconds.

Alex Shackell led off the winning 200 free relay with a swim of 21.71 seconds. She joined Grace Dougherty, Sweeney and Han to win in 1:29.39. They were up at every wall to finish more than a half-second ahead of Bolles Schools. Lakeside, with Crush leading off in 22.25, tied with Laker Swim Club for third in 1:30.98.

On the boys side, Thomas Heilman picked up another win, though in a slower time than he’d set last year. Heilman bested the field in 44.80 seconds. It’s behind the meet record and NAG that he set in 2022, at 44.67.

Second place went to Lucca Battaglini of East Carolina Aquatics in 46.06. Spencer Nicholas was third in 46.13, with Suburban Seahawks’ Jacob Johnson fourth.

Drew Hitchcock started the finals session by outdueling Gregg Enoch in the 400 IM. Hitchcock clocked in at 3:42.20. Enoch was second in 3:44.80. Landon D’Ariano finished third in 3:45.17, .22 seconds ahead of Baylor Stanton.

Enoch finished third in the 200 free. Jason Zhao won the event in 1:33.51, just over a second behind Heilman’s winning time from last year. Cooper McDonald was second in 1:35.10, leading Enoch (1:35.43) among four total swimmers in the 1:35s.

Jake Wang won the 100 breast in 52.97, just edging out Noah Sakir. The Suburban Seahawks swimmer had been the third seed out of prelims. Cakir went 53.28, followed by Xavier Ruiz and Alexei Avakov. Ten swimmers got under 54 seconds in the final.

Johnny Crush won the boys 100 back with a time of 45.56. He was nearly a second ahead of Kyle Beck’s time of 46.54. Blake Amlicke finished third in 46.62, and Battaglini added another A final to finish in fourth. Stanton was fifth.

Bolles won a thrilling 200 free relay in which the to four were separated by a second. The team of Andy Kravchenko, Seth Tolentino, Carter Lancaster and Alex Meyers-Labenz went 1:19.85 to edge out Cavalier Aquatics. Meyers-Labenz split 19.92 off the end, and Lancaster had the fastest split at 19.82.

Cavalier was out front thanks to Heilman going 19.56 off the front. But they couldn’t quite keep the lead, despite a 19.73 from David King. They finished second in 1:19.88, just .03 back. SwimMAC nearly closed but ended up third in 1:20.09, in part thanks to Granger Bartee splitting 19.66 on the third leg. Suburban was fourth ahead of Lakeside.

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