Speedo Summer Championships: 14-Year-Old Alex Shackell Rips Swift 100 Butterfly in Greensboro

Photo Courtesy: Andy Ross

Speedo Summer Championships: 14-Year-Old Alex Shackell Rips Swift 100 Butterfly in Greensboro

On the middle evening of racing at the Speedo Summer Championships in Greensboro, N.C., a 14-year-old from Indiana defeated a swimmer more than twice her age and swam almost as fast as any swimmer her age ever has. In the women’s 100 butterfly, Alex Shackell, who represents Carmel Swim Club, went out in 27.52 and then held off a late charge from Columbus’ Leah Gingrich. Shackell touched the wall in 59.61, just 0.11 ahead of the 31-year-old Gingrich in 59.72. Teenagers Gigi Johnson of Swim Atlanta (59.91) and Tess Howley of Long Island (59.92) broke 1:00 to take third and fourth, respectively.

The men’s 400 IM saw Club Wolverine’s Charlie Swanson grab the win in 4:14.33, about three seconds off his lifetime best of 4:11.46. Swanson got his meet off to a strong start Wednesday when he placed first in the 200 breast and broke 2:10. SwimMAC’s Baylor Nelson continued his strong meet with a 4:20.78 for second, and Club Wolverine’s Jared Daigle took third in 4:23.05. Indiana’s Mackenzie Looze used a stellar breaststroke leg to pull ahead of the field and tak the win in the women’s 400 IM, with Jersey Wahoos’ Erin Cavanagh (4:49.58) and Wolfpack Elite’s Yara Hierath (4:51.13) taking second and third, respectively.

The only other individual event on the day was the men’s 100 fly, and SwimMAC’s Tim Connery won that in 53.07, using a blazing back half to overcome Treasure Coast’s Mitchell Ledford, who ended up just 0.01 behind in 53.08. Cincinnati Marlins’ Aaron Sequeira was third in 53.56.

Finally, the Long Island Aquatic Club’s team of Sophia KarrasChloe Stepanek, Howley and Cavan Gormsen earned an 800 freestyle relay victory in 8:09.48.

The Speedo Summer Championships are taking place as two meets taking place on opposite sides of the country. Half the swimmers are in Greensboro, N.C., while the other half are in Irvine, Calif. The meet replaces the standard end-of-summer championships for senior-level and junior-level athletes, with the two usual events combined due to typical low turnout when the meets are around the same time as the Olympic Games. Older swimmers and 18-and-under swimmers had different time standards required for qualification. Most of the top American swimmers either just finished competing at the Olympics or are taking the summer off after narrowly missing the Olympic team.