Speedo Winter Juniors: Bella Sims, Katie Grimes Face Busy Final Session in Austin

Bella Sims; Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Speedo Winter Juniors: Bella Sims, Katie Grimes Face Busy Final Session in Austin

Bella Sims and Justina Kozan are the top two seeds out of prelims in the girls 200 butterfly at the Speedo Winter Junior Championships West meet in Austin, setting up a showdown Saturday night.

Kozan entered with the quicker time by .13 seconds, but Sims took the top seed in prelims at 1:56.18. Second is Kozan in 1:56.99.

Sims’ swim sets up the first evening in which she and fellow Olympian Katie Grimes won’t go toe to toe. Sims won the 200 free Friday night in a meet record 1:42.92. She got the better of Grimes in Thursday’s 500 free. Grimes is the top seed in the 1,650 free Saturday night, seeded 7.5 seconds quicker than Hayden Miller.

Grimes could face a busy evening, seeded third in the 200 backstroke. She went 1:54.59 in prelims, within a half-second of top seed Kennedy Noble (1:54.18) and Teagan O’Dell (1:54.38). Sims entered with the second-fastest seed time, a second behind Noble.

Sims also swam the 100 free in prelims, finishing sixth in 49.65. The top seed went to Leah Hayes in 49.89, with Katie Crom second (49.37).

Piper Enge dropped more than four seconds to lead the way in the girls 200 breast in 2:11.23. The second seed is Kathryn Hazle, in 2:12.38.

On the boys side in Austin, Keaton Jones set the top time in the 200 back at 1:43.28, just .16 ahead of Chase Mueller. Nick Simons and Kyle Brill also sent sub-1:44 to set up a crowded final.

Fresh off a national age-group record in the 100 fly, Ilya Kharun is the top seed in the 200 fly after clocking in at 1:44.03. He’s nearly a second ahead of second seed David Schmitt, though Kharun will need a big drop to get to Luca Urlando’s 15-16 NAG in the event (1:40.91).

Quintin McCarty is the top seed in a crowded boys 100 free, where the top eight finishers are clustered within nine tenths of a second. McCarty led the way in prelims at 43.23, three tenths up on Alex McMahon. Maximus Williamson (fourth) and Diggory Dillingham (fifth) are looming to challenge.

Zhier Fan grabbed the top seed in the 200 breast at 1:56.89. The two swimmers behind him – Logan Brown in 1:57.64 and Brill in 1:57.64 – each dropped more than a second in prelims from their seed times.

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