U.S. Junior Nationals: Will Modglin Sets 100 Back Meet Record; Kayla Wilson, Maggie Wanezek Win Tight Finals

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Will Modglin -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

U.S. Junior Nationals: Will Modglin Sets 100 Back Meet Record; Kayla Wilson, Maggie Wanezek Win Tight Finals

In the men’s 100 backstroke at U.S. Junior Nationals Thursday evening in Irvine, Calif., a pair of swimmers went under the meet record established by Hunter Armstrong in 2019, two years before his surprise qualification to the U.S. Olympic team in the event.

Firestone Akron’s Jonny Marshall was in first place by a half-second at the 50-meter mark, but Zionsville’s Will Modglin tracked down Marshall on the back half and pulled ahead. Eventually, Modglin got the win in 54.41, knocking off Armstrong’s mark of 54.97, while Marshall came in at 54.72, also under the record. Third went to Flood Aquatics’ Josh Zuchowski in 55.18.

An extremely tight finish in the women’s 200 freestyle went to Tide Swimming’s Kayla Wilson, who added to her earlier triumph in the 100 free. Mission Viejo’s Justina Kozan led for the entire race, but a strong finishing surge by Wilson got her to the wall in 1:58.69, just ahead of Kozan’s 1:58.80. Longhorn’s Jillian Cox, who won the 400 and 800 free, also closed hard to take third in 1:58.95.

An anticipated showdown in the women’s 100 backstroke went to Elmbrook’s Maggie Wanezek. Carmel’s Berit Berglund was out three tenths ahead of Wanezek, but Wanezek came over the top on the back half to get to the wall in 1:00.46, her best time by three tenths, while Berglund settled for second in 1:00.85. Those two swimmers will represent the U.S. in the event at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships later this month. Irvine Novaquatics’ Teagan O’Dell placed third in 1:01.40.

Jersey Wahoos’ Henry McFadden picked up a comfortable win in the men’s 200 free with a time of 1:48.27, with Foothills’ Chase Mueller (1:49.60) and Cavalier’s Thomas Heilman (1:50.34) placing second and third, respectively. Swim Atlanta’s Katie Christopherson won the women’s 200 breast in 2:28.76, while 14-year-old Raya Mellott from Crow Canyon Sharks took second (2:29.93) and Tualatin Hills’ Katherine Adams placed third (2:30.97). Coronado Swim Association’s Nick Mahabir completed his sweep of the men’s breaststroke events as he topped the 200-meter field in 2:12.54, with Ames Cyclone’s Joshua Chen (2:13.71) and Loveland’s Jake Eccleston (2:14.46) rounding out the top three.

Elmbrook’s team of Wanezek, Lucy ThomasCampbell Stoll and Abby Wanezek won the women’s 400 free relay in 3:46.64, and the men’s relay went to the Dynamo team of Owen McDonaldLeo Roden, Cooper Cook and Idris Muhammad in 3:25.12.

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