Day 4 at the 2012 Junior National Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana saw swimmers from both ends of the spectrum. On the women’s side, we saw a group of winners who are well-established, including a pair of multiple-race winners. The men’s side on the other hand were as spectacular, if not moreso, and included breakouts from a crew of young stars.
Women’s 200 Free Finals
What was expected to be a phenomenal race in the women’s 200 free ended up being a bit of a runaway by North Baltimore’s Gillian Ryan. After a best time in the 400 and the 100, Ryan added one in the 200 free with a 1:59.22: her first time breaking two minutes this season. Her teammate Cierra Runge, winner of the aforementioned 100, was not surprisingly in the lead at the halfway mark; however she couldn’t hold of Ryan’s great third 50, and fell to 3rd place in 2:01.48.
Katie McLaughlin from Mission Viejo used the famed MV closing speed to overtake Runge as well, grabbing silver in 2:01.43. That gives her a third medal in this meet in five events. The top three in this race were all 16 or younger – with overall American depth in this race a bit thinner than we’ve seen in the past,
Men’s 200 Free Finals
Asphalt Green, most famously the home of 2012 Olympian Lia Neal, proved on night 4 of this meet that the Manhattan club is much more than a one-trick pony. Michael Domagala ran away with the title in 1:49.88, which by almost a full second makes him the fastest 16-year old in the country in 2012 (jumping the much better-known Reed Malone).
Thane Maudslien from King Aquatic Club took 2nd in 1:51.34, with SwimMAC’s Peter Brumm touching 3rd in 1:51.93.
Women’s 100 Breaststroke
Central Bucks’ Allie Szekely took her third event win of this meet in the women’s 100 breaststroke with a 1:10.62. After a huge meet so far, she may be wearing down a little bit later in the week – she’s been almost a second faster this year – but this result is still much faster than any other 14-year old in the country has been this year. Showing her endurance though (her other two wins were the 200 breast and 400 IM), she came about as close to even-splitting this race as anyone you’ll see – including Rebecca Soni. She was out in 34.4 and back in a 36.1.
Central Iowa Aquatics’ Katharine Ross took 2nd in 1:10.85. In 3rd was Crown Canyon’s Heidi Poppe in 1:11.16; she’s the defending North Coast Section Champion in California High School swimming. She’s going into her junior season, and as good as this long-course time was, she’s even better in yards.
15-year old Miranda Tucker from Plymouth-Canton was 4th in 1:11.39; though she’s been a full second better this year.
Men’s 100 Breaststroke
The top four in this race were separated by only .12 seconds, and ironically it was the swimmer who is both the youngest and was the slowest coming home who was able to just barely hold off the field for the victory. 15-year old Carsten Vissering from CUBU touched 1st in 1:03.44, followed by a tie for 2nd between Steven Stumph and Gage Crosby in 1:03.54.
For Vissering, that’s the fastest time by an American in at least the last decade.
Daniel Le from Star Aquatics was 4th in 1:03.56.
Women’s 100 Back
There have been some young swimmer do some fast swims in this meet. It’s Junior Nationals: that is what this week is all about. But this girls’ 100 backstroke was that amplified. The winner from King Aquatic Club was 16-year old Hannah Weiss in 1:02.22. But behind her, the 2nd-place finisher was Courtney Mykkanen from Irvine Novaquatics in 1:02.30, the number-8 time in the history of the age group, and 6th-place finisher Keaton Blovad from the Phoenix Swim Club in 1:03.01. Blovad was a bit faster in prelims, but she also sits in the top-15 all-time in the age group with more than a year to go.
The J-Hawk Aquatic Club’s Bridgette Alexander was 3rd in 1:02.30, making her actually one of the veterans of the group. The average age of finalists in this race was exactly 15 years old.
Men’s 100 Back
The boys’ version of the race was a little bit more veteran, with their average finalist hitting 17 on the nose (at the old end for this meet in an Olympic year). Carpet Capital’s Taylor Dale got the win in 55.98, followed by Aaron Greene from the Nadadores of North Texas in 56.30.
Sven Campbell and Matthew Josa, each now with multiple podiums to their names, tied for 3rd in 56.50.