WI Express Winter Challenge
- January 14-17, 2021
- Waukesha South High School, Waukesha, WI
- SCY (25 yards)
- Results on MM: “2021 Express Winter Challenge”
On Sunday in Wisconsin, 15-year-old Maggie Papanicholas won the girl’s 100 breast (1:02.02), within three-fourths of a second of her lifetime best from the Wisconsin 18&Under Championships. That best time ranked her 1st going into finals (contested in long course meters) where she snagged 2nd place behind Lucy Thomas and missed the Olympic Trial qualifying time by .05. While her 100 breast on Sunday is still a Summer Juniors qualifying time, she first obtained a Summer Juniors time in the event at 14 years old in January 2020.
Papanicholas started the Sunday finals session at the Express Winter Challenge by posting a new lifetime best in the 200 IM (2:06.88) and taking two-and-a-half seconds off her previous best from November 2019. With this 4th place finish, she clocked her first Futures qualifying time in the event. Her full event schedule over the weekend (with best times marked with ‘*’) included:
- 200 free – 1:58.24*
- 50 free – 25.29
- 100 back – 59.37
- 200 IM – 2:06.88*
- 100 breast – 1:02.02
- 100 free – 53.88*
At the end of 2019, as a high school freshman, Papanicholas placed 3rd in the 100 breast at the IHSA Girl’s State Championships.
On the boy’s side, Finnley Conklin of Oregon Community Swim Cub snagged 3rd place in the 100 breast (58.41) within 1 second of his personal best time, a Futures qualifying time, which he posted last November.
14-year-old Conklin also claimed 2nd in the 200 breast (2:09.43) on Saturday, touching the wall within 1 second of the lifetime best he swam at the end of November 2020. His best, 2:08.84 is only one-fourth of a second off the 2020 Futures qualifying time.
Nolan Scanlan of Waukesha Express Swim Team (WEST) clocked 2 lifetime bests in the 200 back (1:48.00), and 100 fly (49.99). This was a 1.44 second drop for Scanlan in the 200 and a new Winter U.S. Open qualifying time. Going into this meet, his best was from the 2019 Winter Junior Nationals. His previous best 100 fly time was 50.49 which placed him 3rd at the 2020 Wisconsin 13&Over State Championships.
His WEST teammate Ben Wiegand, a high school senior, took down his personal best by a full second in the 100 breast (55.60), touching the wall in 1st place. His previous best earned him 4th place at the Wisconsin WIAA D1 State Meet in February. Wiegand won the 100 free (45.34) on Sunday as well, coming within .80 of his lifetime best from Winter Juniors last month. He joined the University of Wisconsin’s class of 2026 commits last May.
Other Notable Swims:
- High school sophomore Atticus Nordmeyer from Madison Aquatic Club won the boy’s 200 breast in a lifetime best of 2:06.72, dropping nearly 2 seconds. On Sunday, he dropped almost half a second in the 100 breast (57.15) to claim 2nd place. Both of his previous best times were posted in October.
- 16-year-old Faith Johnson of Rocket Aquatics won the girl’s 100 back (55.82), coming within .30 of the Summer Juniors cut she posted in November.
- Johnson also contested 3 of her Winter Juniors qualifying events, placing 1st in the 200 back (2:02.00), 3rd in the 100 fly (56.35), and 1st again in the 200 fly (2:04.68). None of her swims were personal best times, but she was off by less than 3 seconds in the back, less than 2 seconds in the 100 fly, and about 3.5 seconds in the 200 fly. All of her lifetime bests in these events were posted in 2020.
- 14-year-old Karlee Marusik of WEST won the girl’s 13-14 200 back (2:02.41) by more than 2 seconds on Saturday, coming within about one-third of a second of her lifetime best from November and remaining under the Futures qualifying time. The next day, she took 1st in the girl’s 13-14 100 back (57.78), just over 1 second away from her personal best, also from November.