15-Year-Old Tess Howley Swims Sub-50 Second 100 Free


  • September 18th – 20th, 2020
  • Freedom Pool, Nassau County, New York
  • Short Course Yards (SCY)
  • Results on Meet Mobile: “2020 MR LIAC Fall of COVID”

The Long Island Aquatic Club hosted a swim meet over the weekend with competing teams Team Suffolk and Three Village Swim Club at the Freedom Pool. The meet name could be a seasonal pun or a hopeful phrase demanding the fall of the coronavirus pandemic, and the rise of swimming.

On Sunday, National Junior Team member Tess Howley broke the 50 second 100 free barrier for the first time with a best time of 49.95. Her previous best time (50.05) was from the 2018 NCAP Invitational. Including her 100 free win, Howley was the first female finisher in all 6 events that she swam last weekend:

  • 200 free – 1:48.64
  • 50 free – 23.69
  • 100 fly – 53.83
  • 100 free – 49.95
  • 200 fly – 1:55.74
  • 100 back – 55.98

The boys 200 free saw 6 swimmers touch the wall within 2 seconds of each other. 1st place finisher JuanCarlos Castrillon (16) won by the same 2 second margin in a time of 1:41.38, while Alvin Tsai (1:43.44) outtouched Liam Preston (1:43.54) for second place. Castrillon is currently ranked 1st in New York in the event.

Later that day Preston claimed 1st in the 100 fly with a best time of 52.93. LIAC’s Billy Swartwout (18) touched the wall second with a significant time drop of 1.70 seconds. Swartwout finished in a time of 53.33, just .01 seconds ahead of 15-year-old Noah Giunta.

Swartwout dominated the 200 back (1:51.53) and 100 back (51.18). Second-place finisher in both events Matt Beehler (15) dropped 1.15 seconds for a best time of 1:54.09 in the 200 and he finished the 100 back with a best time of 52.83.

Kiki Kennedy (16) led all girls in the 100 backstroke swimming 1:59.48. That is a best time by almost 6-and-a-half seconds and gives he a Winter Juniors cut where previously she didn’t even have a Futures cut. Her old best time of 2:05.96 was done last December.

Michael Jang (15) broke the 1 minute 100 breast barrier for the second time in his career on Saturday with a time of 59.44. Jang’s previous best time of 59.92 was from the 2020 NYSPHSAA Boys Federation Championships in March, pre-quarantine. He was followed closely by second-place finisher Connor Libassi (16) who touched the wall with a 1 second time drop (1:00.01).

Unlike other post-quarantine meets that offer limited events, The LIAC Fall of COVID did not miss out on distance races. Castrillon, who is ranked 6th in the nation in the 1000 free, ended the meet with a victory in the event (9:34.64), but he missed his best time (9:13.34) from the 2019 NCAP Invitational. He was followed by best times from second place finisher Griffen Schimmel (9:43.81) and third place finisher Matthew Giardinelli (9:44.01). 


  • Castrillon won the 200IM with a time of 1:54.37, which now ranks him 2nd in the state.
  • Tsai (15) won the 50 free and qualified for Futures with a best time of 21.34, He was followed by second place finisher Nick Shopis (21.78) and Swartwout (21.86).
  • Tsai then swam a best time in the 100 free (46.91) which places him .42 seconds off of the 2019 Futures qualifying time. Tsai also claimed 1st in the 200 fly (1:55.29) with a 6.7 second time drop. 
  • On Sunday Jang raced the 200 breast, finishing 1st with a 1.3 second time drop in a time of 2:09.38 which is less than a second off of the Futures qualifying time. 

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Distance fan
3 years ago

15 year old girl Caven Gormsen swam a 9:44.05 1000 yd Free. Solid swim

Reply to  Distance fan
3 years ago

That was a great swim. Looked like she had more to give at the end.

3 years ago

I’m surprised the headline isn’t about her 1:55 fly which is more impressive than a 49.9 free.

3 years ago

The times in the 1000 at that that meet were good all around. Especially gormsen. LIAC is the place to be.

3 years ago

It would be really good if headline could indicate LC, SC or Yards….the time is a meaningless mystery otherwise. No other country uses yards, so we just get bamboozled. 🙂 100Y Free maybe?

open the pools
Reply to  torchbearer
3 years ago

if a fifteen year old girl is going a 49 LCM I think we should all just retire immediately

Reply to  open the pools
3 years ago

It’s 2020 anything can happen

Reply to  torchbearer
3 years ago

I agree with this statement in many other cases but what 15 year old girl is going 49 lcm?

Reply to  torchbearer
3 years ago

You read the headline and thought a 15 year old girl went sub 50 in a 100 meter freestyle?

Reply to  Pvdh
3 years ago

No I didnt think that ….but what if she swam 53.9? I actually thought that Tess maybe a mans name, so 49.95 made perfect sense. I am only asking for the addition of a Y to distinguish it from the international standard of 100M, is that really worth all the downvotes?
And no you shouldn’t assume a reader knows that that time is too fast, for a swimmer that age and sex, with a name that indicates female, in a 50 m pool…when it can be clearly indicated by a simple Y in the heading.

Reply to  torchbearer
3 years ago

You know, it also says the course format underneath the meet name at the top of the page.

Reply to  torchbearer
3 years ago

It’s in the 3rd bullet point at the top. It took literally one click to get to the course format. Sorry you were so put out and to all that trouble. I imagine doing research that involved actually opening a book would have wiped you out

Also MD Also Swim Dad
Reply to  torchbearer
3 years ago

I would also appreciate it if every article could finish with the words “the end”, so I know when to stop reading.

Reply to  Also MD Also Swim Dad
3 years ago

Agreed, I waste so much time at the bottom of these articles wondering if they are over.

About Annika Johnson

Annika Johnson

Annika came into the sport competitively at age eight, following in the footsteps of her twin sister and older brother. The sibling rivalry was further fueled when all three began focusing on distance freestyle, forcing the family to buy two lap counters. Annika is a three-time Futures finalist in the 200 …

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