16-Year Old Julia Podkoscielny Pops 4:44 400 IM at Plantation Senior Meet

Piranahas Senior Invite

  • March 4-7, 2021
  • Plantation Aquatic Complex, Plantation, Florida
  • Long Course Meters (50 meters)
  • Results on Meet Mobile: “Piranhas Senior Invitational”

The extra year delay of the Olympic Games are allowing a number of young American swimmers to come into their owns before the upcoming Olympic Trials, and another added her name to that group on Friday in Plantation, Florida.

16-year old Julia Podkoscielny swam a 4:44.83 in the 400 IM at the Piranhas Senior Invite, which improves her previous best time of 4:50.42. That easily cruises her under the Wave II cut to swim in the faster session of the two-piece Olympic Trials meet conceived for June.

The time jumps her to 28th-place all-time among 15-16 females  in the race and makes her the 32nd-fastest American since January 1, 2018.

This is the second-straight meet for Podkoscielny to swim a long course lifetime best. At a Plantation-hosted meet in early February, she swam best times in three events: 2:14.97 in the 200 back, 29.20 in the 50 fly, and 2:16.36 in the 200 IM.

The high school sophomore is a four-time Florida High School State Champion, having won Class 2A titles in the 200 IM and 100 back in each of her two high school seasons. She trains for the Pine Crest School where her father Mariusz Podkoscielny, a two-time Polish Olympian, is a coach.

She also swam a prelims best time of 2:04.11 in the 200 free, the fastest of the heats, before scratching the final on Friday.

She wasn’t the only teenage swimmer to drop big time in that race. 18-year old Paige MacEachern finished 2nd in 4:51.84, which took six seconds off her best time and leaves her an excruciating .05 seconds away from her first Olympic Trials cut.

Among the biggest names in attendance at the meet is Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson. She swam, and won, the 100 breaststroke in 1:08.40.

That’s her best time in the event since the pre-pandemic FINA Champions Series meet in Shenzen, China where she was 1:08.15.

Atkinson finished fourth in the 100 breaststroke at the 2016 Olympics and is a four-time World Champion in short course meters. A versatile performer, she also won the 100 fly in 1:00.87 on Friday.

The meet attracted swimmers from across the region, but also drew in a number of teams from Massachusetts seeking a spring break escape for wide-open pools and warmer weather.

Other Event Winners:

  • 19-year old Joaquin Vargas crept closer to the Peruvian Record in the 200 free, swimmin 1:50.91. That record is currently held by Mauricio Fiol, who swam a 1:50.30 in 2014. Vargas’ previous best was a 1:50.96 done at Sectionals in February. He also inched closer to the Olympic “B” standard of 1:50.23.
  • In Podkoscielny’s absence, 14-year old Erika Pelaez won the 200 free easily in 2:02.55. That ranks her as the 32nd-fastest 200 freestyler in American 13-14 age group history and the second-fastest this season behind only Claire Weinstein. The Olympic Trials Wave I cut is 2:01.69. She later won the 50 back in 29.47.
  • Julio Horrego, who went to high school in Florida but represents Honduras internationally, swam 1:02.88 in the 100 breaststroke. He set the Honduras National Record in the event in Febraury at Sectionals when he swam 1:02.28.
  • 17-year old Dominic Bono won the men’s 400 IM in 4:38.98 after a best time of 4:38.46 in prelims.
  • In a battle of veteran versus upstart, 28-year old Polish Olympian Marcin Cieslak won the 100 fly in 54.06, beating out 16-year old American upstart Josh Zuchowski, who was 2nd in 55.58. For Cieslak, that’s his best swim since July. For Zuchowski, it’s a personal best by more than a second.

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2 years ago

That’s awesome! 6th fastest American this season.

2 years ago


About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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