2014 U.S. Winter Junior Nationals: NAGs for Grieshop, Hoffer & Bolles, while Weitzeil drops 45.8 split on day 2

The first individual finals of the 2014 Winter Junior Nationals will take place in Federal Way tonight, with the 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free and 400 medley relay crowns up for the taking.

So Cal’s Ella Eastin will look to defend her 2013 title in the 200 IM, while also going after her own meet record. She’s the top seed in the girls 200 IM. Her male counterpart is Michael Andrew, the top qualifier in the boys 200 IM.

The highlight of the morning session was 16-year-old Ryan Hoffer‘s new National Age Group record of 19.45 in the 50 free. He’ll look to better that mark tonight for Scottsdale.

Also on the NAG record trail is 16-year-old Sean Grieshop, who is within striking distance of the 500 free NAG after taking the top qualifying spot this morning. The girls version of the event looks like a potential battle of youth between 15-year-old Lauren Pitzer and 14-year-old Taylor Ruck.

Meanwhile the girls’ 50 free is shaping up to be its own great matchup, with Stanzi Moseley going head to head with Katrina Konopka for the title.

Keep refreshing this page for event-by-event updates from Federal Way.

2014 Winter Junior Nationals

Girls 500 free

  • Meet Record: 4:38.89 – Amber McDermott, 2008
  • 11-12 NAG: 4:49.51 – Sippy Woodhead, 1977
  • 13-14 NAG: 4:35.14 – Katie Ledecky, 2011
  • 15-16 NAG: 4:28.71 – Katie Ledecky, 2014
  • 17-18 NAG: 4:29.54 – Katie Ledecky, 2014

Scottsdale 14-year-old Taylor Ruck blasted out to a lead in the girls 500 free to ultimately take the first individual Junior National title of the meet. Ruck, who trains in Arizona but is Canadian by nationality, went 4:41.38, holding off a late charge from top prelims swimmer Lauren Pitzer of Lakeside.

After Pitzer dropped 6 seconds off her lifetime-best in prelims, it was Ruck who cam eup with the biggest swim at night, dropping almost 5 more seconds at finals after cutting about a second in prelims. Pitzer was also faster at night, taking three more seconds off her best to go 4:42.80.

Third went to Santa Clara’s Sandra Soe in 4:45.18 and fourth was Karling Hemstreet of Nitro in 4:45.35. Both were also lifetime-bests. Closely behind came Katie Duggan (4:45.71) and Eryn Eddy (4:45.79) in a heat that was very bunched up through the middle. Also finishing the final were Haley Yelle (4:47.73) and Vicky Navarro (4:48.67).

In the B final, 15-year-old Taylor Ault of La Mirada just touched out Sandpipers of Nevada’s Erin Emery 4:44.99 to 4:45.06. Those were ultimately the 4th- and 5th-best times of the entire event. And in the C final, Texas Ford’s Gabrielle Kopenski blasted a 4:44.93 that would have gotten her 3rd in the championship heat.

Boys 500 free

  • Meet Record: 4:17.45 – Townley Haas, 2013
  • 11-12 NAG: 4:41.54 – Nick Silverthorn, 2008
  • 13-14 NAG: 4:26.73 – Alexander Katz, 2011
  • 15-16 NAG: 4:17.45 – Townley Haas, 2013
  • 17-18 NAG: 4:12.33 – Michael Phelps, 2004

After finishing just off the mark in prelims, Nitro’s Sean Grieshop broke through in the final to break the 15-16 National Age Group record in the 500 free.

Grieshop crushed the field, going 4:16.59 to break the mark set by Townley Haas last year. He also broke the meet record, set in the swim by Haas at 4:17.45.

Second went to Santa Clara’s Aidan Burns back at 4:21.17. Burns, a high school senior, is committed to swim at Georgia next season.

After those two, the rest of the field was bunched together fairly tightly. Tennessee Aquatics’ Walker Higgins was 4:23.13 for third, followed by Burns’ Santa Clara teammate and Minnesota commit Michael Messner (4:23.40). Behind them came Jeff Newkirk of Quest (4:24.08) and Logan Houck of the Sandpipers of Nevada (4:24.43).

Jerad Kaskawal (4:29.34) and Roger Kriegl (4:31.58) rounded out the championship heat.

Scottsdale’s Thomas Ottman put together a gutsy race to out-touch Nitro’s Taylor Abbot for the heat win, 4:23.28 to 4:24.18. And in the C final, Sam Magnan of Parkland went 4:25.03 to take home the win.

Girls 200 IM

  • Meet Record: 1:56.02 – Ella Eastin, 2013
  • 11-12 NAG: 2:03.50 – Clara Smiddy, 2008
  • 13-14 NAG: 1:57.70 – Missy Franklin, 2010
  • 15-16 NAG: 1:54.03 – Dagny Knutson, 2008
  • 17-18 NAG: 1:53.77 – Katie Hoff, 2007

So Cal’s Ella Eastin successfully defended her 2013 Junior National title in the 200 IM, though she wasn’t quite as fast as she was a year ago.

Eastin, 17, went 1:56.55, easily winning the title as one of just three girls under two minutes in the A heat. Eastin was 1:56.0 a year ago in setting the meet record.

The early battle was between Eastin and Jewish Community Center Sailfish 18-year-old Lauren Barber, as both girls went out in 25.8-second butterfly legs. Eastin took a good-sized lead on backstroke, and even though Barber charged back on the breaststroke, Eastin was uncatchable for the win. Barber settled for second in 1:57.98, a lifetime-best for her. In fact, before prelims, Barber had yet to break 2:00 in a 200 IM, making this a nice weekend for her already.

Bellevue’s Kim Williams was the last swimmer under two minutes, going 1:59.58 for bronze. She couldn’t hang with the top two on butterfly, but put up a nice backstroke split to shake the rest of the field.

Loveland, Colorado’s Brooke Hansen touched out Palo Alto’s Chloe Isleta 2:00.15 to 2:00.25 for fourth, with Emma Schanz hot on their tail for the Spokane Waves at 2:00.35.

Nitro continued to swim well as a team, as 15-year-old Regan Barney went 1:59.87 to win the B final, her first time under two minutes. Close behind her was Riley Scott (2:00.21) as well as 13-year-old Alex Walsh, a NAG record-breaker in the 11-12s who is now within 2.5 seconds of Missy Franklin‘s NAG record in this event.

Boys 200 IM

  • Meet Record: 1:45.08 – Curtis Ogren, 2013
  • 11-12 NAG: 1:56.61 – Chas Morton, 1984
  • 13-14 NAG: 1:45.29 – Michael Andrew, 2014
  • 15-16 NAG: 1:44.03 – Andrew Seliskar, 2013
  • 17-18 NAG: 1:41.39 – David Nolan, 2011

The boys 200 IM came down to the final 50 yards, with Upper Dublin’s Michael Thomas battling with 15-year-old Indie Swimming racer Michael Andrew. It was Andrew who led after breaststroke, but the other Michael who put up the faster free split to take home the title. Riding big-time underwaters, Thomas took home the win in 1:45.54 to Andrew’s 1:45.75.

Andrew had the field’s best fly split at 22.61, but Thomas roared back on his specialty stroke, backstroke, to take the lead, splitting 25.87. Andrew took things back on breaststroke, but a 24.64 from Thomas sealed the win on the free leg.

Those two checked out from a tough field early. Santa Clara’s Aidan Burns, coming off the 500 free, was third in 1:47.04, and behind him came four guys within half a second. It was Brennan Balogh of Lincoln Select who led the way (1:47.61), with Patrick Mulcare of Tualatin Hills (1:47.78), Rio Kurihara of Bolles (1:47.84) and Abraham DeVine of Cascade (1:47.90) thundering in right behind.

Coming off his win in the 500 free, Sean Grieshop cruised to a 1:50.74 to round out the A heat. The B final went to Alex Lebed in 1:47.05.

Girls 50 free

  • Meet Record: 22.02 – Abbey Weitzeil, 2013
  • 11-12 NAG: 23.15 – Amanda Weir, 1999
  • 13-14 NAG: 22.44 – Dara Torres, 1982
  • 15-16 NAG: 22.04 – Simone Manuel, 2013
  • 17-18 NAG: 21.70 – Simone Manuel, 2014 (Unofficially: 21.59 – Manuel, 2014)

After an outstanding summer, Roadrunner’s Stanzi Moseley kept on trucking at Winter Juniors, picking up the 50 free win and coming dangerous close to the NAG record for 15-16s.

Moseley, 16, dominated the field, going 22.11 to win by about three tenths. That stands up as a lifetime-best for Moseley by about three tenths as well, and before this morning, the fastest she’d been was 22.84.

That puts Moseley just .07 off of the National Age Group record set by Simone Manuel last year, and it also left her just off the meet record held by Abbey Weitzeil – both of those names make up some good company to be in at age 16.

Y-Spartaquatics’ Katrina Konopka went 22.43 to take second, followed by a pair of Florida swimmers: the Bolles School’s Kasey Schmidt (22.55) and Pine Crest’s Marta Ciesla (22.56).

Ashley Sutherland of KING followed in 22.62, with Annie Ochitwa (22.64) Grace Zhao (22.75) and Samantha Fazio (22.93) rounding out the heat. The B final went to Lakeside’s Lauren Pitzer, who showed some nice range, going 22.77 after taking second in the 500 free earlier in the night.

Boys 50 Free

  • Meet Record: 18.94 – Caeleb Dressel, 2013
  • 11-12 NAG: 21.78 – Vinny Marciano, 2014
  • 13-14 NAG: 19.76 – Michael Andrew, 2014
  • 15-16 NAG: 19.45 – Ryan Hoffer, 2014
  • 17-18 NAG: 18.94 – Caeleb Dressel, 2013

Ryan Hoffer made it a double-NAG record day, re-breaking his 50 free record in the final with a 19.38. That marks the 11th time Hoffer has broken 20 seconds in his career, and he turned this race into a major blowout, winning by about seven tenths of a second.

He now lowers the 15-16 National Age Group record to that 19.38, seven hundredths faster than his previous NAG, set in prelims, and though he’s still got quite a ways to go, he’s closing in on the next NAG up, Caeleb Dressel‘s 18.94 from this meet last year.

Second went to Nitro’s Tate Jackson, who was 20.09 after putting up a nice split on the 200 medley relay last night. He still hasn’t quite cracked 20, but has been right on the edge a number of times individually.

Palo Alto’s Albert Gwo was 20.11 to finish just behind Jackson, with Thomas Anderson of KING fourth at 20.19. There was a tie for 5th with Iowa Flyer Mark McGlaughlin and Upper Dublin’s Michael Jensen each going 20.20, and Cole Cogswell (20.29) and Andrea Vergani (20.48) closed out the heat.

The B final went to Hoffer’s Scottsdale teammate Jack Blake in 20.18, giving the Scottsdale Aquatic Club a sweep of the two scoring heats.

Girls 4×100 medley relay

  • Meet record: 3:38.17 – SwimMAC, 2013
  • 13-14 NAG: 3:45.02 – Aquajets, 2012
  • 15-16 NAG: 3:37.93 – SwimMAC, 2013
  • 17-18 NAG: 3:37.83 – SwimMAC, 2014
  • 15-18 NAG: 3:34.37 – SwimMAC, 2014

Though all the NAG records came on the boys side tonight, the girls of Canyons Aquatic Club provided some major fireworks to close out the evening. The 4×100 medley relay team of Mik Ranslem, Nikol Popov, Tamara Santoyo and Abbey Weitzeil went 3:37.37 to break the meet record and win the Junior National title, getting an absurd 45.82 freestyle split from Weitzeil.

No, that’s not a typo. Weitzeil, who flew halfway around the world this week after competing at the Short Course World Championships, crushed a split that would fit on many boys relays. She becomes the second teenager to split a 45.8 in the past month – NCAA favorite Simone Manuel did it at the Art Adamson Invite in a swim that we said “changed everything” – but now it appears women’s sprinting has two young game-changers in the United States. Even more exciting? Weitzeil will swim for the Cal Golden Bears, Bay Area rivals of Manuel’s Stanford Cardinal. That means, swim fans, buckle up for potentially three years of watching those two square off on the conference and national level in both individuals and relays. It’s a swimming fan’s dream scenario.

The rest of Weitzeil’s relay did their jobs as well: Ranslem was 56.52 on back, the 15-year-old Popov an impressive 1:00.83 on breast and Santoyo 54.20 on fly. Both Ranslem and Santoyo are 17 and Weitzeil 18, so the team couldn’t break the 15-16 or 17-18 NAG records (though they bettered both those times).

Second went to Y-Spartaquatics in 3:39.62, and they had their own quick anchor with Katrina Konopka (48.36). Aquazot took third in 3:40.87, getting 54.1s from backstroker Sonia Wang and butterflyer Alexis Margett.

Boys 4×100 medley relay

  • Meet record: 3:14.92 – Bolles, 2011
  • 13-14 NAG: 3:29.45 – Aquazot, 2011
  • 15-16 NAG: 3:18.91 – Aquazot, 2014
  • 17-18 NAG: 3:13.70 – SwimMAC, 2013
  • 15-18 NAG: 3:12.58 – Nation’s Capital, 2014

Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics (PASA) took the final event of the night, going 3:14.80 to run away with the boys 400 medley relay. Their team of Benjamin Ho, Joe Kmak, Joe Molinari and Albert Gwo followed up their win in the 200 medley relay on opening night with a win in the longer version as well. Once again, Kmak was very impressive, going 53.85 on the breaststroke leg, and Molinari followed that up with a 47.51 on fly to help the team sneak under the meet record. That old meet mark was held by an outstanding Bolles team from 2011 that included current NCAA standouts Ryan Murphy, Joseph Schooling and Caeleb Dressel.

Second place went to the current “B” team from Bolles, a group of 15- and 16-year-olds who broke their second NAG record in as many days. Dakota Mahaffey, James Daugherty, Ariel Spektor and Tyler Rice went 3:16.18, breaking the 15-16 National Age Group record held by Aquazot from earlier this year.

That team got some big-time splits from Daugherty (54.04 on breast) and Rice (44.12 on free), with Mahaffey (49.19 back) and Spektor (48.82 fly) hovering right around the 49-second barrier.

They actually beat out the Bolles “A” team, which featured the older swimmers from the Sharks. That crew took third in 3:16.33, getting a 47.80 on butterfly from Javier Barrena.

Fourth was Upper Dublin, with Michael Thomas leading off in 47.56 to help the team go 3:16.71.

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bobo gigi
7 years ago

Little correction. Girls’ 17/18 50 free NAG record 21.59 Simone Manuel 2014

bobo gigi
7 years ago

Gabrielle Kopenski 4.44 in the C-Final. Too bad she woke up only tonight. She could have won that race.
Very smooth freestyle technique.

bobo gigi
7 years ago

4.41 for the very talented Canadian Taylor Ruck in the A-Final. Without any doubt a future olympian.

Reply to  bobo gigi
7 years ago

She had no one to push her and yet she still dug deep and picked up her tempo at the end. Very Ledeckyesque.

bobo gigi
7 years ago

Very interesting boys’ race to come.
Can Burns push Grieshop to break Haas’ NAG record?

bobo gigi
7 years ago


bobo gigi
7 years ago

I always repeat the same thing about him but again, you don’t swim 4.26 in the 400 IM in long course at 14 if you don’t have a very special talent.
Can’t wait to watch his 400 IM tomorrow.

bobo gigi
7 years ago

Big breaststroke/freestyle part by Ella Eastin to win the 200 IM in 1.56 something.

7 years ago

Michael Thomas just crushed Michael Andrew off that last wall in the 2 IM. Awesome swim.

Hannah Saiz(@hannah)
Reply to  NDB
7 years ago

That kid’s underwaters were awesome to watch. Kinda reminded me of that French anchor’s final turn at SC Worlds…

bobo gigi
Reply to  Hannah Saiz
7 years ago


About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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