2014 US Junior Nationals: Maxime Rooney’s 1:49 highlights day 4 prelims from Irvine

Saturday marks the second-to-last day of Junior Nationals in Irvine, California. It’s been a fast, entertaining and NAG record-packed week so far, and day 4 looks like it’ll live up to that trend.

Things kick off with the 100 back, where Carmel’s Amy Bilquist will go for her second individual win of the meet. She’ll look to complete the triple crown on Sunday, when she’s the top seed in the 50 free. On the boys side, Bluefish’s Connor Green is the runaway top seed, but just behind him is 15-year-old Michael Andrew, who seems to be heating up as the meet goes on.

The other triple-win threat beside Bilquist is also in action today. Townley Haas had already won the 100 and 400 here, and will look to split the middle distance for his third victory.

It’s a battle of youth in the girls 200 free, where 14-year-olds Taylor Ruck and Easop Lee are the top two seeds. That same 14-year-old class leads both 200 breaststrokes, with Emma Cain and NAG record-breaker Reece Whitley.

Check out our prelims preview here and keep refreshing this page for event-by-event updates all morning.

2014 US Junior National Championships

Girls 100 Back

It’s been a great week for Carmel, but the 100 back might be one of its best results yet. Amy Bilquist defended her top seed, going 1:01.27. That’s not much faster than her seed, but it’s entirely possible Bilquist is saving the bigger fireworks for this evening. Making things better for Carmel, Claire Adams pulled off the two-seed, going 1:01.67 to give Carmel both of the inside lanes for the championship final tonight.

The Carmel duo were also the only swimmers in the 1:01s this morning. Third seed is Elise Haan out of T2 in Florida; she went 1:02.16 and will swim to the outside of Bilquist tonight. On the other side of the Carmel girls will be Abby Richter of Boulder City Henderson. Richter cut over a second off her seed, winning her heat from outside of the circle seed in 1:02.57.

Danielle Galyer from Y-Spartaquatics went 1:02.68 to sit fifth. The next four were extremely tight finishers: Emily Eastin of SoCal went 1:02.87, Cameron McHugh from Cypress Fairbanks was 1:02.90, Byron Center, Michigan’s Taylor Garcia was 1:02.92 and Palo Alto Stanford’s Ally Howe 1:02.96. Those first three will advance to the A final, while Howe, a blue-chip Stanford prospect, will be left in the B heat tonight, where she’ll take on 200 back champ Allie Szekely of the Central Bucks.

Boys 100 Back

Dynamo’s Michael Taylor was at it again in prelims, blasting his way to a 55.83 top seed. The 15-year-old Taylor was a runaway top seed in the 200 back earlier this week as well, putting up a huge lifetime-best in the morning and hanging on for third at night. Here he might be able to fill the open spot at the top, as number-1 incoming seed Connor Green missed the A final, finishing 15th.

Just behind Taylor will be Patrick Mulcare of Tualatin Hills based out of Oregon. Mulcare went 56.34 this morning and will try to join Taylor there at night. Third seed is Michael Andrew, the Indie Swimming phenom who picked up his highest seed of nationals so far. Andrew will run up against a swimmer roughly his own age in Taylor, something that doesn’t happen often for the swimmer who has owned the 13-14 NAG record book over the past year.

Badger’s Patrick Conaton follows those two – the winner of the 200 back went 56.51 this morning. Roadrunner Aquatics and Texas A&M commit Brock Bonetti is fifth at 56.74, with Joey Reilman joining him as the last swimmer under 57.

Daniel Carr, a 15-year-old from Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado, had a breakthrough swim out of an early heat, going 57.06 to sneak into the A final. He’s the third 15-year-old in that final alongside Taylor and Andrew.

There will be a swim-off for 8th place, as two 16-year-olds tied for the final spot in the A heat. Maxime Rooney out of Pleasanton and KING’s Thomas Anderson were both 57.10, and will dual later this morning for 8th place.

Girls 200 Free

Second in the 100 free to Amy Bilquist, Roadrunner’s Stanzi Moseley is the top seed in the 200 heading into tonight. Moseley, 16, went 2:00.37 with a little bit of a dropoff split-wise in her final 50. If she can find a bit more closing speed tonight, she’ll threaten the two-minute barrier. Also near that mark is Taylor Ruck of Scottsdale in Arizona. Ruck, a dual citizen of Canada and the U.S., went 2:00.82 and will go head-to-head with Moseley tonight.

Rockville Montgomery’s Anna Kolanowski sits third at 2:01.12, and amazingly the next 11 swimmers behind her finished with in one second.

Pleasanton’s Erika Brown was 2:01.36, just a tick ahead of two girls – Bloomington (IL) Waves’ Melissa Pish and Loveland, Colorado’s Eryn Eddy – who tied for fifth at 2:01.38. Saint Andrew, Florida’s Megan Moroney went 2:01.56 and the last girl into the A final was the City of Mobile’s Paige Madden at 2:01.69. The B final will be headed by Stephanie Peters (2:01.90) and Lauren Pitzer (2:02.03).

Boys 200 Free

Swimming a double with the 100 back, Pleasanton’s Maxime Rooney came through in a big way, picking up top billing in the 200 free with a very-fast 1:49.70. That’s Rooney’s first time under 1:50, and in fact is also his first time under 1:54. Rooney has been great in the short course pool, and was entered with his 1:35.69 from that distance. He blasted his way to a win out of the early heats, and no one was able to match his time in the circle-seeded crew.

Rooney is locked in a tie for 8th in the backstroke, but with two events today, one has to wonder if he’ll pass on the swim-off, taking the B final spot and staying fresher for his double tonight, which should have even less recovery time between the two events.

Michael Domagala is the second seed for Asphalt Green, and is threatening to join Rooney under 1:50 tonight. He was 1:50.18 this morning in winning his heat handily. He’ll be pushed tonight by Rooney and 100/400 free champ Townley Haas of NOVA. Chasing his third win of the week, Haas went 1:50.75 this morning, a bit off his best.

The Dayton Raiders will be represented in the final by Brock Turner, a Stanford commit who went 1:51.40. Less than a tenth back is the Terrapins’ Michal Zyla (1:51.47) and just behind him is Walker Higgins of Tennessee Aquatics (1:51.57).

Aidan Keen of the Iowa Flyers was the last guy under 1:52 this morning, going 1:51.76, and James Murphy of Machine Aquatics grabbed the last finals spot with his 1:52.08. Just on the outside is #6 overall incoming seed Patrick Mulcare, also swimming that 100 back/200 free double. Mulcare went 1:52.31 just one event after taking the second seed in the backstroke.

Girls 200 Breast

14-year-old Emma Cain held onto her top seed in the 200 breast, going 2:30.40 representing Aspen Swim Club of Colorado. Cain, a dual UK/US citizen who typically trains in England, has been a little more than a second faster than that earlier this month, so look for a bigger swim out of her tonight in trying to pace the field.

Emma Schanz of the Spokane Waves is second, also going 2:30 this morning. She was 2:30.73, which is a tenth off her lifetime-best, setting up what should be a faster A final tonight through the middle lanes. Emily Kopas, the Swim Fort Lauderdale breaststroker heading to Michigan in the fall, went 2:31.98 to sit third.

16-year-old Y-Spartaquatics swimmer Savanna Faulconer is third – she finished second overall in the 400 IM earlier this week and also made the B final of the 100 breast. Faulconer went 2:32.49.

The next qualifier was Tatum Wade, 16, out of Nashville Aquatics. Wade went 2:32.76, the highest finisher to go a lifetime-best this morning. Wade dropped 1.5 seconds from her previous PR.

SwimMAC’s Maija Roses is just a tenth back at 2:32.86 – she’s been a second faster before, so watch for the future Cal Golden Bear in the final as well.

Ozaukee, Wisconsin’s Katherine Drabot is seventh in 2:33.21, and the final qualifying spot for the champ final went to Miranda Tucker out of Michigan in 2:33.36.

One notable name not in any final is Allie Szekely. The 16-year-old meet record-holder in this event was disqualified in prelims from the middle of the first circle-seeded heat. Szekely has had some DQ issues in the past, especially on the World Cup tour in Europe a few seasons ago. Szekely will have just the 100 back to focus on tonight after getting knocked out of this race in the morning session.

Boys 200 Breast

While the girls 200 breast was overall quite a bit slower than seed times, the opposite was true for the boys. Ross Palazzo cut a half-second off his lifetime-best to nab the number one spot heading into tonight. Palazzo went 2:16.00 for the Hudson Explorers. Todd Owen of Louisville Cardinal Aquatics was just a tenth off his incoming time, going 2:17.17 for second.

Matthew Anderson of the Arizona Marlins dropped nearly a full second from his PR in taking third. Anderson was 2:17.29 to sit just ahead of Palo Alto and future Stanford Cardinal Curtis Ogren and Excel Aquatics’ Ethan Browne. Ogren, the 400 IM winner, dropped a tenth off his best, and Browne cut a little more than half a second as both went 2:17.41 to tie for 4th.

The fifth seed went to Tommy Brewer of Current Swimming in Oregon (2:17.80) before the top pre-meet seed and 13-14 NAG record-holder Reece Whitley came in at 2:17.94. That’s almost a second and a half off what Whitley went a few weeks ago to break the NAG record. We’ll see tonight if he was saving something extra for finals – if he did, he got lucky, as Whitley just barely made the A final. Just .01 behind was Joseph Portillo of SwimAtlanta (2:17.95), the final qualifier for the championship heat tonight.

Peter Kropp will lead the 200 breast B final. He went 2:18.11 this morning, a lifetime-best by eight tenths.

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whoknows

How about Michael Taylor in the 100 back? He’s got to be a factor!

WHOKNOWS

oh Yeah! Taylor top seed! Side note… Murphy was 55.56 as a 15 year old! Going down!

bobo gigi

He’s a factor.
55.83 in the prelims!

bobo gigi

As expected Carmel girls well ahead in the 100 back prelims.
Bilquist/Adams battle in final.
Both were very easy this morning.

bobo gigi

After the 100 back prelims, 15-year-old Michael Taylor is the guy to beat in final.
Big PB for him in 55.83. He’s now the 6th 15/16 US performer in history.
Connor Green very disappointing. He didn’t qualify for the A-Final. Only 57.60 for him.
New PB for Michael Andrew in 56.36. 3rd time after the prelims.

Dawgfan

Wore only a brief this morning.

PsychoDad

Bob Mon Cheri,

As you can see, Allie Szekely’s “pretty” back stroke can be (mildly) competitive on 200 back but nowhere near competitive on 100 back.

bobo gigi

She has never been a 100-meter specialist.
200 breast/200 back/200 IM are her best events.

PsychoDad

>She has never been a 100-meter specialist.

Why do you think that is the case? For 200s she relies on endurance and toughness; that is not enough for 100s.

PsychoDad

Michael’s future is in fly and back. Sooner they realize that better for him.

Justin Thompson

I would like to preface that I’m a huge fan of MA and wish nothing but the best for him. I do think this next year will give us a good glimpse into what events MA will be competitive with on the world stage. I believe he’s done growing and if not will grow maybe another inch. He’s been 6’4″-6’5″ for almost two years now so from this point forward it’s going to be about the amount work, strength training, and technique. Let’s be clear though, most any swimmer would love to be 6’5″ with MA’s build. He doesn’t need to be 6’8″ and my observation is simply saying he won’t benefit from from growth spurts like he has in… Read more »

PsychoDad

Thank your for an intelligent post.

>He is only 15 so I’m not sure why he doesn’t have time to refine his strokes.

Sure he has, but not with their aggressive record-breaking Rio-preparing agenda. Also, I exchanged quite a few e-mails with Peter, and their view on breaststroke technique leads me to believe that will not happen.

hswimmer

Psychodad your name says everything about you…

PsychoDad

And you know that because I said his future was in fly and back? Very smart.

hswimmer

No, your opinions are just plain stupid 🙂

Sven

I’ll pose to you a question I’ve asked before, with no response: You say that high is the way to go, and that you’ve either got it or you don’t. If Michael doesn’t have it naturally, and he’s not doing the right things to get it through training, then why is he so fast? There are other 6’5″ 15 year olds that can’t get anywhere near 1:03.mid/:53.8, so don’t say it’s cause he’s big. And any short course race video is full of people eviscerating his turns and underwaters, so I don’t think his pullouts are carrying the race. So what’s up?

bobo gigi

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PsychoDad

Bobo Mon Cheri,

I will need a PR person for France to help me sell that book. Interested?

I do have an extensive presentation on breaststroke, similar to backstroke I posted here, if you are interested to read?

PsychoDad

Let me answer with a personal story first. Our son was very successful as 10 yo in both 50 and 100 breast. But his stroke was good for 10 and U only. He was getting high but his pull was non existent and his elbow were dropping to early. I realized that and we have been rebuilding for past year and a half. Very difficult to change breaststroke, much more than any other stroke. Only just now he is swimming it the way I want him to swim breaststroke. Michael was very successful early in breaststroke and he achieved good level which will not go to the great level with technique he has. To get to next level he would… Read more »

aswimfan

Swim1,

Cate Campbell has shorter body and long limbs, while her sister Bronte Campbell had longer body and shorter limbs.

Both are extremely successful in free.

swim1

Wait! You are saying short legs HELP you in free and fly!?!?

I give up. I have check out.

swim1

“Michael’s body type, shorter and heavier legs could be even benefit in fly and back, but major “liability” in breast and free. ”

Go on….continue to tell me that you didn’t say long legs are a liability….I am waiting…

PsychoDad

Reese is a major talent, I posted that several times in articles about him. His underwaters are killer . Also, I never said being long legged hurts in breaststroke.

Swim1

Is Reese Whitley too long of legged? Should he start focusing 100% on fly and Bk?

You must answer this. I have go to tell his coach!!!

Don’t tell me about technique to weasel out of this – don’t hide behind “liability” in quotes. You said it would hurt him to be long legged. Tell me about Reese…. I will check back.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career of almost two decades wasn’t enough for this Minnesotan, who continues to get his daily chlorine fix. A lifelong lover of writing, Jared now combines the two passions as Senior Reporter for SwimSwam.com, covering swimming at every level. He’s an …

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