2015 U.S. Speedo Junior Nationals: Day 3 Finals Preview

2015 U.S. JUNIOR NATIONALS

Prelims recap

Scratches

There’s only one scratch out of a final for tonight, and that comes in the girls 100 fly. Livonia Community Center’s Miranda Tucker, who won the 100 breast earlier in the meet, will not compete in the C final after qualifying 23rd out of the morning heats.

Tucker, a future Indiana Hoosier, is perhaps resting up for the longer breaststroke race, the 200 which happens tomorrow morning.

Her scratch bumps Y-Spartaquatics’ Katrina Konopka, an Arizona commit, into the bonus final tonight.

What to Watch For

A bird’s-eye view of what to watch for in each race tonight:

Girls 400 Free

Keep an eye on fourth-seeded Taylor Ruck. She was well off her best this morning, but improved her time by a whopping 8 seconds from prelims to finals of the 400 IM.

800 free champ Joy Field is seeded right behind Ruck, and looks to have more left in the tank for tonight’s race.

Boys 400 Free

We got to see Nitro’s Sean Grieshop branch out his event selection a little last night with the 200 back, but he’s back in his wheelhouse in the 400 free tonight. It might be a bit of a stretch, but Grieshop could be looking to challenge the meet record of 3:51.99 held by Townley Haas, or even the 15-16 NAG record held by Larsen Jensen at 3:50.68.

Girls 100 Fly

Ella Eastin will try to stay unbeaten for the meet, but the 100 fly might be one of her toughest tests. She was a lifetime-best 1:00.04 this morning, but only leads Bailey Nero by .02 seconds.

The A final of this event is also loaded up with future NCAA talent: Eastin has committed to Stanford, Nero to Auburn, MacKenzie Rumrill to Arizona, Caroline McTaggart to UCLA, Remedy Rule to Texas and Maddy Banic to Tennessee.

Boys 100 Fly

16-year-old Michael Andrew is the top seed, and came in just off his lifetime-best (and Justin Lynch‘s 15-16 NAG) at 52.86. We’ll get a rematch of last night’s 100 free, with that event’s champion Maxime Rooney sitting second. Perhaps the biggest challenger to Andrew, though, is Alex Valente, who was just 54.72 this morning, well off his lifetime-best. Valente has 52-second speed, though, and could easily give Andrew a run if he can find his form tonight.

Also keep an eye on Mark Jurek, who had to win a swim-off to make the final. Jurek has been inconsistent in prelims so far – he missed the A final of the 400 IM, then blasted the second-best time overall at night. If he does the same tonight, he’ll have some major “outside smoke” potential.

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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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