2015 U.S. Speedo Junior Nationals: Day 4- Reece Whitley Scares 200 Breast Meet Record

2015 U.S. Speedo Junior Nationals

Girls 100 Backstroke – Prelims

The future of American women’s backstroke looks strong, with the youngest entrants in the 100 back leading the way in the morning’s heats. 13-year-old Alex Walsh of Nashville Aquatic Club posted the fastest time, dropping .56 to post a 1:01.23, the third-fastest swim in history for 13-14 girls. Socal Aquatics’ Ella Eastin, who has had a very strong meet for her last Juniors, dropped 8/10 for 1:01.61 to qualify second. Another 13-year-old, Regan Smith of Riptide, went a personal-best 1:02.26 to win her heat and qualify third for finals.

Grace Ariola of Waves Bloomington went right at her time to win her heat, going 1:02.36 for the fourth-fastest swim of the morning. Mitchell Aquatic Club’s Tevyn Waddell swam a personal-best 1:02.57 for the fifth spot in finals. Elise Haan, who was the second seed in the event, added a second but still made it back top-8 with 1:02.70, just 1/100 ahead of Missoula Aquatic Club’s Hanni Leach, who dropped almost a half-second to hit 1:02.71. Courtney Mykkanen of Irvine Novaquatics rounded out the qualifiers for tonight’s A final with 1:02.82.

Katrina Konopka of Y-Spartaquatics Swim Club dropped nearly 2 seconds to earn her first Olympic Trials cut in this event, going from 1:04.70 to 1:02.95, and finishing 9th overall.

The top 19 finishers all went under the 2016 Olympic Trials standard of 1:03.39.

Boys 100 Backstroke – Prelims

Michael Andrew of Indie Swimming led the qualifiers in the men’s 100 backstroke with 55.81. He was 1/10 off his personal best and will be chasing Vlad Morozov’s meet record of 55.46 from 2010 in tonight’s final. David Crossland of Delaware Swim Team won the penultimate heat with a half-second drop, coming in at 56.20 for the number 2 time overall. Daniel Carr from Cheyenne Mountain Aquatics was just behind Crossland with 56.31, which was good enough to put him in lane 3 in tonight’s final.

Sarasota YMCA Sharks’ Austin Katz, who won the 200 back title, dropped 8/10 to place fourth out of the morning’s heats. King Aquatic Club’s Thomas Anderson was the first to break 57 seconds when he dropped nearly 6/10 to win his heat with 56.52. That was the fifth-fastest time in prelims.

Cameron Craig of Southern Michigan and Glen Cowand of Katy Aquatic Team both posted personal best times of 56.86s to tie for the sixth spot in finals, while Taylor Delk of Swim Atlanta rounded out the top-8 with a first sub-57 of 56.99.

14-year-old Vinny Marciano of Morris County Swim Club went 57.83 for 29th place, posting the 4th-fastest time in history for 13-14 boys.

The top 14 finishers were all under the 2016 Olympic Trials qualifying time of 57.19.

Girls 200 Freestyle – Prelims

15-year-old Melissa Pish of Waves Bloomington came in as the third-fastest seed but posted the top time in prelims, 2:01.53, to lead the qualifiers in the 200 free. SwimMAC’s Erika Brown qualified second with 2:01.75, about 1.5 off her seed time. But a huge 1.5-second drop for Morgan Tankersley of Greater Tampa gave her an Olympic Trials cut and placed her third overall this morning with 2:02.17.

SwimMAC’s Jessica Merritt improved her seed time by 6/10 and came within .05 of her Trials cut, touching fourth overall in 2:02.44. Gulliver Swim Club’s Anya Egorova won the final heat of the morning in an exciting battle down the stretch with top seed Taylor Ruck of Scottsdale Aquatic Club. Egorova touched out Ruck, 2:02.47 to 2:02.54 to earn the fifth spot for tonight’s final.

The seventh and eighth qualifiers for tonight’s championship were Jennifer Campbell (2:02.58) of Palo Alto Stanford and Y-Spartaquatics’ Konopka (2:02.65).

Emma Seiberlich of Phoenixville YMCA and Lindsey Trematerra from Gator Swim Club posted twin 2:05.14s in their respective heats, leading to a swim-off for 27th place, just in case a scratch pulled them into finals. Seiberlich won the contest, 2:03.82 to 2:04.02, and both women earned new personal bests for their efforts.

The first 3 finishers all made the 2016 Olympic Trials cut of 2:02.39.

Boys 200 Freestyle – Prelims

In perhaps the most impressive event of the morning, six of the top eight qualifiers in the men’s 200 free dropped a cumulative 8.34 seconds to make it into tonight’s championship final. Top seed Maxime Rooney of Pleasanton Seahawks led the way with 1:49.89, just .35 off his personal best and within shooting distance of Caeleb Dressel’s 2013 meet record of 1:48.64. Swimming with Rooney in the last heat was ‘aukai Lileikis of Aulea Swim Club, who dropped a second and a half to hit the wall just behind Rooney in 1:50.39. North Baltimore’s Cole Buese improved his seed time by .7, winning his heat with 1:51.65 for the third-fastest morning time. Parks Jones (unattached with Tucson Ford) dropped 1.1 seconds, crushing his heat and qualifying fourth overall with 1:51.68. Both Buese and Jones made their first 2016 OT cuts in the event.

Texas Ford’s Samuel Kline came in seeded with a yards time of 1:38.01; the fastest he had been in meters was 1:55.15. Kline ripped a 1:51.93 to win heat 10 out of lane 8 and hold the morning’s lead until the circle-seeded heats. He wound up fifth overall. James Murphy of Machine Aquatics came in at 1:52.00 for sixth, just 1/100 ahead of Terapins’ Michal Zyla. 15-year-old Max Miranda of Bluefish, who is having a stellar meet so far, dropped 1.8 seconds for an eight-fastest 1:52.17. Miranda came within .28 of clearing the Trials standard.

The top 4 boys came in under the 2016 Olympic Trials standard of 1:51.89.

Girls 200 Breaststroke – Prelims

No surprises in the women’s 200 breast, if not for a DQ for Socal Aquatics’ Ella Eastin. Otherwise, top-seeded Miranda Tucker of Livonia Community led the field with 2:29.72, nearly 2 seconds off her best time but a full 2 seconds ahead of the rest of the championship finalists. 15-year-old Grace Zhao of Palo Alto Stanford won an impressive battle in the first circle-seeded heat, in which Irvine Novaquatics’ Meagan Popp, Zhao and Eastin were all bunched together. Popp led at the 100 and 150, but Zhao outsplit her by more than a second over the last 50 for a 2:31.66 to 2:32.32 victory. Eastin ended up disqualified, but she, too passed Popp in the final stretch.

Madeleine Vonderhaar of Northern KY Clippers (2:32.87), Nashville Aquatic Club’s Ella Nelson (2:33.38) and Marie-Claire Schillinger of Walnut Creek Aquabears (2:33.82) were the top three finishers in the next heat and fourth through sixth overall.

14-year-old Zoe Bartel of Fort Collins Area Swim Team earned her first Olympic Trials bid in the event with a monster 3.5-second drop for a seventh-place 2:33.95. Texas Ford’s Rachel Ramey just made it into the eighth spot with 2:34.26, while Buenaventura’s Alicia Harrison (2:34.58) and Julia Poole of TAC Titans (2:34.75) headed the qualifiers for the B final.

An impressive 10 girls all went under the 2016 Olympic Trials standard of 2:34.99.

Boys 200 Breaststroke – Prelims

A couple of huge drops early on set the tone for the men’s 200 breast. Sean Grieshop of Nitro Swimming, who was seeded with a yards time of 2:00.76, and whose previous best meters time was 2:25.53, blasted a 2:19.66 to win heat 2 by a landslide. Grieshop stayed at the top of the qualifiers table for another two heats before Christian Bals of Pro Swimming dropped 3.2 seconds and took heat 5 from the outside lane with 2:19.53. In the end, the pair wound up 13th and 14th, respectively, but considering they were seeded 41st and 61st, that was quite a jump.

The 12 qualifiers ahead of Bals and Grieshop came entirely from the circle-seeded heat. 15-year-old national age group record-holder Reece Whitley of Penn Charter Aquatic Club dominated the event, winning the final heat by about 10 meters. He posted a 2:12.93, just 1/100 off his personal best and 5/100 away from Gunnar Bentz’s 2013 meet record of 2:12.88.

Ethan Browne of Excel Aquatics (2:17.09) and Joseph Portillo of SwimAtlanta (2:18.29) qualified second and third, respectively. 15-year-old Calvin Yang from Crimson Aquatics improved his seed time by 1.2 seconds and just missed the Trials cut with 2:18.59.

Marco Guarente of Azura Florida improved his seed time by nearly a full second, grabbing the fifth spot in finals with 2:18.60. Barracuda Swim Club’s Daniel Chang went right at his time, qualifying sixth in 2:18.74. Tennessee Aquatics’ Bryar Long moved up with a 1.5-second drop to qualify seventh with 2:18.81. Current Swimming’s Tommy Brewer, who was the third seed going into prelims, claimed the last slot for the championship final with 2:19.13.

Brewer just edged Arizona Gold teammates Antonio Ramirez (2:19.22) and Ty Dang (2:19.24), who dropped 1.6 and 1.1 seconds, respectively, to claim the middle lanes in the B final.

The top 3 boys made the 2016 Olympic Trials standard of 2:18.39.


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Lane Four
5 years ago

Come on, Reece!!!!!!!!! Yeah! 🙂

5 years ago

What were his splits? Did he shut it down being a prelim? Are we looking at 211-210 range tonight?

bobo gigi
Reply to  Hank
5 years ago

Please, you have the link to results above. 😥


5 years ago

I hope Whitley can beat 2:10.80 either here, nationals, or junior worlds. That was Gyurtas time in Athens when he was 15.

5 years ago

I don’t think Reece is going to Jr. Worlds. Maybe he is and I just didn’t know

bobo gigi
Reply to  SwimBreaststroke
5 years ago

Why he wouldn’t go?

5 years ago

Prediction: 210.79 tonight

bobo gigi
5 years ago

Well. US juniors now. And let’s go for quick thoughts here too.

Girls’ 100 back. Alex Walsh confirms her huge talent race after race. Big new PB in 1.01.23. 0.56s time drop. She’s on fire! And she’s by far the fastest US 13-year-old girl ever in that event. Even if she’s 14. But she was 13 when sthe meet started. 🙂 Always a weird rule but that’s another debate. She’s also now the 2nd fastest US 13/14 girl ever behind Missy franklin in 1.00.50. And she has one year to break that time! Regan Smith who swam a new PB of 1.02.26 is the second fastest US 13-year-old girl ever Yes, US women’s backstroke future looks bright.

Boys’ 100 back.… Read more »

5 years ago

Yes the future of the US women,s backstroke us bright. Australia also has young female backstrokers who are doing pretty well. They have a 13 year old with a similar time with Alex Walsh. I can,t remember her name.

5 years ago

is bright not us bright sorry

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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