2015 U.S. Speedo Junior Nationals: Andrew doubles, breaks NAG on night 5


The final night of the 2015 Speedo Junior National Championships is highlighted by the shortest and longest events of the meet so far.

The 50 freestyles should be among the meet’s most exciting races. On the girls’ side, Pine Crest’s Marta Ciesla is just .08 off of Olympian Missy Franklin‘s meet record after her prelims swim of 25.31, and Y-Spartaquatics’ Katrina Konopka isn’t far behind. For the boys, it’ll be Michael Andrew looking for his third win of the meet and perhaps another NAG record after qualifing first in 22.56.

At the other end of the meter spectrum are the distance freestyle races. The fastest heat of girls 1500 freestylers will compete, led by NCAP’s Isabella Rongione. She’ll have to pass up Kahra Williams of Gator Swim Club, who put together the top time out of the early heats with a 16:44.07.

The boys 800 feature’s Nitro’s Taylor Abbott as the top seed, but 1500 free champ Aaron Apel currently has the fastest early heat time at 8:09.46.

Tonight will also feature the 200 IM, where So Cal’s Ella Eastin looks to add to her win total, while Andrew looks to double up on wins and perhaps challenge the two-minute barrier.

Keep refreshing this page for event-by-event updates from San Antonio, and check out@SwimSwamLive on Twitter for up-to-the-second highlights.

Prelims recap

Girls 200 IM – Finals

Top Three Finishers:

  1. Ella Eastin – 2:12.32
  2. Kim Williams – 2:15.31
  3. Miranda Tucker – 2:16.92

So Cal’s Ella Eastin took home her third win of the meet so far, taking down the meet record with a 2:12.32. That takes four tenths off of Missy Franklin‘s previous mark.

Her future Stanford teammate Kim Williams wound up second overall after Ozaukee’s Katie Drabot was disqualified. Williams went 2:15.31 for Bellevue.

Livonia Community’s Miranda Tucker got bumped up into the top three with the DQ, going 2:16.92. Tucker won both breaststroke races earlier in the meet, and added another high finish here.

Nitro’s Regan Barney was fourth in 2:17.01, about a half-second up on Makayla Sargent (2:17.54) and Dannie Dilsaver rounded out the A final in 2:18.53. Also getting DQ’d was Evie Pfeifer.

Julia Poole of Triangle Aquatics put together a big drop, going 2:17.54 to win the B final and earn a new Olympic Trials cut.

Boys 200 IM – Finals

Top Three Finishers:

  1. Michael Andrew – 2:00.59
  2. Mark Andrew – 2:02.60
  3. Sean Grieshop – 2:02.99

Michael Andrew did it again, coming up with a big swim to power away from the field at Juniors. Andrew went out very aggressively, opening up a big lead on fly, and ultimately moved to #2 all-time in the 15-16 age group and passing up Michael Phelps with a 2:00.59.

Andrew is still looking for that sub-2:00 swim, which seems possible, given his best times in the 100s of each stroke (52.5 in fly, 54.9 in back, 1:01.0 in breast and 50.2 in free), but only one 15-16 has ever broke two minutes – NCAP’s Andrew Seliskar.

Greater Miami Valley’s Mark Andrew took second in 2:02.60, just beating Nitro’s young distance man Sean Grieshop. Grieshop is also 16, and his 2:02.99 was just off his 6th-ranked time in age group history.

Thomas Dillinger was just a tick behind Grieshop in 2:03.19.

Behind him, FAST’s Nick Alexander was 2:04.08 and Aquazot’s Daniel Gloude 2:04.73.

A pair of 17-year-olds closed out the heat, with Dayton Raider Tommy Cope going 2:05.24 and Nitro’s Nick Milikich putting up a 2:06.06.

Hawaii’s Aukai Lileikis won the B final in 2:04.29.

Girls 1500 Free – Final Heat

Top Three Finishers:

  1. Isabella Rongione – 16:29.41
  2. Joy Field – 16:35.80
  3. Kahra Williams – 16:44.07

NCAP’s Isabella Rongione held her top seed in the women’s mile, running away from the field with a 16:29.41. The field she ran away from included Joy Field, the 800 free winner from Magnolia, who was her closest challenger at 16:35.80.

The 15-year-old Rongione and the 16-year-old Field headed a young field, and are now both within the top 50 all-time in the 15-16 age group, per USA Swimming’s records.

Gator Swim Club’s Kahra Williams had the fastest time out of the afternoon heats, going 16:44.07, and that held up for third overall, just beating the 16:44.99 from Sandpiper of Nevada and future Minnesota Gopher Erin Emery.

Also out of the early heats were YMCA swimmers Cassy Jernberg (16:46.37 for Schroeder YMCA) and Spence Atkins (16:46.76 for Sarasota YMCA).

Swim Florida’s Kendall Brent went 16:47.81, and 13-year-old Madelyn Donohoe of The Fish snuck into the top 8 with a 16:49.10 that moves her into USA Swimming’s top 50 all-time for the 13-14 age group.

Girls 50 Free – Finals

Top Three Finishers:

  1. Marta Ciesla – 25.07
  2. Katrina Konopka – 25.12
  3. Anya Goeders – 25.52

Pine Crest (FL)’s Marta Ciesla wiped Missy Franklin‘s name off the meet record books for the second time tonight, going 25.07 to win the 50 free and break the Junior National meet record.

Ciesla is now #2 overall in the 15-16 age group’s history, behind only Simone Manuel‘s 24.80 NAG record.

Also under Franklin’s old record was Y-Spartaquatics’ Katina Konopka. The future Arizona Wildcat went 25.12 to get a tenth under Franklin’s 25.23 meet record.

Mako’s Anya Goeders picked up third, leading in a tight pack of swimmers in 25.52. Bolles School Shark Kasey Schmidt was just behind in 25.63, touching out Taylor Ruck (25.64) by one one-hundredth. Just a hundredth back of Ruck was 100 free winner Caroline McTaggart at 25.65.

Palo Alto’s Isabelle Henig was 25.77 for seventh, and Nika Blank rounded out the A final in 25.83.

Wildcat Aquatic’s Daria Pyshnenko won the B final in 25.80, the only swimmer in the consols under 26.

Boys 50 Free – Finals

Top Three Finishers:

  1. Michael Andrew – 22.34
  2. Maxime Rooney – 22.99
  3. James Jones – 23.05

Michael Andrew completed a double-win night with a new National Age Group record in the 50 freestyle. It’s taken Andrew some time to extend his reach into the 15-16 record book (at least compared to his prowess at the 13-14 level), but this week has been huge for him, with new NAGs here and in the 100 fly.

Andrew was 22.34 here, breaking the NAG of 22.39 set by Caeleb Dressel in 2013.

Also coming up with a strong swim was Maxime Rooney of Pleasanton. Rooney was 22.34 after winning the 100 and 200 frees earlier in the meet. He’s clearly better over the middle distances, but is starting to show the kind of freestyle range that could make him a beast of a college swimmer in Florida’s program. Rooney has committed to the Gators for 2016 and beyond.

NCAP’s James Jones went 23.05, just a hair behind Rooney, but beating Palo Alto’s Albert Gwo (23.12). Jones is a Michigan commit, while Gwo is one of the top high school seniors in the nation and is still on the recruiting market.

Dean Farris and Billy Beard tied for fifth at 23.16, with Tyler Harper (23.29) and Will Davis (23.32) rounding out the heat.

Badger’s Oliver Patrouch won the B final, going 23.25 for 9th.

Boys 800 Free – Final Heat

Top Three Finishers:

  1. Logan Houck – 8:02.42
  2. Chris Yeager – 8:05.93
  3. Taylor Abbott – 8:06.35

The boys 800 free saw Sandpiper of Nevada Logan Houck battling back a pair of Nitro swimmers on either side of him in Chris Yeager and Taylor Abbott. Houck started to distance himself from the field, though, and went after the meet record after dropping the Nitro pair.

Houck would go 8:02.42, just missing Chad la Tourette‘s meet record by about seven tenths. Yeager wound up second in 8:05.93, and Abbott was 8:06.35 for third.

SwimAtlanta’s Cody Bekemeyer was also in the hunt early, and wound up leading the rest of the pack in at 8:09.35.

Once again swimming out of the afternoon heats, Scottsdale’s Aaron Apel found himself a big time drop, going 8:09.46 and ultimately taking fifth, right behind Bekemeyer. Also from the early heats were sixth-place Jack McIntyre (8:10.70), Danny Erlenmeyer (8:10.90) and Simon Lamar (8:11.14), who collectively filled out the top 8.

Girls 4×100 Medley Relay – Timed Finals

Top Three Finishers:

  1. Nashville Aquatic Club – 4:12.53
  2. SwimMAC – 4:12.71
  3. Palo Alto – 4:12.95

A thrilling race in the girls medley relay saw Nashville Aquatic Club nip SwimMAC and Palo Alto for the final girls title of the meet.

Nashville has been on a tear so far this meet, and the relay showed off some of their most notable swimmers. 14-year-old double backstroke champ Alex Walsh led off in 1:01.56, and Allie Raab was 1:01.67 on the fly leg. In between was Ella Nelson, 1:11.92 on breast, and Julia-Jane Eskew anchored in 57.38 as the team went 4:12.53.

Only two tenths behind were SwimMAC in 4:12.71. Erika Brown nearly powered her team past Nashville for the win, anchoring in a quick 55.55, and Alyssa Marsh‘s 1:00.20 fly leg powered a huge back half for SwimMAC.

Palo Alto also had a great closing burst, with Isabelle Henig going 55.88 on the freestyle leg. Earlier on, Grace Zhao was a 1:10.20 to lead Palo Alto back into contention on breaststroke. PASA went 4:12.95 for third.

Swimming in an earlier heat, SwimAtlanta nearly nipped Palo Alto in 4:12.08. That was courtesy of a big 59.56 fly leg from Haley McInerny, plus a 57.41 from anchor Madeline Cohen.

Fifth went to SwimMAC’s B team, with Jessica Merritt anchoring in 56.27 as the team went 4:15.02.

Boys 4×100 Medley Relay – Timed Finals

Top Three Finishers:

  1. Upper Dublin – 3:44.83
  2. KING – 3:46.20
  3. Bolles School – 3:46.31

The 2015 Junior Nationals ended with one more National Age Group record, this one courtesy of Upper Dublin Aquatic Club.

Upper Dublin went 3:44.83 to break the 15-18 NAG set by SwimMAC in 2013. That SwimMAC team included future Division II NCAA champ Matt Josa and Auburn All-American Kyle Darmody.

Upper Dublin managed to match those two on the fly and free legs, respectively. Michael Thomas went 53.76 on fly, and Michael Jensen blasted a 49.39 on freestyle, two giant back-end splits. Alessandro Borratto led off in 57.14 on backstroke, and Wyatt Amdor was 1:04.52 on breaststroke.

KING finished about a second and a half back in 3:46.20, getting a quick 56.61 backstroke leg from Thomas Anderson. Mathias Oh was 53.50 on the fly leg for KING as well.

The Bolles School Sharks were just a tenth behind, nearly completing the comeback on Tyler Rice‘s 50.56 anchor leg. Bolles went 3:46.31, also getting a 1:03.27 on breaststroke out of Rio Kurihara.

Fourth went to Palo Alto in 3:47.08, with Jeremy Babinet contributing a 1:03.00 on breast and Albert Gwo going 50.99 on freestyle.

SwimAtlanta rounded out the top 5 in 3:48.17, getting a 57.24 leadoff split from Taylor Delk.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
5 years ago

200 IM 15-16 Seliskar-1:59.84 Phelps 2:00.86

Lets go MA!

5 years ago

Another great swim for Walsh.

5 years ago

I really like this video format! Why couldn’t we get this at all the big meets in the US?!

Reply to  Tim
5 years ago

Only improvement I would make to this format is putting in the running clock either on the video or under the lane assignments.

bobo gigi
5 years ago

Another great swim for Alex Walsh in the 200 IM!
2.15.84 to win the B-Final
Her PB was 2.21.53

bobo gigi
Reply to  bobo gigi
5 years ago

Not sure a lot of swimmers of the A-Final will go faster.

5 years ago

Nashville Aquatic Club is doing big things this weekend!! Alex Walsh is the future for women’s swimming. I could see her in semi’s at OT’s if she does more PB’s like she is at juniors..

bobo gigi
5 years ago

Alex Walsh now 3rd fastest US 13/14 girl ever behind Missy Franklin and Katie Hoff.

bobo gigi
5 years ago

And she has turned 14 last Friday!

Hulk Swim
5 years ago

Drabot DQ?

bobo gigi
Reply to  Hulk Swim
5 years ago

Yes. Like Pfeifer.

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 …

Read More »