2015 US Junior Nationals: Day 1 Live Prelims Recap

This morning marks the start of the 2015 U.S. Junior National Championships, which will feature some of the top U.S. talent as the rising stars go head to head against each other.

The first day of competition brings the 200 fly and 100 breast for the men and women, with the women’s 800 and men’s 1500 heats swimming in the afternoon. The top 8 seeds will race in the finals session.

Junior National Teamer Ella Eastin and Maxime Rooney headline their respective 200 fly fields.

Miranda Tucker is the only women’s 100 breaststroker seeded under 1:10 with a 1:09.11, but 15 year old Allie Raab sits just behind her in the rankings as the 2nd seed.

Devon Nowicki has the top seed going into prelims of the men’s 100 breast. His 1:01.96 entry time is just .02 off the meet record of 1:01.94 set by Carsten Vissering in 2013.


Women’s 200 Fly – Prelims

The prelims of the women’s 200 fly shaped a tight race for tonight’s finals. 1st through 4th going into finals are all in the 2:12 range. The field is led by SOCAL Aquatics’ Ella Eastin. The incoming Stanford Cardinal swam to the wall in 2:12.58. That doesn’t put her far ahead of the 3 swimmers behind her, but she’s already been a 2:11.63 this year at the L.A. Invite.

Behind Eastin, a trio of swimmers hit new personal best times. Emma Seiberlich touched in 2:12.63 to come within 5-hundredths of the top seed. That was good enough to take 2nd seed by a tenth. Victoria Edwards clipped her best time by .06 to take the first circle seeded heat, bringing it down to a 2:12.73 for the 3rd seed. Closely behind, 15 year old Dakota Luther dropped a half second to clear 2:13, sitting 4th at 2:12.82.

The 5th through 8th seeds are also very close, separated by half a second. GPAC’s Delaney Walz (2:14.12) and Swim Atlanta’s Haley McInerny (2:14.40) both dropped a couple tenths to earn 5th and 6th respectively. There was a tie for 7th behind them between Remedy Rule and Bailey Nero at 2:14.68 to round out the championship final.

Men’s 200 Fly – Prelims

With a best time by half a second, Max Miranda surged to the wall to win his heat over Will Macmillan in 2:00.21 to 2:00.79. The youngest swimmer in the field, 15 year old Miranda from Bluefish Swim Club, now holds the top seed going into finals, with Macmillan landing 2nd after dropping almost a full second from his best time.

Maxime Rooney was the top seed headed into prelims, with 1 of 2 entry times under 2 minutes. Rooney (2:01.18) edged out Cole Buese (2:01.27) to win his heat this morning, and earned the 3rd seed for finals.

Buese took 5th after prelims behind Mark Jurek. Jurek, who had the other sub-2 minute entry time, is 4th in 2:01.21. Also in the 2:01.2 range was NCAP’s Sam Pomajevich. The 6th seed finished this morning in 2:01.29.

Another 15-year-old will swim in the final, as North Texas Nadadores swimmer Jack LeVant made a big drop from his previous best of 2:02.88 to earn the 7th seed with a 2:01.62. Narrowly behind him in the 8th spot is Alarii Levreault-Lopez in 2:01.66, who dropped 6 tenths this morning. Those swims also qualified them for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in this event.

Women’s 100 Breast – Prelims

Dominating the prelims of the women’s 100 breast, Livonia Community’s Miranda Tucker went a new best time to kick off her final Juniors meet before heading to Indiana. She cleared 1:09, grabbing the top spot in 1:08.83. Tucker will have a chance to swim under Kasey Carlson’s meet record of 1:08.29 in the final tonight.

The next 6 swimmers to make the championship final all swam best times in prelims. The 2nd seed went to Allie Raab at 1:10.43. She was followed by Rachel Ramey, who dropped over 1.5 seconds to grab 3rd and qualify for trials in 1:10.88. PASA’s Grace Zhao slid under 1:11, taking 4th in 1:10.93.

Marie-Claire Schillinger (1:11.22) and Julia Poole (1:11.31) raced to 5th and 6th, while Alicia Harrison and Kim Williams were separated by just .01 to put them 7th and 8th, 1:11.55 to 1:11.56.

The B-final is stacked with very young talent, as the top 4 in the consolation heat are all between 13 and 15 years of age. Two of those swimmers, Ella Nelson (14, 1:11.57) and Alex Walsh (13, 1:11.63) are teammates at Nashville Aquatic Club. Nelson was just .01 away from qualifying for the championship final.

Men’s 100 Breast – Prelims

Indiana University’s Ian Finnerty topped the men’s 100 breast this morning in 1:02.66, nearly matching his personal best 1:02.63. Finnerty was the only swimmer under 1:03 in the morning heats.

The next 7 swimmers all swam to the wall in the 1:03 range. Ethan Browne grabbed the 2nd spot in 1:03.28, just .05 ahead of 3rd place, PASA’s Jeremy Babinet (1:03.33).

AQUA’s Devon Nowicki had the top seed coming into the meet. His best of 1:01.96 is well ahead of the rest of the field. In prelims, he touched the wall in 1:03.48 for 4th, narrowly ahead of Thomas Brewer (1:03.49). Look for Nowicki to move up in tonight’s final.

Bolles Sharks’ Rio Kurihara dropped a second and a half to earn 6th in 1:03.57. He was followed by Arizona freshman Matt Salerno (1:03.78) and Hank Poppe (1:03.85), who both went best times to round out the seeding for the championship final.

Women’s 800 Free – Slower Heats

The women’s Olympic distance event opened with a big 12-second drop in heat 1 from Ana Pozder of Triangle Aquatics Club, who came to the wall in 8:59.66 ahead of North Baltimore’s Selah Peacock (8:57.46) and St. Petersburg’s Peyton Palsha (8:58.57), who were both under 9:00 for the first time.

Heat 2 featured an excellent back half from 14-year-old Katelyn Kilpatrick of Central Florida, who won with 8:51.78, dropping 12.5 seconds. Spence Atkins of Sarasota YMCA took over second place overall with a dominant win in heat 3; she touched in 8:52.95, dropping 3.3 seconds. Emma Layton (unattached from Dynamo) moved into the lead after winning heat 4 with 8:51.29. Layton passed heat leaders, Peyton Quattlebaum of First Colony (8:53.90) and Sarah Shimomura of Santa Clara (8:55.22) over the last 100 meters.

Allie Wooden of Cincinnati Marlins took control of heat 5 from the very beginning and posted the first sub-8:50 of the afternoon. Wooden dropped 4.2 seconds to finish with 8:49.69. Kahra Williams of Gator Swim Club won the final heat of the women’s 800 free with a 6-second drop, touching in 8:42.65 for the fastest time overall out of the afternoon session, and the time to beat in tonight’s final.

Men’s 1500 Free – Slower Heats

Luke Gwin of Nitro dropped 9.9 seconds and posted the first time to beat with his 16:12.62 heat 1 victory over Samuel Kline of Texas Ford. Kline, too, put up a personal best, improving his seed time by 7.8 seconds with 16:13.98. Russell Noletto of City of Mobile led heat 2 from start to finish and touched in 15:59.06, his best swim by 10 seconds. Owen Kao of Irvine Novaquatics (16:07.60) and Hayden Burns of Tennessee Aquatics (16:14.01) were second and third in that heat, both notching best times with huge drops. Aaron Sett of Foothills Swim Team improved his seed time by 16 to win heat 3 in 16:01.64. He was out front wire to wire and posted the second-fastest time to that point. Memphis Tiger’s Alex Robinson dropped 22 for second place in heat 3.

Heat 4 featured a stunning performance by Scottsdale’s Aaron Apel, who dropped nearly a minute (53.6 seconds, to be precise) and put up fastest time of the afternoon session with 15:27.35. Also in heat 4, Danny Erlenmeyer of Sarasota YMCA dropped 44 seconds and was runner-up to Apel with 15:41.45, while Noah Cairns of North Carolina Aquatic Club was just behind with 15:45.04, taking 27 seconds off his previous personal best. Apel, Erlenmeyer and Cairns held the three fastest times at that point.

The following heat was just as exciting, with big drops from Baylor Swim Club’s Trey Freeman, Lane Stone of Nation’s Capital, and Parks Jones (unattached from Tucson Ford). The trio moved into 3-4-5 overall behind the heat 4 winners with 15:47.03 (-15), 15:48.20 (-13), and 15:50.07 (-11), respectively. George Horvath of Aquazot Swim Club dropped 15 to win the final heat of the men’s 1500 in 15:39.18, the second-fastest time overall.


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Coach Chackett

Michigan HS BR swimmers both Nowicki and Tucker. Tucker on to IU and Nowicki swimming for the Golden Grizzlies of Oakland University.


This new viewing format is horrible. The heat and lane assignment is 1/3 of the screen. I would rather have a better viewing of the actual swimmers.


I like the heat list and split times on the side. But, I agree that it is a little too big. Even in full screen the video is too small.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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