Maxime Rooney Pops 49.6 100 Free to Highlight Day 2 Prelims of US Junior Nationals

The U.S. Junior National Championships continue this morning with day 2 prelims. The session will feature the 200 back, 100 free, and 400 I.M. for the men and women.

13-year-old Alex Walsh (2:12.49) sits at 2nd seed to earn a chance to challenge for the win in finals of the women’s 200 back.

Future Pac-12 rivals Mary Pelton (55.81), Katrina Konopka (55.97), and top seed Caroline McTaggart (55.62) in the women’s 100 free.

In the men’s version of that event, Michael Andrew (50.67) will make his first appearance as the 3rd seed in a stacked field of men’s sprinters. He’ll have to power past Colin Bone (50.43) and Maxime Rooney (50.44) if he wants to win, but his personal best 50.46 from last weekend is right on target.

Ella Eastin and Mark Jurek both won the 200 fly on Thursday night. They’re also each in position to take another gold. Eastin comes in with a large advantage over the field, entered at 4:43.13.



Nashville Aquatic Club’s Alex Walsh swam to a near personal best this morning, qualifying for her first championship final after narrowly missing the top 8 of the 100 breast yesterday. Her 2:12.67 was good for 2nd seed behind Emma Seiberlich, who qualified 1st in 2:12.43 with a new best time.

Grace Ariola came into the meet as the fastest in the field, and she’ll have a chance to win the event tonight after qualifying 3rd in 2:14.83.

4th through 8th place all landed in the 2:15 range. Ali Galyer (2:15.06) dropped almost 2 seconds to take 4th. Remedy Rule (2:15.11) swam out of the early heats, entered with a short course time, to take 5th just ahead of Kyra Sarazen (2:15.32)

Another 13-year-old will join Walsh in this final. Regan Smith (2:15.66) swam her way to 7th place this morning. Close behind, Karling Hemstreet rounded out the top 8 in 2:15.81.


Dropping 8 tenths off his previous best, Sarasota’s Austin Katz grabbed the top spot in the 200 back at 2:01.62. Behind him, Josh Artmann (2:02.08) and Sam Stewart (2:02.37) held on to their seeds to earn lanes 5 and 3 tonight.David Crossland raced to 4th at 2:02.46 with nearly a second drop from his seed time.

The 5th spot going into finals tonight went to Sean Grieshop at 2:02.55, well under his previous best of 2:03.79. Grieshop was a multi-event champion at winter juniors, and will compete in his first final of the meet in this event.

Rounding out the final, Taylor Delk (2:02.95), Jason Ewart (2:03.04), and Jordan Ross (2:03.13) each swam personal bests to secure a place in the championship final.


Coming into prelims, there were only 3 women swimming at the meet with times under 56 seconds. After this morning, 2 more junior women broke that barrier.

The field is led by incoming Arizona freshman Katrina Konopka. She dropped 7 tenths to clutch the top seed in 55.29.

2nd through 4th were separated by .04, setting up a tight race for the top 3 spots tonight. Melissa Pish (55.91) took the 2nd spot just ahead of Caroline McTaggert (55.93), who will start at UCLA in the fall. Brooke Hansen (55.95), who will join the Texas Longhorns this upcoming season, dropped a second to earn 4th.

Kenisha Liu (56.19) and Lauren Heller (56.39) filled the 5th and 6th place spots. Heller was just a hundredth ahead of 14-year-old Isabel Ivey from Gator Swim Club, who made a huge drop this morning. She cut her time from a 57.99 to a 56.40. Krista Duffield (56.48) closed out the top 8.

Incoming UCLA Bruin Mary Pelton, who was seeded 2nd coming into the meet, will get a chance to drop her time out of lane 4 in the B-final. She touched at 56.51


In his first swim of the meet, pro swimmer Michael Andrew tore through the water to a new personal best time at 50.23. That was faster than any other swimmer’s best time entered in the meet.

That was until Maxime Rooney hit the water. Rooney roared back in the 2nd circle seeded heat to take lane 4 in the final away from Andrew. Crushing to 50 second barrier, he hit the wall in 49.67. Those two men will battle tonight in the middle of the pool.

The next 5 men to qualify for the final were also under 51. Michael Jensen took 3rd in 50.50, followed very closely by Daniel Krueger at 50.53.

‘aukai Lilekis (50.65) broke 51 for the first time to take 5th ahead of Cameron Craig (50.75). Tate Jackson (50.93) and Tyler Harper (51.03) closed out the top 8 behind them.

Colin Bone had the top seed coming into the morning. He’ll get a 2nd swim tonight after finishing 13th in 51.21.

WOMEN’S 400 I.M.

After winning the 200 butterfly last night, Ella Eastin finished the morning as the only woman under 4:50 in the 400 I.M. She cruised in on the last 100, touching at 4:49.58 to lead the field. Half a second behind, Kelly Fertel (4:50.10) and Nora McCullagh (4:50.19) rounded out the top 3.

Shortly after making the championship final in the 100 free, Isabel Ivey dove in the pool to drop over 5 seconds from her best time in the 400 I.M. Her 4:50.53 earns her 4th going into tonight. She was just ahead of Christin Rockway (4:50.62).

Regan Barney (4:51.13), Kay Sargent (4:51.65), and Dannie Dilsaver (4:53.37) grabbed the last 3 spots in the top 8.

MEN’S 400 I.M.

After a big morning swim, Mark Andrew topped the prelims of the men’s 400 I.M. He posted a 4:23.59 to lead the top 8 by 1.5 seconds.

Cody Bekemeyer (4:25.18) set a new personal best to come within a tenth of 2nd seed Antonio Ramirez (4:25.11).

PASA landed a swimmer in the championship final. Sean Lee (4:26.19) dropped 3 seconds to place 4th, ahead of Spencer Lehman (4:26.57). Joe Molinari clocked in at 4:26.88 for 6th.

Noah Cairns (4:27.24) and Stephen Holmquist (4:27.77) will swim in the end lanes in finals as the 7th and 8th seeds.

Mark Jurek just missed the final. He came into the session with the fastest time, but will swim in the B-final tonight. He was 9th with a 4:28.11.

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Michael Andrew swam 50.46 last weekend when he went 52.8 in the 100m fly. Hope to see him in 50.2 tonight and then break 50 before the end of the summer..


he actually went 50.2 in the prelims … maybe he’ll break 50 tonight?


I’m quite shocked ! I will predict a time of 49.9 tonight .


it’s not granted he will go faster than 50.2, with the pressure and all … but he is clearly on the path of breaking 50, it’s just a question of time


Funny you ask, I was just looking through the roster and he isn’t on the list for the 100 free. Which leads to the question does that mean he is not swimming the 100 free at the junior worlds?


Maxime Roony went 49.67 in prelims.


saw that … monster swim!


Will he be at Sr Nats to try to qualify for Jr Worlds?


Caroline mctaggart fits into that “future pac-12 rivals”. will swim at UCLA with pelton


What is Grieshop’s best time in the 200m Back ? He qualified 5th for tonight with a 2:02.55


Nevermind. Just had my question answered in the article!

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona and the University of Florida. While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She is now coaching for Loggerhead Aquatics in her hometown …

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