2016 U.S. Winter Jr Champs – West: Day One Finals Recap



  1. Fort Collins Area Swim Team – 1:38.85
  2. Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics – 1:40.39
  3. Santa Clara Swim Club – 1:41.06

Fort Collins destroyed the field, breaking SwimMAC’s 2013 meet record (1:39.24). It looks as though they’re considering the meet record to be the overall fastest relay, regardless of which meet a relay is at, since the old record was SwimMAC (which competes on the east coast). Nevertheless, Fort Collins put together a very quick relay. Bayley Stewart (25.49, Zoe Bartel (27.47), Coleen Gillilan (24.05) and Kylee Alons (21.84) put together a 1:38.85, which was ahead of 2nd place by almost two seconds.

Bartel and Alons put up the fastest breaststroke and free splits of the field, respectively. Some of us may not be familiar with Alons, which is fair, considering the 17-year-old’s lifetime best flat start is a 23.39 from March. A 21.84 split, however, should get her name on people’s radars. Alons has moved around clubs a lot in her young career, and was most recently training with the Rocky Mountain Rapids this spring.

2nd place PASA got a boost from Grace Zhao, who threw down a 27.55 breast split, while 16-year-old Isabelle Henig anchored with a quick 22.17. Julia Cook (24.93) of Aggie Swim Club and Grace Ariola (25.06) of Waves Bloomington/Normal YMCA put up the fastest backstroke lead-offs. Meanwhile, Eva Merrell of Aquazots slammed down a 23.25 butterfly split for the quickest in the field.


  1. Scottsdale Aquatic Club – 1:27.11
  2. Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics – 1:30.01
  3. Nitro Swimming – 1:30.59

Like the Fort Collins girls, the Scottsdale Aquatic Club boys were far-and-away the cream of the crop in this relay. Ryan Hoffer (21.04), Sean Gage (24.96), Ray Van Deusen (21.59), and Jack Blake (19.52) combined for a 1:27.11 to take down a big record– Bolles’ 2011 mark of 1:27.77 set by Murpy, D’Alessandro, Schooling, and Dressel. While all four legs put in great splits, it was the bookends that made the difference here. Putting down the fastest splits by far in their respective strokes, Hoffer (21.04) in back and Blake (19.52) in free were the stars of the relay. That marks a new PB for Hoffer by six hundredths.

PASA got in at 2nd, like their girls’ relay, and Maximilian Pokutta put up the fastest breaststroke split of the field (24.42). Three boys neared the 21.0 barrier on the fly split– Alvin Jiang of Lakeside Aquatic Club (21.15), Bryce Mefford of the Sierra Marlins (21.10), and field-best Clayton Bobo of Dads Club (21.07). The closest anchor leg to Blake was Alexander Zettle of Lakeside at 20.24.


  1. Aquazot Swim Club – 7:12.12
  2. Austin Swim Club – 7:14.43
  3. Waves Bloomington/Normal Y – 7:15.13

Eva Merrell, who had the fastest fly split in the medley relay, led-off Aquazot’s 800 relay with a 1:45.89. To say that’s a significant best time would be an understatement– her best time before this was a 1:52.69. Typically a sprint butterflier and rangy backstroker, Merrell’s sprint free is the third thing one thinks about when assessing her time, and the 200 is a stretch for many young sprinters. She split it impeccably, too, going out in 52.09 and coming back in 53.80. Samantha Pearson (1:49.44), Katie Glavinovich (1:48.85), and Kate Krolikowski (1:47.94) made up the rest of the relay.

2nd place Austin Swim Club got a 1:47.63 from 2nd leg Diana Dunn, but it was 3rd place Waves Bloomington/Normal YMCA that had the best duo in the field. 2nd leg Grace Ariola, primarily a backstroker, swam a 1:45.73, while Melissa Pish followed in 1:46.18. While she didn’t have much of a supporting cast, like in the 200 medley, Julia Cook of Aggie Swim Club blasted a 1:45.77 2nd leg for them, while Samantha Shelton of Mission Viejo anchored her relay in a 1:46.00. 14-year-old Ella Ristic led off MVN’s relay in 1:48.65, while Zoe Gawronska of The Woodlands had the field’s 2nd-best lead off in 1:46.93.


  1. Scottsdale Aquatic Club – 6:31.93
  2. Nitro Swimming – 6:32.79
  3. Irvine Novaquatics – 6:33.49

Scottsdale got the job done again, thanks in part to a 1:35.27 lead-off leg from Ryan Hoffer. Jack Blake (1:38.89), Terry Yang (1:40.12) and Aaron Apel (1:37.65) combined for a time of 6:31.93, which broke Nitro’s 2015 meet record of 6:32.88. Nitro, meanwhile, touched 2nd in 6:32.79, also under the old record. Sean Grieshop propelled that relay to 2nd with a 1:37.19 on the third leg.

Bryce Mefford had the fastest split ever, leading off Sierra Marlins’ 7th place relay with a 1:35.08. Meanwhile, Lakeside’s Alexander Zettle split a 1:35.89 with a flying start. The North Texas Nadadores, who placed 4th, got a 1:36.11 lead-off from 17-year-old Jack LeVant.

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bobo gigi

No live results link for West?

Best medley relay splits.

Back. Julia Cook 24.93
Breast. Zoe Bartel 27.47
Fly. Eva Merrell 23.25
Free. Kylee Alons 21.84

Back. Ryan Hoffer 21.04 He swam 21.20 last year at the same meet.
Breast. Trent Pellini 24.39
Fly. Clayton Bobo 21.07 I like this name! 🙂
Free. Jack Blake 19.52

Best 4X200 free relay splits

Eva Merrell 1.45.93 Lead-off leg
Grace Ariola 1.45.73 Second leg

Bryce Mefford 1.35.08 Lead-off leg
Ryan Hoffer 1.35.27 lead-off leg He swam 1.37.00 last year at the same meet.


That 200 time bodes well for Hoffer’s back half 50 in his 100


Especially considering how even he split it! 24’s on every 50 after the first.

cynthia curran

Good time for Scottsdale.


Why is Hoffer still competing at Jrs? He has won at this level for several years. Thought he would go to Sr Nationals last week against better competition

bobo gigi

I would have put him in the US roster at SCM worlds. He’s a bathtub monster and he could have taken much experience against world-class athletes. At US juniors he will already have 10 yards of advantage after the first underwaters.


You’d have asked him to go on the US roster at Worlds; he’d have turned you down, just like he turned down USA Swimming, for whom he’d have been limited to relays. This way he got to have fun with his teammates (two relay wins already) and a chance to swim 6 different primary events, instead of 2. And if you look at the Senior nationals times, you’ll see Hoffer would have been nearly as dominant in that meet (aside from facing Sheilds in the Fly and Back 100s, both of which might have been fun races) as he has started out and will likely continue to be in the Juniors meet. :19.67 won the 50 after Shields’ :19.31 prelim,… Read more »


Many people choose different meets for different reasons… Maybe Hoffer wanted another chance at some NAGs with his team before heading off to college. He will have many international experiences in years to come.


So a 21.04 50 back, 19.06 50 free a freaking 41.23 100 free, 45.58 100 back, a 45.46 100 fly and to top it all off a 1:35.27. Best recruit ever?

bobo gigi

Clearly a dream swimmer for every NCAA coach.
50 free/100 fly/100 free at NCAA championships?
We know he’s a short course beast. I just wonder:
– if he can improve much his times in the years to come. He already has crazy good underwaters so it’s hard to improve much that part. He seems very mature physically for his age and already very muscular.
– how he will develop in long course and if he can become a world-class sprinter in the big pool. A great challenge for Cal coaches.

bobo gigi

You can update!
Hoffer 18.88 in the 50 free prelims

and 19.66 for 16-year-old Kibler in the East part, after swimming a 500 free

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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