2016 U.S. Winter Jr Champs (West): Regan Smith Leads 200 IM in Day 2 Prelims


Day 2 prelims of the 2016 U.S. Winter Junior Championships (West) saw Cal commit Ryan Hoffer rip an 18.88 in 50 free prelims to make him the 2nd fastest 17-18 swimmer ever in the event. Needless to say, he’s the top seed tonight and will be chasing Caeleb Dressel’s NAG Record of 18.67 in the final. Behind him, Scottsdale Aquatic Club teammate Jack Blake, an Alabama commit, tied for 2nd with Clayton Bobo in 20.03.

Texas state champ Jack LeVant took on a double this morning, first taking the top seed for finals in the 500 free with a quick 4:18.20. He followed that up with a 20.23 for 4th seed in the 50 free. Bryce Mefford, another Cal commit, is also set to swim in 2 finals tonight after taking 6th in the 50 free (20.33) and 4th in the 200 IM (1:47.05). Leading the way through 200 IM prelims was 15-year-old Shane Blinkman in 1:46.03.

On the women’s side, 14-year-old Regan Smith put up a highlight swim with her 1:59.13 to set herself up as the top seed for finals, just a nail ahead of Chloe Clark (1:59.16). Zoe Bartel, who picked up 3rd, was also sub-2:00 with her 1:59.43.

Grace Ariola (22.55) will headline the 50 free final, with Eva Merrell (22.65) swimming beside her after both turned in 22-mids this morning. The 500 free will feature top seed Evie Pfiefer (4:44.68) and 2nd seed Zoe Gawronska (4:44.73), who finished within 5 hundredths of each other in prelims.

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Good swims for two Minnesota swimmers, Regan S and Shane B, top seeds in 200IM! It has been fun to watch them compete in MN over the years. Exceptional talents, great kids and wonderful families.


Dressel’s NAG is 18.67

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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