2017 US Junior Nationals: Day 1 Prelims Live Recap


USA Swimming’s summer Junior Nationals begin this morning in East Meadow, New York, with prelims of four events on the docket.

U.S. World Champs team member Dakota Luther will lead the opening event, the girls 200 fly. The other big name will bookend the session: NAG record-breaker Reece Whitley is the top seed in the boys 100 breaststroke at the end of the morning.

In between, Andrew Koustik leads the boys 200 fly and Zoe Hartman is the top 100 breast seed for the girls after Margaret Aroesty’s late scratch.

Keep refreshing this page for live, event-by-event updates from New York.

Girls 200 Butterfly – Prelims

  • WJR: 2:06.29 – Suzaka Hasegawa
  • Meet: 2:09.28 – Jasmine Tosky
  • 13-14 NAG: 2:07.01 – Mary T. Meagher
  • 15-16 NAG: 2:05.96 – Mary T. Meagher
  • 17-18 NAG: 2:06.95 – Katie McLaughlin

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Dakota Luther, ASC 2:11.40
  2. Lindsay Looney, MTRO 2:12.59
  3. Olivia Carter, EAC 2:13.50
  4. Isabella Gati, NCAP 2:14.01
  5. Mary Smutny, AKS 2:14.19
  6. Lillie Nordmann, MAC 2:14.21
  7. Sarah Dimeco, IST 2:14.60
  8. Elise Garcia, SCAL 2:14.68

Claire Curzan of Raleigh Swimming Association, who has now swum exactly five 200 flys in her life (3x SCY and 2x LCM), dropped 10.1 seconds from her previous best LCM time and won heat 1 with a convincing 2:21.63. Curzan has been 13 for all of a month. The next big performance came in heat 5 when Sarah Dimeco of Issaquah Swim Team lopped 1.65 seconds off her seed time and vaulted to the top of the leaderboard with 2:14.60.

In the next heat, the first of the circle seeds, Isabella Gati of Nation’s Capital Swim Club won a tight race in 2:14.01 over Mary Smutny of AquaKids Sharks (2:14.19) and Lillie Nordmann of Magnolia Aquatic Club (2:14.21), making Dimeco the fourth-fastest time of the morning.

Olivia Carter from Enfinity Aquatic Club blasted a 2:13.50 in heat 7, moving to the lead with one heat to go. Second in her heat with Carley Lowe of Highlander Aquatics in 2:14.96. Top-seeded Dakota Luther of Austin Swim Club, just back from World Championships in Budapest, went 2:11.40 to win the final heat over Metroplex Aquatics’ Lindsay Looney, whose 2:12.59 became the second-fastest of the morning.

Boys 200 Butterfly – Prelims

  • WJR: 1:53.79 – Kristof Milak
  • Meet: 1:56.54 – Andrew Seliskar
  • 13-14 NAG: 1:59.02 – Michael Phelps
  • 15-16 NAG: 1:54.58 – Michael Phelps
  • 17-18 NAG: 1:53.93 – Michael Phelps

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Carson Foster, RAYS 1:59.18
  2. Jack LeVant, NTN 1:59.58
  3. Luca Urlando, DART 2:00.33
  4. Andrew Koustik, NOVA 2:00.40
  5. Tal Davis, TG 2:01.21
  6. Van Mathias, MAC 2:01.37
  7. Jake Foster, RAYS 2:01.41
  8. Jake Johnson, DST 2:01.57

There were some strong swims in the first heats, where the yards-seeded butterflyers had the chance to put up big drops. Ethan Heasley of Hillsboro Swim Team (2:05.55, PBx4.3), Christopher Jhong of Pleasanton Seahawks (2:05.90, PBx3.1), Brad Prolo of San Clemente Aquatic Team (2:02.97, PBx3.4), and Jack Dahlgren of Aquajets Swim Club (2:01.85, PBx3.4) were particularly impressive. Dahlgren and Prolo topped the leaderboard until the circle-seeded heats.

Van Mathias of Multnomah Athletic Club won the first of those with 2:01.37. Mason Manta Rays’ Jake Foster (2:01.41) and Delaware Swim Team’s Jake Johnson (2:01.57) came to the wall just a tick behind. Foster dropped 3 seconds with his morning swim. In the very next heat, his one-year-younger brother Carson Foster, also of Mason Manta Rays, clocked a 1:59.18, improving his personal best by 3.6 seconds and rocketing to the top of the qualifiers’ list. The 15-year-old Carson Foster touched just ahead of #2 seed Jack LeVant of North Texas Nadadores (1:59.58), while Team Greenville’s Tal Davis dropped 2.1 seconds to come in third with 2:01.21. Davis Aquadarts’ 15-year-old Luca Urlando won the final heat over Irvine Novaquatics’ Andrew Koustik, 2:00.33 to 2:00.40.

Girls 100 Breaststroke – Prelims

  • WJR: 1:05.21 – Ruta Meilutyte
  • Meet: 1:08.11 – Zoe Bartel
  • 13-14 NAG: 1:08.09 – Amanda Beard
  • 15-16 NAG: 1:07.05 – Megan Quann
  • 17-18 NAG: 1:05.75 – Kasey Carlson

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Zoie Hartman, CROW 1:10.03
  2. Claire Donan, TS 1:10.86
  3. Kaki Christensen, CPAC 1:10.92
  4. Kate Douglass, CPAC 1:10.96
  5. Ellie Andrews, DCST 1:11.09/ Rachel Ramey, TFA 1:11.09
  6. Jenny Ma, SCSC 1:11.40 / Sophia Zhang, AGUA 1:11.40

Not to be outdone by her brothers, Mason Manta Rays’ Hannah Foster, a Tennessee verbal commit, cracked an impressive 1:12.73 to win the first heat of women’s 100 breast by a country mile. She improved her previous PB by 3.3 seconds and jumped up to 22nd overall for the morning with the swim.

Caraline Baker of Fort Collins Area Swim Team won heat 4 from the outside lane, dropping 1.6 seconds for 1:11.95. Her time held up as the morning’s fastest for three more heats, until Kate McBratney of Pitchfork Aquatics dropped a big 1:11.02 to take over, with Emma Garfield of Lakeside Aquatic Club (1:11.85) second in the heat.

In the final heat before the circle seeds, Jenny Ma of Santa Clara Swim Club and Princeton University went her best time to win with 1:11.40, which put her into the A final, tied for 7th with Asphalt Green’s Sophia Zhang.

Kaki Christensen of Chelsea Piers Aquatic Club opened the circle-seeded heats with 1:10.92 over Ellie Andrews from Dublin Community and Rachel Ramey, a Florida verbal commit from Texas Ford Aquatics; Andrews and Ramey tied for second in the heat with 1:11.09. Kate Douglass, also from Chelsea Piers Aquatic Club, claimed victory in the penultimate heat with 1:10.96, with Noelle Peplowski of Waves Bloomington/Normal Y Swim Team a distant second in 1:12.22. Zoie Hartman from Crow Canyon Country Club Sharks posted her second-best ever, 1:10.03, to win the final heat and lead all qualifiers out of the morning heats. Claire Donan of Triton Swimming dropped .14 to come in second to Hartman with 1:10.86.

Boys 100 Breaststroke – Prelims

  • WJR: 59.23 – Nicolo Martinenghi
  • Meet: 1:00.08 – Michael Andrew
  • 13-14 NAG: 1:03.32 – Reece Whitley
  • 15-16 NAG: 1:00.68 – Michael Andrew
  • 17-18 NAG: 59.82 – Michael Andrew

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Daniel Roy, KING 1:02.28
  2. Hank Poppe, STAN 1:02.43
  3. Zane Backes, TRA 1:02.68
  4. Jake Foster, RAYS 1:03.03
  5. Josh Bottelberghe, PAC 1:03.35
  6. Ethan Dang, KING 1:03.44
  7. Will Chan, MAC 1:03.46
  8. Jason Mathews, OSSC 1:03.69

The biggest news in the men’s 100 breast was the empty lane in the final heat, where Penn Charter Aquatic Club’s Reece Whitley should have been. You can read more about that, here.

Meanwhile, there were plenty of excellent swims to pay attention to in the pool at East Meadow. The first to crack 1:05 was Brayden Rudd of Katy Aquatic Team For Youth, who dropped over 1 second to win heat 5 with 1:04.81. Ames Cyclone Aquatics Club’s Dalton Lillibridge came back in the next heat with a best-by-.7 1:04.77. He held the lead for a full heat before Jacob Rauch from Aquatic Team Of Mecklenburg became the third breaststroker to break the 1:05 barrier for the first time; Rauch went 1:04.41. In the last heat before the circle seeds, Paul Degrado of Bolles School Sharks (1:04.00) and Andrew Couchon from Carmel Swim Club (1:04.74), also seeded with 1:05s, joined the club.

Zane Backes from Team Rebel Aquatics broke a barrier of his own, dipping under 1:03 for the first time, when he won the first circle-seeded heat in 1:02.68. Portland Aquatic Club’s Josh Bottleberghe, who recently announced his verbal commitment to Notre Dame, was second in the heat with 1:03.35.

Second-seeded Daniel Roy of King Aquatic Club went a field-leading 1:02.28 in the penultimate heat, while Will Chan of SwimMAC Carolina took 7/10 off his previous best to finish second in 1:03.46. In the absence of Whitley, Stanford Swimming’s Hank Poppe won the final heat in 1:02.43 ahead of Mason Manta Rays’ Jake Foster (1:03.03, PBx.56). Foster thus qualified for his second A final of the night.


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6 years ago

Here’s Carson Foster’s morning swim in the 200 fly.


6 years ago

Two brothers in the 200 fly final – Carson and Jake Foster.

They both dropped their PBs by 3 seconds. Big chunk of time for the 200 fly.

6 years ago

Besides geography, is there any reason why swimmers would choose to swim this Juniors over the one that happened last week?

Reply to  CraigH
6 years ago

Us open isn’t really that big of a meet. Junior Nats probably mean more to these guys than US Open

bobo gigi
6 years ago

Remember 5 years ago. 🙂
He’s a very special talent. After MP, after Lochte, after Kalisz, here comes Carson Foster. Back, free and of course fly as strongest strokes, like the Greatest.

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

Bobo, the moment you’ve been waiting for has arrived. Tonight Carson might win his first Jr. National title.

6 years ago

Foster brothers set to make a big showing at this meet. Looking forward to see what they can do

6 years ago

Literally the only girl not mentioned in the A Final 100 Breast write-up is 14 year old Ellie Andrews, one of the youngest kids at Olympic Trial’s last year. Give her some love too!

Reply to  Patrick
6 years ago

Thanks for throwing in there! Comment no longer applies.

6 years ago

They also had 51.2 as the WJR for NCSAs by the Chinese kid and that’s milaks as well

Reply to  Brownie
6 years ago

World Junior Records, unfortunately, have not been as black and white as World Records. FINA has had trouble keeping up with and processing them, and federations have frequently been inconsistent with submitting the necessary paperwork. We’ve done our best in our records section to keep up with what we think the records are or should be, but it’s a huge challenge for meet hosts, FINA, and the media to know what are the true WJRs right now.

Reply to  Braden Keith
6 years ago

Thanks Braden! You guys are doing a great job! Would love to see an aggregation of the top performers from all the Futured meets and NCSAs last week after Junior Nationals is done. Feels a bit convoluted with so many meets on the same week.

Reply to  Leto
6 years ago

We’ll put it on our list! Probably throw in YNats as well.

6 years ago

Reece no showed????

Reply to  Swammer
6 years ago

he false started

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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