2017 Winter Junior Championships – East Day 2 Prelims (LIVE)


The first individual events of the 2017 Speedo Winter Junior Championships get underway on Thursday morning. That means a preliminary session featuring the 500 freestyles, 200 IMs, and 50 freestyles for both genders.

Among the most anticipated events of the morning will be the girls’ 50 free, where Gretchen Walsh will have the chance to prove that her 21.01 split on a 200 medley relay anchor on Wednesday wasn’t a fluke or a timing error.

Girls’ 500 free – Prelims

  • Short Course Juniors meet (combined) record – Hannah Cox, Upper Valley Aquatic Club, 4:37.82 – 2015

Leah Braswell leads the field coming out of prelims in the women’s 500 free after a 4:44.24 in the morning. She leads what will be a relatively-veteran A-final tonight with 5 swimmers that are 17-years old, as compared to many races that will be dominated by younger swimmers.

Braswell, from the North York YMCA, but a strong kick into her last 50 in her morning swimming, finishing in 26.87 to sit just about half-a-second short of her personal best. Braswell is the defending LCM Junior National Champion in the 1500 free and YMCA Short Course National Champion in the 1650 free, so that finishing kick shouldn’t be taken as an anomaly.

Close behind her was Madison Homovic from the Marlins of Raleigh in 4:44.71. Homovic was the top seed coming into the race. Mary Smutny touched 3rd in 4:46.92, and Lola Mull, coming off a record-setting meet at the Michigan High School State Championships, qualified 4th in 4:47.28.

Top 8 – A Finalists:

  1. Leah Braswell, York YMCA – 4:44.24
  2. Madison Homovich, Marlins of Raleigh – 4:44.71
  3. Mary Smutny, AquaKids Sharks – 4:46.92
  4. Lola Mull, Mid-Michigan Aquatics – 4:47.28
  5. Olvyn Bartis, SwimMAC Carolina – 4:47.31
  6. Emma Weyant, Sarasota YMCA – 4:47.68
  7. Sinclair Larson, SwimMAC Carolina – 4:47.28
  8. Emily Hetzer, Occoquan Swimming – 4:47.98

Boys’ 500 free – Prelims

  • Short Course Juniors meet (combined) record – Drew Kibler, Carmel Swim Club, 4:15.36 – 2016

Kieran Smith of the Ridgefield Aquatic Club in Connecticut earned the middle lane in the boys’ 500 free final with a 4:18.22 in prelims – a time that improves his own personal best by more than 4 seconds. It might take another personal best in finals, though, to hold off the defending champion and short course juniors record holder Drew Kibler, though early returns for Kibler show that he was slightly off his lifetime best in the 800 free relay on Wednesday. Kibler will swim right next to Smith in the final after a 4:18.71 prelims swim.

SwimAtlanta’s Bradley Dunham had an even bigger drop – knocking nearly 6 seconds from his personal best. World Championship team member Robert Freeman qualified 4th in 4:19.28.

Top 8 – A Finalists:

  1. Kieran Smith, Ridgefield Aquatic Club – 4:18.22
  2. Drew Kibler, Carmel Swim Club – 4:18.71
  3. Bradley Dunham, SwimAtlanta – 4:19.07
  4. Robert Freeman, Baylor Swim Club – 4:19.28
  5. Ross Dant, Hickory Foundation YMCA – 4:19.29
  6. Cody Bybee, Dayton Raiders – 4:20.16
  7. Hayden Curley, Highlander Aquatic Club – 4:22.09
  8. John Dubois, SwimAtlanta – 4:22.43

Girls’ 200 IM – Prelims

  • Short Course Juniors meet (combined) record – Alex Walsh, Nashville Aquatic Club, 1:54.48 – 2016

In her first individual swim of the meet, Nashville Aquatic Club 16-year old Alex Walsh swam a 1:56.08 to qualify at the top of the pile for the 200 IM final. That’s short of the time that she won and set a meet record with last season, but is about 2 seconds better than she was in prelims in 2016.

Olivia Carter from Enfinity Aquatic Club qualified 2nd in 1:57.92, shaving .01 seconds off her previous lifetime best, and Kate Douglass (who later in the session is the top seed in the 50 free) qualified 3rd in 1:48.32 – knocking exactly a second off her lifetime best. Douglass trains at Chelsea Piers in Connecticut – the same club that Walsh trained with when she was younger.

Three swimmers from the Nashville Aquatic Club qualified for the A Final: Walsh, Allie Raab, and Ella Nelson.

Top 8 – A Finalists:

  1. Alex Walsh, Nashville Aquatic Club – 1:56.08
  2. Olivia Carter, Enfinity Aquatic Club – 1:57.91
  3. Kate Douglass, Chelsea Piers – 1:58.32
  4. Kelly Pash, Carmel Swim Club – 1:58.81
  5. Allie Raab, Nashville Aquatic Club – 1:59.34
  6. Ella Nelson, Nashville Aquatic Club – 1:59.39
  7. Hannah Foster, Mason Manta Rays – 1:59.63
  8. Kathleen Golding, South Florida Aquatic Club – 1:59.93

Boys’ 200 IM – Prelims

  • Short Course Juniors meet (combined) record – Michael Andrew, Indie Swimming, 1:42.77 – 2015

The Foster brothers sit 1 and 2 in the boys’ 200 IM after prelims, with the younger Carson touching 1st in 1:44.57 and Jacob qualifying 2nd in 1:44.82. Carson had the better time coming in at 1:46.92, so the results are a huge time-drop for both swimmers.

Dillon Hils from Bolles also had a big drop: he was seeded 17th coming in, and cut three seconds off his seed to qualify 3rd in 1:46.35. Top seed Kieran Smith pushed through to the final 5th in 1:47.13 after qualifying 1st in the 500 earlier in the session.

Top 8 – A Finalists:

  1. Carson Foster, Mason Manta Rays – 1:44.57
  2. Jacob Foster, Mason Manta Rays – 1:44.82
  3. Dillon Hillis, Bolles – 1:46.35
  4. Raunak Khosla, Dynamo – 1:46.95
  5. Kieran Smith, Ridgefield Aquatic Club – 1:47.13
  6. Destin Lasco, Pleasantville – 1:47.53
  7. William Chan, SwimMAC Carolina – 1:47.79
  8. Timothy Connery, SwimMAC Carolina – 1:47.85

Girls’ 50 Free – Prelims

  • Short Course Juniors meet (combined) record – Abbie Wietzeil, Canyons Aquatics, 21.49 – 2014

After an incredible 21.0 relay split last night, Gretchen Walsh followed up with a top qualifying time of 22.26 in the 50 free this morning. That’s a half-second drop from her seed, though still well short of her speed a night ago, assuming there were no timing errors on that split. The 14-year-old leads her older sister Alex Walsh (22.35) by a tenth heading into tonight, and also broke the 13-14 National Age Group record previously held at 22.32 from 2016.

The previous record-holder, Katherine Douglas was 22.48 for the third spot. Now 16, Douglass was one of five 16-year-olds to make the top 8. Also 16 is fourth qualifier Cora Dupre (22.51).

The entire top 14 were under 23 seconds, with a pair of 23.0s making the B final.

Top 8 – A Finalists:

  1. G. Walsh, 22.26
  2. A. Walsh, 22.35
  3. Douglas, 22.48
  4. Dupre, 22.51
  5. Countie, 22.52
  6. Albiero, 22.80
  7. Bates/Bartis, 22.84

Boys’ 50 Free – Prelims

  • Short Course Juniors meet (combined) record – Ryan Hoffer, Scottsdale Aquatic Club, 18.71 – 2016

In his 2nd swim of the session, Drew Kibler of the Carmel Swim Club took the top seed in the boys’ 50 free with a 19.55. That’s his best time, beating his swim from this same meet last year of 19.66. The new time jumps him up to 19th in the 50 free, now one spot ahead of Olympic gold medalist Nathan Adrian.

He was one of 2 swimmers under 20 seconds: fellow Indianan Jack Franzman from the Zionsville Swim Club qualified 2nd in 19.98. Those two had 2 of the 3 fastest splits, joined by Henry Schutte of the Grand Rapids Area YMCA. Schutte qualified for the B Final with a 20.32 on Thursday morning.

Justin Grender, who made headlines with a big split at an intrasquad meet in November, qualified 3rd in 20.01 – just missing his first sub-20 flat-start swim.

Top 8 – A Finalists:

  1. Drew Kibler, Carmel Swim Club – 19.55
  2. Jack Franzman, Zionsville Swim Club – 19.98
  3. Justin Grender, Cincinnati Marlins – 20.01
  4. John Walker, SwimMAC Carolina – 20.18
  5. Cody Bybee, Dayton Raiders – 20.19
  6. Mason Gonzalez, Allegheny North – 20.25
  7. Matthew Yish, SOLO Aquatics/Carson Foster, Mason Manta Rays – 20.28



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I think Madison last name has an h on the end


I am the lone “thrilled” to see Gretchen Walsh’ result in the heats of 50 free after that “unreal” split?


She went 22.2 showed that split wasn’t a fluke swim. Under 22 tonight.


22.2 is a great swim for a lady of any age, but does not translate to 21.01. If she goes 21.7-21.8, that will translate.


She could just get up for relays….Megan Romano 50 was 20.99 and 100 free was really fast on relays, but it never translated to the individual in the 50 or 100 normally at least a second difference. I say that to say I do hope she goes a 21 tonight, but at the same time the split was ligit


For the most part I do agree that the split was legit, but I do worry a bit about its legitimacy based on the 22.2. My bigger worry is that if it was off by a few tenths and she doesn’t approach a split like that again for a while (or ever), what it could do to the mental mindset of such a young lady.

Let’s see a few more swims/splits.


Just like Lezak should have gone 46.7-46.8 in the 100 Free in Beijing. Sometimes that relay adrenaline creates something magical


exactly …….well pointed out


On the relay she hit the water .7 behind the girl next to her. She definitely got some help from that wave. Relay take-off + the little wave ride could account for the time difference. No matter how you look at it, she’s fast for 14. Let’s hope she sticks with the sport and stays focused. Those girls names listed got a lot faster before they became famous in the Swimming Community.


Finny FLUKE! Tammy Touchpad error!

This girl’s gonna be called names the rest of her life over this swim


Hahah or she will just prove u wrong 😉


Or she could just be better at relay starts and her regular start might not be as great. We will see tonight.

Sprint Nashville

@Murica – Why? Is that because you like trolling 14-year-old girls, or because you think it’s impossible to improve past the age of 14? I’m sure she will be called “fast” the rest of her life after that swim.


I was thinking what I said what hilarious. Tammy Touchpad Error?? That’s too good to be serious.

I’m just making fun of people freaking out over a relay and prelims swim. Obviously this girl is gonna be something special. Yall are stiffies. Have a glass, enjoy yourselves! Its almost Christmas!

Sprint Nashville

A national age group record is thrilling! Way to go Gretchen.


Any reason the west is being streamed but not the east?
Im honestly a bit more interested in the east,

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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