2017 World Junior Championships: Day 1 Prelims Live Recap


The opening day of the 2017 World Junior Championships is set to get underway from Indianapolis, with a whopping eight events on the schedule for day 1.

The men will swim the 400 free, 100 back, 100 breast and 4×100 free relay, and the women will contest the 50 breast, 400 IM, 100 back and 4×200 free relay. All 50 or 100m races will have semi-finals, while any race 200m and up will advance the top-8 from prelims directly to the final.

Notably, 100 back junior world record holder Kliment Kolesnikov has scratched that event for this morning’s session. That moves Spain’s Hugo Gonzalez up to the #1 seed with his entry time of 54.18

Men’s 400 Free Prelims

  • WJR: 3:44.60, Mack Horton (AUS), 2014
  • CR: 3:47.12, Mack Horton (AUS), 2013
  • Start list M400Free
  1. Trey Freeman, USA, 3:51.32
  2. Francisco Arevalo Rubio, ESP, 3:52.11
  3. Andrew Abruzzo, USA, 3:52.20
  4. Balasz Hollo, HUN, 3:52.41
  5. Antoni Kaluzynski, POL, 3:52.45
  6. Nathan Robinson, AUS, 3:52.87
  7. Jarryd Baxter, RSA, 3:53.01
  8. Jacob Vincent, AUS, 3:53.18

Americans Andrew Abruzzo and Trey Freeman both swam smart races to pace their respective preliminary heats in times of 3:52.20 and 3:51.32 respectively.

Swimming in the 6th of 7 heats, Abruzzo sat in the pack before accelerating home in 27.85 to win the heat in a close sprint finish. Hungary’s Balasz Hollo (3:52.41), Poland’s Antoni Kaluzynski (3:52.45) and Australia’s Nathan Robinson (3:52.87) were all right behind Abruzzo and end up qualifying for the final 4th through 6th overall.

The last heat was a similar story, as Freeman broke a tightly bunched field late to pull away and take over the top time of the morning with his 3:51.32. Spain’s Francisco Arevalo Rubio came in behind him at 3:52.11 to pass Abruzzo for 2nd overall. South African Jarryd Baxter and Australian Jacob Vincent were 3rd and 4th in the heat and round out the eight finalists in times of 3:53.01 and 3:53.18 respectively.

Russians Maksim Aleksandrov (3:53.52) and Martin Malyutin (3:54.29) just missed out in 9th and 10th.

Women’s 50 Breast Prelims

  1. Emily Weiss, USA, 30.91
  2. Faith Knelson, CAN, 31.16
  3. Mona McSharry, IRL, 31.41
  4. Zoe Bartel, USA, 31.59
  5. Annabel Guye-Johnson, GBR, 31.74
  6. Tara Vovk, SLO, 31.76
  7. Chelsea Hodges, AUS, 31.78
  8. Weronika Hallmann, POL, 31.87
  9. Agne Seleikaite, LTU, 31.93
  10. Katie Robertson, GBR, 32.09
  11. Gulsen Samanci, TUR, 32.17
  12. Anastasia Makarova, RUS, 32.26
  13. Tina Celik, SLO, 32.35
  14. Niamh Coyne, IRL, 32.36
  15. Hannah Brunzell, SWE, 32.39
  16. Emina Pasukan, BIH, 32.59

American Emily Weiss broke 31 seconds for the first time in heat 6 of the women’s 50 breast to establish the fastest time of the morning heading into the semi-finals. She lowers her previous best of 31.11, set at U.S. Trials in late June where she won the B-final.

She won the heat by a wide margin, with Slovenia’s Tara Vovk (31.76) and Australia’s Chelsea Hodges (31.78) finishing 2nd and 3rd. They finished 6th and 7th overall.

In the heat prior Canadian junior champion Faith Knelson went 31.16, a time that stands up as 2nd best. Great Britain’s Annabel Guye-Johnson (31.74) and Lithuania’s Agne Seleikaite (31.93) also broke 32 from the heat to qualify 5th and 9th overall.

Two more swimmers were sub-32 in heat 7, led by Ireland’s Mona McSharry in 31.41. She was followed by American Zoe Bartel (31.59), as they move into the semis in 3rd and 4th.

Men’s 100 Back Prelims

  1. Conor Ferguson, IRL, 54.95
  2. Daniel Martin, ROU, 54.96
  3. Nikita Tretyakov, RUS, 55.14
  4. Hugo Gonzalez, ESP, 55.26
  5. Kacper Stokowski, POL, 55.42
  6. Nicolas Albiero, USA, 55.44
  7. Drew Kibler, USA, 55.51
  8. Nicholas Pyle, GBR, 55.72
  9. Brodie Williams, GBR, 55.89
  10. Abdellah Ardjoune, ALG, 56.00
  11. Panagiotis Balanos, GRE, 56.21
  12. Armin Evert Lelle, EST, 56.23
  13. Thomas Ceccon, ITA, 56.28
  14. Leon MacAlister, AUS, 56.35
  15. Kamil Kazmierczak, POL, 56.49
  16. Rakas Juozelskis, LTU, 56.75

Ireland’s Conor Ferguson and Romania’s Daniel Martin were the only two to crack 55 in the men’s 100 back heats, doing so to win the final two heats in times of 54.95 and 54.96 respectively. Martin will look to give Romania a repeat gold medal in this event after Robert Glinta was victorious two years ago in Singapore.

With junior world record holder Kliment Kolesnikov absent, his countryman Nikita Tretyakov stepped up to post the 3rd fastest time in 55.14, winning heat 5. The now top seed Hugo Gonzalez of Spain (55.26) was 4th overall.

2017 European Junior champ Kacper Stokowski of Poland came in next at 55.42, just ahead of the American duo of Nicolas Albiero (55.44) and Drew Kibler (55.51). Great Britain’s Nicholas Pyle and Brodie Williams were the other two to crack 56 seconds, putting them 8th and 9th.

Women’s 400 IM Prelims

  • WJR: 4:35.69, Zhou Min (CHN), 2014
  • CR: 4:39.01, Rosie Rudin (GBR), 2015
  • Start list W400IM
  1. Miku Kojima, JPN, 4:44.75
  2. Anja Crevar, SRB, 4:45.08
  3. Christin Rockway, USA, 4:46.23
  4. Anna Sasaki, JPN, 4:46.31
  5. Madison Homovich, USA, 4:46.67
  6. Laia Marti Fernandez, ESP, 4:47.04
  7. Cyrielle Duhamel, FRA, 4:48.32
  8. Irina Krivonogova, RUS, 4:49.21

Japan’s Miku Kojima established a sizeable lead over the 5th and final heat on the backstroke leg and held strong throughout the rest of the race, hitting the wall in 4:44.75 for the top time of the morning. Her teammate Anna Saski made up a bit of ground on her on free, touching 2nd in 4:46.31 for 4th overall.

Heat 4 saw Serbia’s Anja Crevar and the U.S. duo of Christin Rockway and Madison Homovich have a close battle. Homovich led by a second after the backstroke, but Crevar pulled ahead on breaststroke to lead Rockway by two seconds heading into the freestyle with Homovich back another second. Crevar held strong to win the heat in 4:45.08, with Rockway (4:46.23) and Homovich (4:46.67) 2nd and 3rd. They qualify 2nd, 3rd and 5th overall for the final.

Spain’s Laia Marti Fernandez was the slowest of the eight finalists at the 200 mark by a wide margin (2:22.37), but had a sizzling 1:18.51 breaststroke split to move up and ultimately qualify 6th overall in 4:47.04.

Men’s 100 Breast Prelims

  1. Nicolo Martinenghi, ITA, 59.53
  2. Reece Whitley, USA, 1:00.41
  3. Zac Stubblety-Cook, AUS, 1:00.75
  4. Michael Andrew, USA, 1:00.91
  5. Evgenii Somov, RUS, 1:01.27
  6. Alessandro Pinzuti, ITA, 1:01.50
  7. Wassili Kuhn, GER, 1:01.61
  8. Michael Houlie, RSA, 1:01.70
  9. Valentin Bayer, AUT, 1:01.72
  10. Gabe Mastromatteo, CAN, 1:01.76
  11. Vladislav Gerasimneko, RUS, 1:01.79
  12. Yu Hanaguruma, JPN, 1:01.86
  13. Philipp Brandt, GER, 1:01.91
  14. David Schlicht, AUS / Tanguy Lesparre, FRA, 1:02.37
  15. Ikuma Osaki, JPN, 1:02.42

Junior world record holder Nicolo Martinenghi of Italy threw down the gauntlet in the final heat of the men’s 100 breast, breaking the meet record in a time of 59.53 to qualify 1st by nearly a full second. He lowers Anton Chupkov‘s 2015 mark of 1:00.12, and will look to approach his junior record of 59.23 in the semis and final.

Australia’s Zac Stubblety-Cook had a strong swim behind Martinenghi in the heat to post a 1:00.75, putting him 3rd overall. American Reece Whitley had a strong second 50 to win the first circle-seeded heat in 1:00.41, putting him 2nd, and his teammate Michael Andrew won the other seeded heat in 1:00.91 to sit 4th.

Russia’s Evgenii Somov was also fast out of the last heat in 1:01.27 for 5th overall, and Italy manages to put two swimmers in the top-6 with Alessandro Pinzuti‘s strong showing of 1:01.50.

Canadian Gabe Mastromatteo notably had a big drop to qualify 10th in 1:01.76, improving his 1:03.17 best by well over a second.

Women’s 100 Back Prelims

  1. Regan Smith, USA, 59.52
  2. Taylor Ruck, CAN, 59.64
  3. Natsumi Sakai, JPN, 1:00.11
  4. Jade Hannah, CAN, 1:00.21
  5. Grace Ariola, USA, 1:00.67
  6. Cassie Wild, GBR, 1:00.84
  7. Polina Egorova, RUS, 1:01.19
  8. Anna Maine, GBR, 1:01.30
  9. Anastasiia Avdeeva, RUS, 1:01.43
  10. Mariella Venter, RSA, 1:01.71
  11. Maya Tobehn, GER, 1:02.55
  12. Anastasiya Shkurdai, BLR, 1:02.57
  13. Fernanda Goeij, BRA, 1:02.58
  14. Victoria Bierre, DEN, 1:02.64
  15. Tania Quaglieri, ITA, 1:02.68
  16. Laura Ilyes, HUN, 1:02.86

American Regan Smith and Canadian Taylor Ruck set up what should be a fantastic head-to-head battle once we get to the final, as the two were within just over a tenth of each other in 59.52 and 59.64 to post the top two times in the women’s 100 back.

Smith won the penultimate heat, lowering the championship record of 59.58 set by Australian Minna Atherton in 2015 and also lowering her best time from 59.70 set at U.S. Trials in June. Ruck followed suit in the last heat, breaking a minute for the first time to qualify 2nd overall for the semi-finals.

Those swims come as no surprise as Smith is coming off an appearance in the final of the 200 back at the World Championships, while Ruck recently went a big best of 2:07.6 in that same event at the Canadian Junior Championships.

The other Canadian entrant, Jade Hannah, won the other circle-seeded heat in 1:00.21 to qualify 4th overall, with Japan’s Natsumi Sakai (1:00.11) 3rd overall after taking 2nd to Ruck in the last heat. American Grace Ariola and Brit Cassie Wild also broke 1:01, and recent European Junior champion Polina Egorova was right behind them for 7th overall in 1:01.19.

Men’s 4×100 Free Relay

  1. Brazil, 3:18.84
  2. Germany, 3:19.93
  3. Russia, 3:20.07
  4. Australia, 3:20.19
  5. Poland, 3:20.35
  6. Hungary, 3:20.86
  7. United States, 3:20.91
  8. Italy, 3:22.01

The Brazilians, Germans and Russians posted the top three times of the morning in the men’s 400 free relay from heat 2, led by Brazil in 3:18.84. Three of their four legs were sub-50, including a 49.81 lead-off from Lucas Peixoto and a 48.98 split from Breno Correia.

Germany (3:19.93) and Russia (3:20.07) both had their fastest legs come on the back half, with their top splits coming from Peter Varjasi (49.65) going 3rd and Ivan Girev (49.02) on the anchor.

The Australians won the final heat over Poland and the U.S. for the 4th best time in 3:20.19, with a quick 49.28 anchor coming from Elijah Winnington. Poland had three sub-50 swimmers to take 5th overall in 3:20.35, and the U.S. will be on the outside tonight after placing 7th in 3:20.91. Their top split came from Drew Kibler (49.94) on the lead-off.

The Hungarians, who won a surprise bronze in this event at the World Championships, advance in 6th thanks to a 49.25 lead-off from a member of that Worlds team, Nandor Nemeth.

The Italians round out the finalists, and there was a clear divide between the top-8 and the rest as the 9th place Japanese team was over five seconds back of Italy.

Women’s 4×200 Free Relay

  1. Canada, 8:03.10
  2. United States, 8:06.67
  3. Russia, 8:07.38
  4. Japan, 8:09.27
  5. Hungary, 8:09.31
  6. Spain, 8:10.13
  7. Germany, 8:11.80
  8. Italy, 8:14.90

The Canadians ease into the final of the women’s 800 free relay with the top time at 8:03.10, winning heat 2. Kayla Sanchez was one of two in the field to crack 2:00 with her 1:59.75 second leg, and 100 free Olympic gold medalist Penny Oleksiak cruised her way to a 2:00.16 split on the third leg. Given Oleksiak split 1:54.9 at the Olympics, and the team will likely add Taylor Ruck tonight, they should be very dangerous.

The Americans won heat 1 in 8:06.67 for the 2nd best time overall, led by a 2:00.73 anchor from Kelly Pash. The Russians qualify 3rd with a solid 2:00.72 lead-off from Anastasiia Kirpichnikova, and Japan sits 4th after receiving the fastest split of the field, a 1:59.18 lead-off from Rikako Ikee.

Hungary, Spain, Germany and Italy round out the eight finalists, while the Australians were disqualified after an early take-off from Jenna Forrester who swam third.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
6 years ago

This may mark the beginning of a plateau that MA may cannot get through. If so, then his talent has been wasted due to dogmatically refusing to add/try something new in his training approach.

6 years ago

It’s interesting that the top 3 times in prelims for the women’s 100 back at world juniors all beat the winning time at WUGs. Quite an impressive field.

Reply to  dmswim
6 years ago

Yeah, it seem to be more fun to follow the USA’s up-and-coming stars.

Regan Smith has had a great summer. She made the final in the 200 back at her first WCs.

Reply to  marklewis
6 years ago

Ive got respect for both Wld Jrs & WUGS competitors . Not all at WJRs will still be in the sport 4-5 ( even 10) years on & not all WUGS competitors made it to WJRs .

Over in the gymnastics I found a 26 year old who was the 2006 European Jnr champ & top Olympic prospect .Things didn’t pan out for her but she just won gold as part of team Russia & was top qualifier on floor .I haven’t checked floor finals but I don’t need to . Even 10 years ago we would never have thought a 26 year old could tumble high class floor routine .

Sport for all , sport more inclusive &… Read more »

Reply to  G.I.N.A
6 years ago

Holy cow. That’s ancient in gymnast years. Good for her.

6 years ago

Is Drew Kibler more a SC yards swimmer?

His LC times don’t seem to correlate with his SC results, where he’s set NAGs.

6 years ago

Anyone know which subs will happen on relays by night?

FYI: Luis Guvstavo Borges is the son of the Olympic Medallists Gustavo borges

Reply to  Rafael
6 years ago

Is he going to swim at Michigan?

Reply to  completelyconquered
6 years ago

I think so.. His Dad is a Hero there and he has the skills to back that, so would be an easy choice for he
Also on note, his 50 free split on this morning was almost his PB on 50 freestyle itself..

6 years ago

Canada should crush the junior record tonight in the relay

Reply to  Taa
6 years ago

No kidding. it kind of looked like they all took it relatively easy in the prelims.

Reply to  Taa
6 years ago

I think they are capable of beating all 3 relay junior records tbh

Reply to  Taa
6 years ago

Here’s a question? Who will lead it off, and if it’s either Penny Oleksiak or Taylor Ruck, will they beat the individual world junior record of 1:55.16?

Reply to  Ben
6 years ago

Unfortunately I doubt it. Penny might have been able to do that in rio (split a 1:54 after all) but I doubt she’s in that form right now. Would love to see one of them get it though, anything is possible.

Reply to  Bob
6 years ago

You’re probably right but it’s hard to say anything for sure. She was close to her personal bests in both her 100m events last month, and for all we know she’s gotten a bit faster since. At the same time, she’s hardly done any 200m anything this year as far as we know.

Reply to  Taa
6 years ago

If they go with Ruck, Smith, Sanchez and Oleksiak as expected tonight, I think they should win easily and break the record. While it is still 3 years off, these 4 swimmers are likely going to be the Canada’s 4X200 team in Tokyo (and probably also the 4X100 free team too).

Ruck has likely peaked for this meet (her 100 back prelim time this morning was great) since she missed qualifying for senior worlds, so I expect her to put up the best time tonight of the Canadians.

I also think they have great chance of winning the 4X100 free and medley here; if not, they should certainly podium in all 3 women’s relays.

Reply to  KRB
6 years ago

Yup, that’s the team they’re going with. Sanchez is leading it off, then it’s Oleksiak 2nd, Smith 3rd and Ruck as the anchor.

ice age swimmer
6 years ago

I wish MA would experiment with a different freestyle recovery. His technique works great for a 50, but tightens up so much for anything longer than that. I don’t think it’s just conditioning. After all, he can go a 1:59+ LC200 IM, which is tremendous. I am behind him all the way- I just wish they’d tweak his freestyle technique.I think a slightly straighter, higher arm recovery seems to work well for a lot of top swimmers these days.

Reply to  ice age swimmer
6 years ago

Agreed, as far as the issue being more technique than conditioning. I’m not sure I think it’s the recovery, specifically, though. I think he needs to look at what the best swimmers are doing in the 100 free and at the end of 200 IMs, which is a more loping, hybrid freestyle (Lochte, Phelps, Hagino all exibit it). His current technique is definitely more sensitive to fatigue, no doubts there.

Reply to  sven
6 years ago

We will all get a better idea of whether MA is just a 50m swimmer tomorrow when he has to swim the final of the 100 brst and 200 IM pretty close together. Bit surprised to see him swim a heat of the free relay this morning.

Reply to  ice age swimmer
6 years ago

if it was only the stroke steak that he needs to address , he would be fine . Its just that he feels to have no endurance .

6 years ago

USRPT = Ultra Short Race Piano Training now..

Reply to  Rafael
6 years ago

Damn, Rafael coming out swinging today 🙂

6 years ago

Great results in the 100 back: Regan Smith at 59.52 (NCR) and Taylor Ruck at 59.64 (what a pity she won’t swim the 200 back..).

Another young Canadian very promising is Jade Hannah: long stroke for her and 1.00.21

6 years ago

Great Martinenghi at 59.53 (NCR).
Nice impression also from Whitley and fairly impressive the 2002 Canadian Mastromatteo (Italian sound) at 1.01.76, huge PB.

Reply to  nuotofan
6 years ago

MA appeared to tighten up a bit into the wall. Body language was meh

Reply to  Taa
6 years ago

Seems MA cannot swim anything longer than a 50 anymore..

Reply to  Rafael
6 years ago

He even ties up in 50s at the end…..

Reply to  Taa
6 years ago

Meh as in: “that’s alright, I have got more in the tank” or “well bugger it”?

Reply to  emg1986
6 years ago

Meh as in he thought he would be faster with that effort. I would guess he is going 100.50 or so

Justin Thompson
Reply to  Taa
6 years ago

MA will be lucky to go 59.9 and may not medal.

Reply to  Justin Thompson
6 years ago

Apart from Mathineghi I would be surprised for a sub-1.. maybe Whitley but not a given.. 4 guys under 1:00 not gonna happen based on prelims

Justin Thompson
Reply to  Justin Thompson
6 years ago

Also, slowest leg of the 4×100 free this morning in 50.58. Not expecting much this week.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

Read More »