2018 Speedo Junior Nationals: Day 1 Finals Live Recap


The first finals session of the 2018 Speedo Junior Nationals is set to get underway from beautiful Irvine, California, with the 200 fly, 100 breast, women’s 800 free and men’s 1500 free on the schedule.

Among the highlights from this morning’s prelims was 15-year-old Joshua Matheny dropping nearly two seconds for the top seed in the men’s 100 breast at 1:01.98, putting him 6th all-time in the 15-16 age group.

Olivia Calegan of NC State swam a lifetime best of 1:09.54 in the women’s 100 breast for the top spot, as did Jean-Pierre Khouzam of the Dayton Raiders in the men’s 200 fly (2:00.52). In the women’s event, Allie Piccirillo of the Northern KY Clippers leads the pack in 2:12.62.


  • Jr World: 2:06.29, Suzuka Hasegawa (JPN), 2017
  • Meet: 2:09.02, Olivia Carter (USA), 2017
  1. Justina Kozan, BREA, 2:10.83
  2. Amanda Ray, WAVE, 2:10.87
  3. Grace Sheble, NOVA, 2:12.72

14-year-old Justina Kozan of Brea Aquatics slowly edged out in front of a very tightly bunched field in the women’s 200 fly, ultimately holding off Amanda Ray of New Wave by just .04 for the Junior National title in a time of 2:10.83. That drops her PB of 2:12.35 down by over a second and a half, and puts her 5th all-time in the girls’ 13-14 category.

Ray, a 15-year-old, had set a new best time of 2:13.12 in the heats, and destroyed that tonight in 2:10.87 for 2nd, out-splitting everyone coming home in 33.29. Grace Sheble of Nova of Virginia cracked 2:13 for the first time for 3rd in 2:12.72, and NCAP’s Abby Harter (2:13.00) out-touched top seed from prelims Allie Piccirillo (2:13.01) for 4th. Piccirillo was in the race through the 150, but faded coming home in 35.40.


  • Jr World: 1:53.79, Kristof Milak (HUN), 2017
  • Meet: 1:56.54, Andrew Seliskar (USA), 2013
  1. Harry Homans, ABF, 2:00.29
  2. Zachary Smith, CTA, 2:00.36
  3. Ben Miller, TTSC, 2:00.70

Just like the women’s race, the men’s 200 fly final was very close early, and on the third 50 the top seed from prelims Jean-Pierre Khouzam of the Dayton Raiders took over the lead with the top split in the field at 30.55. However, similar to his prelim splitting, he faded coming home, splitting 32.2, opening the door for the rest of the field to claw back. In a crazy close finish, 18-year-old Harry Homans of Bluefish edged the compeition at the wall in 2:00.29, with Zachary Smith of Crimson Tide 2nd and Ben Miller of Tigard Tulatin 3rd.

Homans knocked his lifetime best from prelims of 2:01.24 down by nearly a second, and Smith and Miller both took seven tenths off. Smith was the fastest in the field coming home in 30.93.

Khouzam added just under four tenths to end up 4th in 2:00.89, and Noah Henderson of Star Aquatics was 5th in 2:01.01. After every swimmer in the A-final set a lifetime best in prelims, six of them did so again tonight.


  • Jr World: 1:05.39, Ruta Meilutyte (LTU), 2014
  • Meet: 1:08.11, Zoe Bartel (USA), 2016
  1. Kaitlyn Dobler, TDPS, 1:08.90
  2. Olivia Calegan, NCS, 1:09.10
  3. Ellie Andrews, DCST, 1:09.12

16-year-old Kaitlyn Dobler from The Dolphins Portland Swimming used a 36.51 back half to run down early leaders Olivia Calegan and Ellie Andrews to win gold in the women’s 100 breast, putting up a new best time of 1:08.90. That moves her into 10th all-time in the 15-16 age group, getting by Olivia Anderson‘s 1:09.01.

Calegan, an 18-year-old from NC State, clipped her lifetime best this morning in 1:09.54, and knocks another .44 off tonight in 1:09.10, narrowly holding of Andrews (1:09.12) who also set a PB. 15-year-old Anna Keating of Machine Aquatics took two tenths off her best for 4th in 1:09.45, with only Dobler closing faster than her 36.67.

In the B-final, 14-year-old Emma Weber of the DU Hilltoppers lowered her prelim PB of 1:11.28 down to 1:10.42 to take 10th overall behind Sophia Zhang (1:10.20), falling just over a tenth off of the 10th fastest swim all-time in the 13-14 age group (1:10.27).


  • Jr World: 59.01, Nicolo Martinenghi (ITA), 2017
  • Meet: 1:00.08, Michael Andrew (USA), 2016
  1. Joshua Matheny, PEAQ, 1:01.06
  2. Josh Bottelberghe, PAC, 1:02.05
  3. Jake Foster, RAYS, 1:02.22

After exploding in his prelim swim, lowering his best time by nearly two seconds in 1:01.98, 15-year-old Joshua Matheny of Pittsburgh Elite dropped nearly another second in the final to win the Junior National title in a time of 1:01.06. Splitting 28.87/32.19, he jumps up into 3rd all-time in the 15-16 age group behind only Michael Andrew and Reece Whitley. (Note: listed 3rd all-time is Noah Emerson at 1:00.99, but we’ve verified that time isn’t legitimate).

Josh Bottelberghe of Portland Aquatics knocked his best time of 1:02.42 down to 1:02.05 to snag 2nd, and Jake Foster of the Mason Manta Rays took his lifetime best out by .16 for 3rd in 1:02.22.

Also swimming personal best times, 16-year-olds Forrest Frazier (1:02.63) and Ben Dillard (1:02.64) placed 4th and 5th, and edge towards the 10th fastest time for 15-16 year-olds (1:02.45 by Kevin Cordes).


  • Jr World: 8:11.00, Katie Ledecky (USA), 2014
  • Meet: 8:30.84, Gillian Ryan (USA), 2012
  1. Kensey McMahon, BSS, 8:37.45
  2. Easop Lee, NBAC, 8:42.78
  3. Paige McKenna, NCAP, 8:45.51

18-year-old Kensey McMahon of the Bolles School Sharks held the slight lead early in the fastest heat of the women’s 800 free, and really took off on the back half to win by over five seconds in 8:37.45, lowering her best time of 8:39.96 set earlier this year in Atlanta.

Easop Lee of the North Baltimore Aquatic Club was 2nd in 8:42.78, just missing her best of 8:42.41 from this meet last year, and Paige McKenna of Nation’s Capital dropped over six seconds for 3rd in 8:45.51.

15-year-old Olivia McMurray had an impressive swim for 4th in 8:45.53, and Elise Bauer, who swam in the earlier heats, had her time of 8:45.75 hold up for 5th overall.


  • Jr World: 14:51.55, Mack Horton (AUS), 2014
  • Meet: 15:16.62, Johannes Calloni (USA), 2016
  1. Ivan Puskovitch, EAAC, 15:31.28
  2. Thomas Bretzmann, NCAC, 15:33.26
  3. Jake Mitchell, CSC, 15:36.21

Andrew Matejka of the Gator Swim Club lead early in the fastst heat of the men’s 1500, and then #2 seed Thomas Bretzmann of North Carolina started to take over about 500 in. Ivan Puskovitch of Episcopal Academy went with him, and eventually took over the lead with 300 to go. The 17-year-old had a bit more left in the tank, and ended up taking the win in a time of 15:31.28, knocking over 14 seconds off his previous best time.

Bretzmann touched 2nd in 15:33.26, dropping twelve seconds, and Jake Mitchell of Carmel ended up earning 3rd overall after dropping 27 seconds from one of the early heats in 15:36.21. Christopher Lindley, also swimming in the early heats, had his time stand up for 4th in 15:40.09.

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3 years ago

Nothing on NCSA?

Coach Cwick
Reply to  Dan
3 years ago

Anything on the ISCA Meet?

25 free champ
3 years ago

Thumbs up if you are excited for some fast swimming in finals?

3 years ago

Congrats Josh Matheny! Still 15 years old.Whoa…

3 years ago

I remember easop kee winning an event or two at this meet in 2014 when I was swimming at the meet. Crazy she’s till 18 and under

Brad R.
3 years ago

Ben Miller had the fastest last 50 split in the boys’ 200 fly. Just FYI.

3 years ago

OSI REPEresnt!!!

3 years ago

Seliskar was 1:56 in the 200 fly in 2013, what!? Shouldn’t he be like 1:52-1:53 now?

bobo gigi
Reply to  jvog88
3 years ago

If swimming was so simple….

bobo gigi
3 years ago

Justina Kozan didn’t have a good meet last week. At least she took experience. She rebounds at the junior level with a big new PB in the 200 fly. Can’t wait to see her IM races and her 200 free. Special talent.
Impressive day for Joshua Matheny in the 100 breast. 2.74s dropped!

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 …

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