2018 Speedo Junior Nationals: Day 4 Prelims Live Recap


The 2018 Speedo Junior Nationals continues this morning with day 4 prelims. Swimmers will compete for finals spots in the 200 free, 200 breast, and 100 back. After narrowly missing the 13-14 NAG Record in the 200 free last week, Claire Tuggle will get another shot at it today. Alexei Sancov, 100 free and 100 fly runner-up, and Jake Magahey, 400 free champ, will face off in the men’s 200 free.


  1. Miranda Heckman– 2:01.30
  2. Claire Tuggle– 2:01.44
  3. Erin Gemmell– 2:01.50
  4. Easop Lee- 2:02.10
  5. Kaitlynn Sims– 2:02.35
  6. Kensey McMahon– 2:02.40
  7. Ryley Ober- 2:02.53
  8. Ayla Spitz- 2:02.73

Claire Tuggle took it easy this morning with a smooth 2:01.44. Last week, she was just hundredths off the 13-14 NAG Record as she swam her lifetime best 1:58.59. Tonight, she’ll be eyeing Sippy Woodhead’s decades-old mark of 1:58.53. Leading the way through prelims, however, was Miranda Heckman.

Erin Gemmell dropped over a second to qualify 3rd in 2:01.50. Winter Juniors champ Kaitlynn Sims clipped her best in 2:02.35. So far this season, she’s dropped over 3 seconds. Kensey McMahon, who made huge improvements in the 400 free this year and took a narrow 2nd to Tuggle in that race, qualified 6th in 2:02.40. That clipped her 2:02.68 from Nationals last week. She’s now dropped 2.5 seconds in 2018.


  1. Alexei Sancov– 1:49.55
  2. Julian Hill– 1:50.87
  3. Owen Kao- 1:51.09
  4. Christian Sztolcman- 1:51.12
  5. Pierce Dietze- 1:51.38
  6. Skyler Cook-Weeks- 1:51.42
  7. Jake Magahey– 1:51.44
  8. Jack Walker- 1:51.74

Alexei Sancov is the heavy favorite here. He was the only man under 1:50 this morning in 1:49.55 and is a former World Junior Record holder in this event. After taking 2nd in the 100 free and 100 fly to teammate Andrei Minakov, Sancov is looking for his first title of the meet here. 400 free champ Jake Magahey, who cruised to 7th in 1:51.44 this morning, could challenge. Last week, Magahey swam his lifetime best 1:49.45, so we know he’s capable of a sub-1:50. Magahey is the 3rd fastest American 15-16 year old ever in this event.

Pierce Dietze made a huge drop to qualify 5th in 1:51.38. Coming into this meet, his best was 1:54.87, so he knocked over 3 seconds off this morning. Another big drop came from Skyler Cook-Weeks, who chopped 2 seconds off his best time in 1:51.42. Julian Hill, who had a big swim in the 400 free and placed 4th there, broke 1:51 for the first time in 1:50.89.


  1. Isabelle Odgers– 2:30.66
  2. Anna Keating– 2:30.72
  3. Noelle Peplowski– 2:31.05
  4. Chase Davison– 2:31.74
  5. Claire Donan- 2:32.62
  6. Kaitlyn Dobler- 2:33.02
  7. Ellie Andrews- 2:33.21
  8. Lauren Poole– 2:33.22

Isabelle Odgers clipped her best to lead the way in 2:30.66, while Anna Keating dropped over half a second to join her under 2:31 with a 2:30.72. The top seed coming into the meet, Claire Donan (2:32.62), should be in the mix with them for the title. She qualified 5th, but her best is 2:30.21.

Noelle Peplowski made a big drop to qualify 3rd in 2:31.05. That marked a near 3-second drop from her best. 14-year-old Chase Davison dropped over a second and a half to make it into the final at 4th in 2:31.74. Another big drop came from Lauren Poole, who cut 2 seconds from her best to qualify 8th in 2:33.22. It was a close call for the 8th place spot, with Poole making it in and Sally Foley (2:33.38) qualifying for the B final at 9th after taking a half second off her best.


  1. AJ Pouch– 2:13.08
  2. Joshua Matheny– 2:14.83
  3. Jake Foster– 2:15.18
  4. Ben Dillard– 2:15.69
  5. (T-5) David Abrahams- 2:16.60
  6. (T-5) Dylan Rhee- 2:16.60
  7. Ethan Dang- 2:17.20
  8. Zachary Tan- 2:17.50

AJ Pouch smashed his lifetime best last weekend, taking off 3 seconds as he put up a 2:11.96. He’s the favorite and the top seed here. Pouch is the 3rd fastest American 17-18 year old ever behind only Olympian Kevin Cordes and World Junior champion Daniel Roy. He’s about a second off the NAG Record in this race. 100 breast champ Joshua Matheny crushed his best by 3 seconds in 2:14.83, making him the 6th fastest American 15-16 year old ever. Jake Foster, runner-up in the 100 breast, is 4th in that age group. Foster, now 17, qualified 3rd for the final in 2:15.18. He swam his lifetime best 2:13.21 last week and is a tenth off the top 10 Americans in the 17-18 age group.

Ben Dillard (2:15.69) and David Abrahams (2:16.60) made huge drops to qualify for the final. Dillard cut 3.5 seconds from his best, while Abrahams dropped nearly 5 seconds.


  1. Annabel Crush– 1:01.38
  2. Alexandra Crisera– 1:02.15
  3. Janelle Rudolph- 1:02.41
  4. Abby Kapeller- 1:02.45
  5. Kylee Alons– 1:02.54
  6. (T-6) Tea Laughlin- 1:02.56
  7. (T-6) Jessica Davis- 1:02.56
  8. Sophie Lindner- 1:02.74

Last week, 15-year-old Annabel Crush knocked over half a second off her best time. She clipped it again this morning by a few hundredths to become the top qualifier in 1:01.38. To break into the all-time top 10 Americans in her age group, she’ll need to match or beat Elizabeth Beisel’s 1:00.69. It should be a good race with Alexandra Crisera (1:02.15) in the mix. Crisera also swam her lifetime best last week in 1:01.83 and was the top seed coming into this meet.


  1. Will Grant-55.78
  2. Carson Foster- 56.22
  3. Keegan Walsh- 56.60
  4. RJ Kondalski- 56.61
  5. Tim Gallagher- 56.68
  6. Jack Kirby- 56.76
  7. Ethan Harder- 56.78
  8. Noah Yarian- 56.98

Will Grant made a big drop to become the top seed for finals, taking almost a seconds and a half off his time in 55.78. It should be a good race between Grant and Carson Foster. Last week, Foster put up his lifetime best 55.37 at Nationals to become the 7th fastest American 15-16 year old ever. Foster was also a finalist in the 200 back last week. He swam the 200 back at this meet, but was a couple of seconds slower in the final here than he was last week.

Tim Gallagher cut 2 seconds off his best time, qualifying 5th in 56.68. Noah Yarian (56.98) and RJ Kondalski (56.61) each dropped a second to make it to the championship heat.

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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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