2018 Winter Juniors East: Carson Foster Cruises 1:43.9 200 BK On Day 4

2018 SPEEDO WINTER JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS – EAST

GIRLS 200 Back – Prelims

Top 8:

  1. Mannion – 1:55.79
  2. Brooks – 1:56.08
  3. Curzan – 1:56.46
  4. Ackerman – 1:56.63
  5. Waldrep – 1:56.78
  6. Bates – 1:56.96
  7. Flickinger – 1:57.08
  8. Hook – 1:57.16

It was a relatively quiet morning of swimming in the girl’s 200 backstroke. The star of the show was 14 year-old Natalie Mannion, who shaved a whopping 2.14 seconds off of her best time to take the top seed with a 1:55.79. Caitlin Brooks took the 2nd seed in 1:56.08, but she has a lifetime best of 1:52.01 – 3.5+ seconds faster than anyone else in the field – so watch for her to make a big move in finals. Claire Curzan, another impressive 14 year-old who came into the meet with a best time of 1:55.61, claimed the 3rd seed in 1:56.46.

Curzan continues to torch the water in Greensboro. So far, she has finished 3rd in the 50 (22.06), 1st in the 100 fly (51.92), and 6th in the 100 back (52.77).  Curzan’s 50 free and 100 fly were near misses for 13-14 NAG records. Gretchen Walsh holds the record in the 50 with a 22.00 and Regan Smith holds the record in the 100 fly with a 51.73. Notably, Curzan’s teammate at TAC Titans – Charlotte Hook (also 14 years old) – rounded out the top 8 in 1:57.16. That was a lifetime best for her by over a second.

BOYS 200 Back – Prelims

Top 8:

  1. C. Foster – 1:43.96
  2. Young – 1:44.14
  3. Davis – 1:44.22
  4. Conley – 1:44.90
  5. Smith – 1:45.35
  6. Svendsen – 1:45.36
  7. Grum – 1:46.18
  8. Hamlet – 1:46.37

No surprises in prelims of the boy’s 200 backstroke. Mason Manta Rays’ Carson Foster cruised through his heat in 1:43.96 – 2.3 seconds off his best time. If his other performances this weekend (including a 1:42 in the 200 IM and 3:40 in the 400 IM) are any indication, expect for Foster to challenge a sub-1:40 swim in finals tonight. However, don’t expect for him to challenge Olympic gold medalist Ryan Murphy‘s 17-18 NAG record of 1:37.35 just yet.

After Foster, a pair of 1:44-low performances took the 2nd and 3rd seeds led by Foster’s teammate Noah Young in 1:44.14 and Carmel’s Wyatt Davis in 1:44.22. Those are lifetime bests for each and nearly a 3-second drop for Young. Davis finished 2nd in the 100 back Friday night with a 47.41.

GIRLS 100 Free – Prelims

Top 8:

  1. G. Walsh – 48.57
  2. Ivey – 48.97
  3. Parker – 48.99
  4. Douglass – 49.15
  5. Semenuk – 49.18
  6. Hamilton – 49.33
  7. Turak – 49.36
  8. Pash – 49.48

Again, no surprises in prelims of the girl’s 100 free. Nashville Aquatic Club’s 15 year-old phenom Gretchen Walsh took the top seed in 48.57. After her 46.7 relay split on Thursday’s 400 medley relay, look for Walsh to possibly put up a 47-mid in finals tonight and potentially challenge Simone Manuel‘s 15-16 NAG record of 47.73. Isabel Ivey, who is heading to Cal-Berkeley next month as a mid-season addition for the Golden Bears, took the 2nd seed in 48.97 – about two tenths off of her best time.

16 year-old Maxine Parker claimed the 3rd seed in 48.99 – her first time under 49 seconds. Kate Douglass, the 4th seed in 49.15, will likely be a threat to Walsh in finals. She finished 2nd in the 50 to Walsh on Thursday night in 21.95 and has a lifetime best of 48.77 in the 100.

BOYS 100 Free – Prelims

Top 8:

  1. Alexy – 43.73
  2. Gregory – 43.74
  3. Chaney – 44.05
  4. Wilburn – 44.39
  5. Wright – 44.55
  6. Walker – 44.57
  7. Tapp – 44.61
  8. Uttley – 44.69

Prelims of the boy’s 100 free set up a tight race for finals. The top 3 seeds – Jack Alexy (43.73), Kimani Gregory (43.74), and Adam Chaney (44.05) – all stepped up big Saturday morning to go lifetime bests. Notably, that was Alexy’s first time under 44 seconds.

The 5th seed Jack Wright and 7th seed Hunter Tapp will be ones to keep an eye on in finals as they are the only other two swimmers to have broken 44 seconds before. Wright came into the meet with a lifetime best of 43.56 and Tapp at 43.99.

GIRLS 200 Breast – Prelims

Top 8:

  1. A. Walsh – 2:08.18
  2. Arens – 2:09.21
  3. Nelson – 2:11.00
  4. McCauley – 2:12.30
  5. Donan – 2:13.68
  6. Zettel – 2:13.99
  7. Rainey – 2:14.07
  8. Bender – 2:14.33

Nashville Aquatic Club’s Alex Walsh – who already has two individual wins this weekend in the 200 IM (1:53.69) and 100 back (50.88) – claimed the top seed in arguably her best event with a 2:08.18. With a lifetime best of 2:06.45, Walsh is the class of this field and should pick up her 3rd individual win of the meet tonight in finals. Additionally, she has a shot of taking down Annie Zhu‘s 17-18 NAG record of 2:05.99 set back in 2013.

The real race for 2nd will likely come down to 3 swimmers – Abby Arens (2:09.21), Ella Nelson (2:11.00), and Ashley McCauley (2:12.30). They are the only swimmers other than Walsh to have broken the 2:10 barrier.

BOYS 200 Breast – Prelims

Top 8:

  1. J. Foster – 1:56.81
  2. Degrado – 1:57.31
  3. Matheny – 1:57.54
  4. Reich – 1:58.62
  5. Christianson – 1:59.38
  6. Rhee – 1:59.44
  7. Sobolewski – 1:59.55
  8. Grespin – 2:00.13

Top seed Jake Foster of Mason Manta Rays cruised through prelims to take the top spot going into finals with a 1:56.81 – 1.41 seconds off of his lifetime best. 17 year-old Paul Degrado shaved 1.73 seconds off of his best to take the 2nd seed in 1:57.31 and Josh Matheny rounded out the top 3 in 1:57.34 – also a best time.

Just like the girl’s event, the race will be for 2nd place as Foster has the fastest lifetime best performance in the field by nearly two seconds.

GIRLS 200 Fly – Prelims

Top 8:

  1. Sheble – 1:56.63*
  2. Hook – 1:56.63*
  3. Klinker – 1:57.36
  4. Albiero – 1:57.76
  5. Smutny – 1:58.36
  6. Deuel – 1:58.51
  7. Ulett – 1:58.88
  8. Pash – 1:59.08

*Tie for 1st

In prelims of the girl’s 200 fly, a pair of youngsters in 15 year-old Grace Sheble and 14 year-old Charlotte Hook tied for the top seed with matching 1:56.63’s. Sheble, the winner of last night’s 400 IM in 4:06.35, has the nod going into finals with the faster lifetime best of 1:55.8. Hook, on the other hand, only added one one-hundredth from her best time coming into the meet. This is her second A-final of the day as she placed 8th earlier in the session in the 200 back (1:57.16).

18 year-old Rachel Klinker rounded out the top 3 in 1:57.36 – a lifetime best for her by over half a second. The 5th seed Mary Smutny should be a factor in finals as well as she came into the meet with a best of 1:56.93.

BOYS 200 Fly – Prelims

Top 8:

  1. Khouzam – 1:45.41
  2. J. Foster – 1:46.36
  3. Henderson – 1:47.00
  4. Crane – 1:47.24
  5. Watson – 1:47.56
  6. Forst – 1:47.72
  7. Mahler – 1:47.89
  8. Leibold – 1:48.19

16 year-old Jean-Pierre Khouzam of Dayton Raiders claimed the top seed heading into finals with a 1:45.41 – a lifetime best by nearly 3 seconds. After his 2nd place finish in the 100 fly last night (47.26), Khouzam was primed for a big performance in the 200. Fresh off his top-seeded swim in the 200 breast, Jake Foster took the 2nd seed in 1:46.36 – a lifetime best for him. Mainly a breaststroker and IM’er, it will be interesting to see what Foster can do in this event later in finals.  Noah Henderson rounded out the top 3 with a 1:47.00 – about a tenth of a second off of his best time.

GIRLS 400 FREE RELAY – TIMED FINALS

Top 8:

  1. Nashville Aquatic Club (A) – 3:18.63
  2. SwimMAC Carolina (A) – 3:19.56
  3. Chelsea Piers Aquatics (A) – 3:20.59
  4. Carmel Swim Club (A) – 3:23.00
  5. Tide Swimming (A) – 3:23.55
  6. Cardinal Aquatics (A) – 3:23.67
  7. SwimMAC Carolina (B) – 3:23.88
  8. Michigan Lakeshore (A) – 3:24.17

After the threat of inclement winter weather forced USA Swimming to adjust Saturday’s schedule in Greensboro, the 400 freestyle relays were moved from the end of finals to the end of prelims.

For the girls, Nashville Aquatic Club picked up the victory in 3:18.63 thanks to strong book-end performances from Alex Walsh (48.97 on the leadoff) and Gretchen Walsh (47.95 on the anchor). SwimMAC Carolina’s ‘A’ team finished 2nd in 3:19.56 with some consistent splitting. Janie Smith led them off in 50.54 and was followed by a trio of 49’s. Thanks to back-half performances from Maxine Parker (49.29) and Kate Douglass (49.28), Chelsea Piers rounded out the podium for 3rd in 3:20.59.

BOYS 400 FREE RELAY – TIMED FINALS

Top 8:

  1. Dynamo Swim Club (A) – 2:59.08
  2. Mason Manta Rays (A) – 2:59.21
  3. SwimMAC Carolina (A) – 3:01.23
  4. Carmel Swim Club (A) – 3:01.98
  5. Enfinity Aquatics (A) – 3:02.71
  6. SwimAtlanta (A) – 3:03.20
  7. Lakeside Swim Team (A) – 3:03.41
  8. Michigan Lakeshore (A) – 3:04.41

In a bit of an upset, the squad from Dynamo took down the favored Mason Manta Rays. With consistent splitting led by Brooks Curry (45.19), Kumal Muhammad (44.80), Ian Grum (44.90), and Cam Auerbach (44.19), Dynamo was able to narrowly take the victory in 2:59.08. Carson Foster‘s lead-off split of 44.35 wasn’t enough for the Mason Manta Rays to pull it off as they finished 2nd in 2:59.21. They also had a pair of 44-second splits from Jake Foster (44.61) and Adam Chaney (44.48). The difference came on the 3rd leg with Jacob McDonald (45.77). SwimMAC Carolina rounded out the podium for 3rd in 3:01.23.

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