2019 Speedo Junior National Championships: Day 1 Finals Live Recap


While some of the top junior swimmers from last week’s U.S. Nationals didn’t show for prelims this morning, a few, such as Clovis Swim Club’s Claire Tuggle, NOVA of Virginia’s Grace Sheble, and Bainbridge Island Swim Club’s Kevin Houseman, did race. Tuggle has scratched the 200 fly finals tonight, though, focusing solely on the 800 free.

Tonight, the schedule is set for the 200 fly, 100 breast, women’s 800 free, and men’s 1500 free.


  • World Record: Liu Zige (China), 2009, 2:01.81
  • World Junior Record: Suzuka Hasegawa (Japan), 2017, 2:06.29
  • U.S. Open Record: Hali Flickinger (USA), 2018, 2:05.07
  • Meet Record: Olivia Carter, 2017, 2:09.02
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 2:14.59


  1. Justina Kozan (Brea Aquatics) – 2:09.68
  2. Lucy Bell (Fort Collins Area) – 2:11.18
  3. Tess Howley (Long Island Aquatic Club) – 2:11.41

Justina Kozan of Brea Aquatics was out quick in 1:01.19 in the championship final, with LIAC’s Tess Howley chasing. It was Kozan, though, who stayed the course through the entire swim. She finished with the win at 2:09.68, well ahead of her 2:12.93 from this morning, which is her first performance sub-2:10. With that time, Kozan, who is still 15 and won’t turn 16 until December (and then she’ll have another year in the age group), moves into a tie for #9 in the 15-16 age group.

Howley would be edged at the finish for second by FAST 15-year-old Lucy Bell, 2:11.18 to 2:11.41. Howley is still 14, and she jumps one spot to 9th in 13-14 history.

Prelims top seed Grace Sheble of NOVA of Virginia and Dynamo’s Tristen Ulett also cracked 2:12. Sheble was fourth in 2:11.62 with Ulett close behind at 2:11.68.

In the B final, ASU commit Jade Foelske of Dynamo Swim Club took the win at 2:12.41, dropping almost two seconds from prelims. In the C final, 14-year-old Hannah Bellard of Club Wolverine dropped over four seconds from prelims, hitting a new best and Trials cut of 2:12.50 to win the final. That moves her up to 15th in the 13-14 age group.


  • World Record: Kristof Milak (Hungary), 2019, 1:50.73
  • World Junior Record: Kristof Milak (Hungary), 2017, 1:53.79
  • U.S. Open Record: Michael Phelps (USA), 2008, 1:52.20
  • Meet Record: Andrew Seliskar, 2013, 1:56.54
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 2:01.19

Top 3

  1. Mason Laur (T2 Aquatics) – 1:59.25
  2. Ben Miller (Tigard Tualatin Swim Club) – 1:59.49
  3. Matthew Fenlon (Badger Swim Club) – 1:59.50

After going a 1:57.39 in the D-final at US Nationals last week, Matthew Fenlon of Badger Aquatics wasted no time tonight. He was out like a rocket, hitting the 100 mark in 55.11. His fly-and-die technique didn’t pan out over the final 50 meters, though, and he wound up in third with a 1:59.50.

Charging past Fenlon under the flags were T2’s Mason Laur, who won in 1:59.25 with a final push, and second place’s Ben Miller of Tigard Tualatin Swim Club (1:59.50), a Northwestern commit. Laur, 16, vaults up to #13 all-time in the 15-16 age group. Also breaking two minutes was Mason Manta Rays’ Carl Bloebaum with a 1:59.94. Bloebaum, also 16, is now 20th in the age group.

The B final went to Peak Swimming’s Ethan Hu with a 2:00.42, a Trials cut. C Final champion Colby Mefford of Sierra Marlins Swim Team clocked a Trials cut with a 2:00.48.


  • World Record: Lilly King (United States), 2017, 1:04.13
  • American Record: Lilly King, 2017, 1:04.13
  • U.S. Open Record: Jessica Hardy (United States), 2009, 1:04.45
  • Meet Record: Zoe Bartel, 2016, 1:08.11
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 1:10.99


  1. Lydia Jacoby (Seward Tsunami) – 1:08.12
  2. Emma Weber (University of Denver Hilltoppers) – 1:08.73
  3. Taylor Steele (Coastal Aquatic Club) – 1:09.07

15-year-old Lydia Jacoby, all the way from Alaska’s Seward Tsunami Swim Club, won the junior national title tonight at 1:08.12. She’s now tied at #6 in the 15-16 age group, with 2nd place’s Emma Weber, also 15, moving up to #12 in the age group. South Carolina commit Taylor Steele of Coastal Aquatic Club was third in 1:09.07.

14-year-old Grace Rainey of SwimMAC was fifth in 1:09.42, putting her #3 in the 13-14 all-time rankings, just behind Aubree Brouwer, 15, of Springfield Aquatics. Brouwer was 1:09.33, also cracking the 15-16 top 20.

In the B final, 16-year-old Iza Adame of Canyons Aquatic Club posted a 1:10.84 for the win and an OT cut. The C final went to Skyler Smith, 15 years old, with a time of 1:10.97, a new Trials cut for her.


  • World Record: Adam Peaty (Great Britain), 2019, 56.88
  • American Record: Kevin Cordes, 2017, 58.64
  • U.S. Open Record: Kevin Cordes (United States), 2017, 58.74
  • Meet Record: Michael Andrew, 2016, 1:00.08
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 1:03.29


  1. Liam Bell (US Aquatics Club) – 1:01.19
  2. Ben Dillard (Sierra Marlins Swim Club) – 1:01.97
  3. Kevin Houseman (Bainbridge Island Aquatic Club) – 1:01.98

The podium in the men’s 100 breast was led by champion Liam Bell (US Aquatics Club). Bell posted a lifetime best 1:01.19 for the win, almost a second ahead of 2nd place’s Ben Dillard (Sierra Marlins). Bell is heading to Alabama this fall, while Dillard is a 2020 verbal commit to USC. Dillard was 1:01.97 out of lane 8 tonight, clipping Bainbridge Island’s Kevin Houseman, a Northwestern commit. Houseman was 1:01.98, the third and final swimmer to break 1:02 today.

Mason Manta Rays’ Ansel Froass had a big drop from the prelims, clocking a 1:02.08 to win the B final and get well under the Trials cut. The C final went to Jack Meehan of ATOM at 1:03.36, just off of the OT cut.


  • World Record: Katie Ledecky (USA), 2016, 8:04.79
  • American Record: Katie Ledecky, 2016, 8:04.79
  • U.S. Open Record: Katie Ledecky (USA), 2016, 8:06.68
  • Meet Record: G Ryan, 2012, 8:30.84
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 8:48.09


  1. Claire Tuggle (Clovis Swim Club) – 8:38.55
  2. Jillian Cox (Austin Trinity Aquatic Club) – 8:44.99
  3. Kaitlynn Sims (Magnolia Aquatic Club) – 8:47.20

At first, this race was a battle between big name 15-year-old Claire Tuggle, recently turned 14-year-old Jillian Cox, and incoming Michigan freshman Kaitlynn Sims. Tuggle, who last week clocked a 4:07.85 in the A final at Senior Nationals, eased into a relentless pace, however, pulling away from Sims and Cox.

Tuggle flipped at 4:15.97 at the halfway mark, finishing up with a new best time of 8:38.55. That improves upon her old best, an 8:42.37 from earlier this summer.

Over the final 100, Cox made her move, blowing past Sims to grab second in 8:44.99 to Sims’ 8:47.20. Long Island Aquatic Club’s Sophia Karras wasn’t far behind in 8:48.20 for fourth ahead of South Bay Aquatics’ Juli Arzave‘s 8:49.65. Arzave is a UCSD commit.

Holding up nicely from the earlier heats was Seattle Metropolitan Aquatic Club’s Yulia Groysman. The Northwestern commit was 8:49.65 from an early heat to finish sixth.


  • World Record: Sun Yang (China), 2012, 14:31.02
  • American Record: Connor Jaeger, 2016, 14:39.48
  • U.S. Open Record: Peter Vanderkaay (USA), 2008, 14:45.54
  • Meet Record: Johannes Calloni, 2016, 15:16.62
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 15:44.89


  1. James Plage (Aquabears) – 15:16.97
  2. David Johnston (Rockwall Aquatic Club of Excellence) – 15:33.36
  3. Charlie Clark (Vacationland Swim Club) – 15:33.51

Aquabears’ James Plage, a verbal commit to NC State for 2020, absolutely ran away with this one. He was out under five minutes at the 500 mark, holding 30’s up until the 700 mark, though he’d come back under 31’s later in the race. He was 8:04.76 at the 800 mark, and finished up on top with a 15:16.97, just missing the meet record. His best before this was 15:26.64, marking a near ten-second drop.

The 16-year-old now ranks 9th in the 15-16 age group.

From the morning heats, 17-year-olds David Johnston and Charlie Clark snuck onto the podium with times of 15:33.36 and 15:33.51, respectively.

Meanwhile, second place in the heat went to Aidan Reagan of Tuscon Ford Dealers Aquatics. He leaps from 92nd in the 15-16 age group to 44th with a 15:35.35, tying none other than Michael Phelps time from 2001.

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1 year ago

Esketit started in here

1 year ago

He must’ve watched Tom shields this morning

Reply to  DresselApologist
1 year ago

You must have watched Matt Fenlon from the sidelines

Reply to  Deepsea
1 year ago

Nah just watched a prelims DQ that was reversed somehow

Reply to  DresselApologist
1 year ago

You must’ve watched Matt Fenlon from the sidelines

1 year ago

The piano dropped hard on Fenlon tonight

Hood Swimmer
Reply to  Kit
1 year ago

Fenlon goes 1:57👀

Reply to  Kit
1 year ago

Wasn’t he originally DQ’d this morning ?

Reply to  DFINAL
1 year ago

Did you even make it back to finals

Reply to  DFINAL
1 year ago

Did you even make it back?

Reply to  Kit
1 year ago

1:57.3 last week and it’s his second week in Palo Alto. He’s probably tired bruh

Reply to  Kit
1 year ago

Did you make it back Kit

Lane 8
1 year ago

Lydia Jacoby 100 Br 1 100th off the meet record…

Wanna Sprite?
1 year ago

Might be one of the biggest pianos I’ve seen in awhile and Ben would have won if he had a better second turn but great race all around in the 2fly

Reply to  Wanna Sprite?
1 year ago

Go look at Tom’s piano from finals. They didn’t even take it out of the building, just dropped the whole thing on him.

1 year ago

1:01.19 for Bell. Alabama now has incoming freshmen who go 1:01.6 (Derek Maas) and 1:01.1. That’s some good breaststroke depth.

1 year ago

Fenlon went 1:57 last week so…

1 year ago

Should be a great week! Hopefully we see some new stars break out

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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