2019 Speedo Junior National Championships: Day 3 Finals Live Recap


Tonight will feature just two individual events, the 400 free and 100 fly, along with the men’s 4×200 free relay. 800 free runner-up Jillian Cox, a 14-year-old from the Austin Trinity Aquatic Club, will battle with incoming Texas freshman Miranda Heckman of Pleasanton Seahawks, the 100 free champion from last night. Breakout distance phenom James Plage will try to come down in distance for a win in the men’s 400 free, while four women came in at 1:00 in the 100 fly this morning.


  • World Record: Katie Ledecky (United States), 2016, 3:56.46
  • World Junior Record: Katie Ledecky (United States), 2014, 3:58.37
  • Meet Record: G Ryan, 2012, 4:07.26
  • U.S. Open Record: Katie Ledecky (United States), 2018, 3:57.94
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 4:16.89


  1. Jillian Cox (Austin Trinity Aquatic Club) – 4:13.24
  2. Miranda Heckman (Pleasanton Seahawks) – 4:13.27
  3. Ellie Marquardt (ATOM) – 4:13.49

14-year-old Jillian Cox kept pace just slightly ahead of 18-year-olds Miranda Heckman of Pleasanton Seahawks and Ellie Marquardt of ATOM, and the three went barrelling down the pool over the final 50. It was Cox who got the touch by three hundredths over Heckman, 4:13.24 to 4:13.27, with Marquardt just behind at 4:13.49.

Cox dropped over three seconds from her old best, and moves up to #9 all-time in the 13-14 age group. She’s now just behind Michelle Richardson’s 4:12.83 from 1983.

The podium all snatched an Olympic Trials cut there, along with fourth place’s Yulia Groysman of Seattle Metropolitan Aquatic Club at 4:16.16. Long Island Aquatic Club’s Hana Shimizu-Bowers, 14 years old, was just off of the OT cut with a 4:17.44.

14-year-old Michelle Morgan of Pipeline Swimming broke 4:20 for the first time ever, coming just short of the Olympic Trials cut. Morgan was 4:17.35, jumping to 54th all-time in the 13-14 age group.


  • World Record: Paul Biedermann (Germany), 2009, 3:40.07
  • World Junior Record: Mack Horton (Australia), 2014, 3:44.60
  • Meet Record: Alexander Zettle, 2017, 3:51.44
  • U.S. Open Record: Larsen Jensen (United States), 2008, 3:43.53
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 3:57.29


  1. Jack Walker (SwimMAC) – 3:53.02
  2. James Plage (Aquabears) – 3:53.07
  3. Cole Kuster (Purple Valley Aquatics) – 3:55.94

After winning the 1500 free in near-meet record fashion, Aquabears’ James Plage hung around in second behind SwimMAC’s Jack Walker over the first 300 meters. Plage came home in a flurry over the last 50, but it was Walker at 3:53.02 who was triumphant over Plage’s 3:53.07. For Plage, that time moves him to #11 all-time in the 15-16 age group.

The battle for third place was also very tight, with Purple Valley Aquatics’ Cole Kuster coming back from behind to overtake Clovis Swim Club’s Ben Forbes. Kuster was 3:55.94, edging out Forbes’ 3:56.64, as both swimmers were under the OT cut. Both men were 3:58.4’s this morning, their first times under four minutes.

Colby Mefford hit an OT cut in the B final, winning it in 3:56.22. He split this peculiarly: 58.0/1:01.4/59.7/57.0.


  • World Record: Sarah Sjostrom (Sweden), 2016, 55.48
  • World Junior Record: Penny Oleksiak (Canada), 2016, 56.46
  • Meet Record: Dakota Luther, 2017, 58.59
  • U.S. Open Record: Sarah Sjostrom (Sweden), 2016, 56.38
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 1:00.69


  1. Lucy Bell (Fort Collins Area) – 59.05
  2. Tristen Ulett (Dynamo) – 1:00.03
  3. Rachel Klinker (Lexington Dolphins) – 1:00.32

The top six women matched or went under the OT cut, led by 15-year-old Lucy Bell, the latest breakout swimmer out of Fort Collins Area Swim Team. She went a 59.05, a lifetime best by almost a full second, to hit the #13 time in the age group, just .02 behind Dana Vollmer, the former World Record-holder in this event.

Tristen Ulett of Dynamo picked up a second-place finish with a 1:00.03, just missed the minute mark.

Reilly Tiltmann of Elmbrook Swim Club hit an OT cut with a 1:00.30 to take the B final. Tess Howley of the Long Island Aquatic Club was a bit quicker than Tiltmann, going 1:00.09 to take the C final, under the OT cut.


  • World Record: Caeleb Dressel (United States), 2019, 49.50
  • World Junior Record: Kristof Milak (Hungary), 2017, 50.62
  • Meet Record: Andrei Minakov, 2018, 51.88
  • U.S. Open Record: Michael Phelps (United States), 2009, 50.22
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 54.19


  1. Ethan Hu (Peak Swimming) – 53.71
  2. Aiden Hayes (Sooner Swim Club) – 53.92
  3. Matthew Jensen (Upper Dublin) – 54.11

The podium here all posted OT cuts, led by Peak Swimming’s Ethan Hu at 53.71. Sooner Swim Club’s Aiden Hayes, a 16-year-old, clocked a lifetime best of 53.92, moving up by just a few hundredths on his old best. He now ranks 18th in 15-16 history.

Upper Dublin’s Matthew Jensen also claimed an OT cut with his third-place time of 54.11, just missing 53-second territory.


  • World Record: United States, 2009, 6:58.55
  • World Junior Record: Hungary, 2017, 7:10.95
  • Meet Record: 7:26.74, Mason Manta Rays, 2018
  1. SwimMAC Carolina – 7:27.66
  2. Dynamo Swim Club – 7:31.11
  3. Irvine Novaquatics – 7:34.53

SwimMAC led the way in the 4×200 free relay tonight, getting a 1:51.29 second leg from Hugh Svendsen and a great third leg from 16-year-old Tim Connery at 1:50.90. Jack Walker (1:52.87) and Baylor Nelson (1:52.60) bookended the relay for SwimMAC.

Second-place Dynamo had a field-best split of 1:50.65 from Brooks Curry along with a 1:52.23 from the 200 back champion Ian Grum (1:52.23). Third place’s Irvine Novaquatics had a nice split on the second leg from Hunter Ingram at 1:51.73.

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Lane 8
1 year ago

Men’s 1Fly
1. Ethan Hu
2. Aiden Hayes
3. Matthew Jensen

1 year ago

Another great crop of US jrs! Go USA!

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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