2019 Speedo Junior National Championships: Day 4 Finals Live Recap


Justina Kozan is one of the top swimmers racing tonight as she eyes a title in the women’s 200 free to follow-up her 200 fly win. Other events include the men’s 200 free, the women’s and men’s 200 breast, the women’s and men’s 100 back, and the women’s 4×200 free relay. This is the penultimate night of the 2019 Speedo Junior Nationals.


  • World Record: 1:52.98 7/29/2009 Federica Pellegrini
  • World Junior Record: 1:55.43 7/24/2019 Juxuon Yang
  • Meet Record: 1:58.26 8/11/2011 Lia Neal
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:54.40 6/25/2012 Allison Schmitt
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 2:01.69


  1. Justina Kozan (Brea Aquatics) – 1:59.48
  2. Miranda Heckman (Pleasanton Seahawks) – 2:00.31
  3. Riley Francis (Lakeside Aquatic Club) – 2:00.75

15-year-old Justina Kozan broke two minutes tonight to win the 200 free, two tenths off of her lifetime best. She was the class of the field, though, untouchable down the final length of the pool. Miranda Heckman of Pleasanton clocked a 2:00.31 for second, with 15-year-old Riley Francis of Lakeside Aquatic Club going a lifetime best 2:00.75 for third. Kozan was 30.3 coming home, Heckman 30.2, and Francis 30.5.

Also under the OT cut in the A final were Ella Bathurst (2:01.24), Tide Swimming’s Kayla Wilson (2:01.34), and Irvine Novaquatics’ Ella Ristic (2:01.51).

In the B final, LIAC’s Chloe Stepanek won in 2:01.02, followed closely by Megan Drumm of NBAC (2:01.11) and Felicia Pasadyn of SwimStrongsville (2:01.32). All three were under the OT cut. Springfield Aquatics’ Kate McCarville posted a 2:02.57 to take the C final, within a second of the OT cut.


  • World Record: 1:42.00 7/28/2009 Paul Biedermann
  • World Junior Record: 1:46.40 8/24/2017 Ivan Girev
  • Meet Record: 1:47.75 8/3/2018 Alexei Sancov
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:44.10 7/1/2008 Michael Phelps
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 1:50.79


  1. Jack Walker (SwimMAC) – 1:49.69
  2. Colby Mefford (Sierra Marlins) – 1:50.88
  3. Ben Forbes (Clovis Swim Club) – 1:51.11

Jack Walker of SwimMAC posted a 1:49.69 to win the 200 free tonight, hitting a lifetime best. That time moves him to #37 in the 17-18 age group, improving upon his 1:49.90 from March. Second place went to Colby Mefford of Sierra Marlins at 1:50.88, less than a tenth way from making the Olympic Trials cut, while Clovis Swim Club’s Ben Forbes touched for third at 1:51.11.

Brooks Curry of Dynamo Swim Club posted a 1:51.49 to take the B final. The C final went to 15-year-old Rafael Gu of Rose Bowl Aquatics at 1:51.94.


  • World Record: 2:19.11 8/1/2013 Rikke Moeller Pedersen
  • World Junior Record: 2:19.64 8/30/2015 Viktoria Gunes
  • Meet Record: 2:26.35 8/13/2012 Allie Szekely
  • U.S. Open Record: 2:20.38 7/7/2009 Rebecca Soni
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 2:33.29


  1. Emma Weber (Denver Hilltoppers) – 2:29.90
  2. Gigi Johnson (SwimAtlanta) – 2:30.69
  3. Annika McEnroe (Y-Spartaquatics) – 2:31.53

15-year-old Emma Weber came back after settling for second in the 100 breast, posting a winning time of 2:29.90 to jump to 26th in the 15-16 age group historical rankings. Her 2:33.26 from prelims was a best by almost a second, and tonight she took three more seconds off of that time. Another 15-year-old, Gigi Johnson of SwimAtlanta, posted a best of 2:30.69 to move to 36th in the age group, with Annika McEnroe, 16, taking third in 2:31.53.

14-year-old Grace Rainey posted a 2:31.73, which places her 13th in the 13-14 age group.

Mason Manta Rays’ Reese Lugbill (2:32.99) and UCD Aquatics’ Natalie Bercutt (2:33.29) hit OT cuts in the C final, quicker than anyone went in the B final.


  • World Record: 2:06.12 7/26/2019 Anton Chupkov
  • World Junior Record: 2:09.39 7/27/2017 Qin Haiyang
  • Meet Record: 2:11.25 8/11/2017 Daniel Roy
  • U.S. Open Record: 2:07.17 6/30/2016 Josh Prenot
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 2:17.89


  1. Dylan Rhee (Asphalt Green) – 2:13.54
  2. Maxwell Reich (Phoenix) – 2:14.00
  3. Liam Bell (US-Aquatics) – 2:15.17

Coming down the last 25 meters or so, Asphalt Green’s Dylan Rhee shot by Phoenix’s Maxwell Reich. It was Rhee at the wall over Reich, 2:13.54 to 2:14.00. Rhee was just off of his best, while Reich took .75 off of his old PR. In third was US-Aquatics’ Liam Bell in a lifetime best of 2:15.17. His 2:17 this morning was a best by about two seconds from his 2:19 from when he was 14 in 2015; tonight was two seconds more off of a best.

Sierra Marlins’ Ben Dillard was 2:15.30 to notch an OT cut, along with Aquajets’ Hayden Zheng (2:16.28) and Denver Hilltoppers’ Will Goodwin (2:17.33).

Poseidon’s Noah Nichols (2:17.22) and Bolles’ Cobi Lopez Miro (2:17.68) slipped under the OT cut in the B final. Bellevue’s Ethan Dang raced to a 2:16.73 in the C final, easily getting under the OT cut there. Dang’s time would’ve gotten him sixth in the A final.


  • World Record: 57.57 7/28/2019 Regan Smith
  • World Junior Record: 57.57 7/28/2019 Regan Smith
  • Meet Record: 59.77 8/14/2009 Rachel Bootsma
  • U.S. Open Record: 58.00 7/28/2018 Kathleen Baker
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 1:02.69


  1. Kennedy Noble (YMCA Silver Fins) – 1:01.25
  2. Rye Ulett (Dynamo) – 1:01.56
  3. Alexandra Crisera (Beach Cities) – 1:01.64

Alexandra Crisera of Beach Cities was 29.85 going out and held on to grab a spot on the podium at 1:01.64. It was 15-year-old Kennedy Noble of YMCA Silver Fins for the win at 1:01.25, edging 14-year-old Rye Ulett of Dynamo (1:01.56).

Elmbrook Swim Club’s Reilly Tiltmann was fourth at 1:01.94, followed by Rye’s older sister Tristen Ulett (1:01.97).

Casey Chung of Club Wolverine was 1:01.79 to win the B final ahead of 13-year-old Maggie Wanezek of Elmbrook Swim Club at 1:01.81. Both were under the OT cut, with Wanezek moving to #14 in the 13-14 age group.


  • World Record: 51.85 8/13/2016 Ryan Murphy
  • World Junior Record: 52.53 8/6/2018 Kliment Kolesnikov
  • Meet Record: 54.99 8/2/2015 Michael Andrew
  • U.S. Open Record: 51.94 7/8/2009 Aaron Peirsol
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 56.59


  1. Hunter Armstrong (Canton City Schools) – 54.97
  2. Christopher O’Connor (Canton City Schools) – 55.54
  3. Ian Grum (Dynamo Swim Club) – 55.94

Scratching the 200 free C final paid off for Hunter Armstrong. He broke 55 seconds in the 100 back for the first time, hitting the wall at 54.97. That time was a best by over a tenth, and broke Michael Andrew‘s meet record, which was a 54.99 set in 2015. This meet, both backstroke meet records have gone down; Ian Grum of Dynamo set the MR in the 200 back with his win earlier in the week. Grum was third tonight in the 100 at 55.94.

It was a Canton City Schools 1-2 sweep, thanks to Armstrong and Christopher O’Connor (55.54). O’Connor was a touch quicker in prelims. Also breaking 56 seconds tonight was McCallie GPS’s Jake Marcum at 55.99.

Cincinnati Marlins’ Aaron Sequiera clocked a 56.44 to punch his ticket to Omaha with an OT cut.


  • World Record 7:41.50, Australia, 2019
  • World Junior Record: 7:51.47, Canada, 2017
  • Meet Record: 8:10.13, York YMCA, 2013


  1. Long Island Aquatic Club – 8:10.57
  2. Brea Aquatics – 8:13.96
  3. SwimMAC Carolina – 8:14.34

This race was all LIAC, anchored by Chloe Stepanek at 2:00.87. 14-year-old Tess Howley and Bella Antoniuk got things started with 2:03’s on the front end, with third leg Lauryn Johnson delivering a strong 2:02.63. Their combined time of 8:10.57 was just four tenths off of York YMCA’s meet record, which dates back to 2013. Hana Shimizu-Bowers, 14, was 2:02.97 on their B relay with a flying start.

Brea Aquatics bolted into second with a 1:59.46 anchor leg from 200 free champion Justina Kozan, while SwimMAC had 2:03’s across the board to clock an 8:14.34 for third.

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Bobo Gigi
3 years ago

Hopefully Justina Kozan and Rye Ulett still have some gas for world juniors.

Reply to  Bobo Gigi
3 years ago

Both girls took off two days of events and practiced twice each day.

Bobo Gigi
3 years ago

Go Gigi! 😎

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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