2021 Swammy Awards: Age Group Swimmer of the Year – 17-18

To see all of our 2021 Swammy Awards, click here.

2021 Honorees: Torri Huske and Baylor Nelson

17-18 Girls

Torri Huske – Arlington Aquatic Club, Arlington, VA

Torri Huske stood out as the top 17-18 age group swimmer of the year by virtue of her American Record, World Junior Record, three National Age Group Records, and six other first-place finishes for the year. Huske broke the American Record and World Junior Record in the LCM 100 fly for the first time in the semi-finals at Olympic Trials Wave II when she finished first with 55.78. She then lowered the respective marks to 55.56 in the final, punching her ticket to Tokyo at the same time. At the 2020 Olympic Games, she finished in fourth place, a mere .01 off the podium with 55.73. She also lowered her own NAG record in the SCY 100 fly and took down Simone Manuel’s national mark in the LCM 50 free.

NAGs:      
100 fly SCY 49.70 3/18/2021
50 free LCM 24.44 4/11/2021
100 fly LCM 55.78 6/12/2021
100 fly LCM 55.66 6/13/2021

Huske was also the top performer for 2021 in the SCY 50/100/200 free and 200 IM, as well as the LCM 100/200 free. She ranked 2nd in the LMC 200 fly and 200 IM; and 3rd in the SCY 200 fly.

Rank Event Age Time Std Meet Date Team LSC Points
1 50 FR SCY 18 21.39 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 PV SC Championship Series- Wave II 3/18/21 AAC PV 1033
1 100 FR SCY 18 47.39 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 NC State GAC Fall Invitat 11/20/21 UNAT PV 1004
1 200 FR SCY 18 1:42.59 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 NC State GAC Fall Invitat 11/19/21 UNAT PV 1021
1 100 FL SCY 18 49.70 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 PV SC Championship Series- Wave II 3/18/21 AAC PV 1060
1 200 IM SCY 18 1:52.82 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 NC State GAC Fall Invitat 11/18/21 UNAT PV 1060
1 50 FR LCM 18 24.44 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2021 NC  TAC TITANS LC Premier 4/11/21 AAC PV 1033
1 100 FR LCM 18 53.46 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2021 NC  TAC TITANS LC Premier 4/9/21 AAC PV 1033
1 200 FR LCM 18 1:58.09 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2021 TYR 18&U Spring Cup Richmond 4/30/21 AAC PV 975
1 100 FL LCM 18 55.66 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 6/13/21 AAC PV 1093
2 200 FL LCM 18 2:09.97 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2021 NC  TAC TITANS LC Premier 4/9/21 AAC PV 944
2 200 IM LCM 18 2:10.38 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 6/15/21 AAC PV 1029
3 200 FL SCY 18 1:53.71 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 PV SC Championship Series- Wave II 3/20/21 AAC PV 980

Huske ranks among the all-time top-25 in the SCY 50 free (2nd), 100 free (5th), 200 free (5th), 100 fly (1st), 200 fly (11th), and 200 IM (4th). In LCM, she is #1 in the 50 free, 3rd in the 100 free, 9th in the 200 free, 1st in the 100 fly, 24th in the 200 fly, and 4th in the 200 IM.

She achieved 18&U World Rankings of #3 in the 50m free, #6 in the 100m free, #12 in the 200m free, # in the 100m fly, #14 in the 200m fly, and #6 in the 200m IM.

Runner-Up

Lydia Jacoby, Seward Tsunami Swim Club (Seward, AK)

Jacoby became a household name in July when she won the 100m breaststroke at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, dethroning defending champion and Team USA teammate, Lilly King. Jacoby lowered her own 17-18 National Age Group Record in the event with her winning 1:04.95. She had previously broken the NAG twice at U.S. Olympic Trials with 1:05.71 in semis and 1:05.28 in the final.

NAGs:      
100 breast LCM 1:05.71 6/14/2021
100 breast LCM 1:05.28 6/15/2021
100 breast LCM 1:04.95 7/27/2021

Jacoby, who was still 17 when she broke the record, has another year left to do more damage. Notably, over the next twelve months, she will take aim at Kaitlyn Dobler’s 57.71 100 breast and Ella Nelson’s 2:05.68 200 breast in short course yards, and King’s 2:24.47 200 breast in long course meters. Jacoby finished the year ranked #1 in the LCM 100/200 breast and #3 in the SCY 100/200 breast among 17-18 girls.

Rank Event Age Time Std Meet Date Team LSC Points
1 100 BR LCM 17 1:04.95 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2020 Olympic Games 7/27/21 STSC AK 1072
1 200 BR LCM 17 2:27.39 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2021 TYR Pro Swim Series – Mis 4/9/21 UNAT AK 968
3 100 BR SCY 17 58.87 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 AK OPA Alaska Junior Olympics 6/4/21 STSC AK 996
3 200 BR SCY 17 2:08.61 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 AZ SPRING SPEEDO SECTIONALS-1 @ PSC 3/20/21 UNAT AK 964

Honorable Mention

Kozan was a consistent talent who hovered around the top of the charts in her events throughout 2021. Only 17, she has a full year left to continue to make her mark on the 17-18s but already turned in the top performance in the LCM 400 IM (4:40.57) with her fifth-place finish in prelims at U.S. Olympic Team Trials. She went on to finish eighth and was the only 18-and-under swimmer in the final. Kozan also was 2nd in the SCY 400 IM and LCM 200 free; 3rd in the LCM 200 IM; 4th in the SCY 200 free and 200 fly and the LCM 200 fly; 8th in the SCY 200 IM; and 9th in the LCM 100 free. A member of the 2020-2021 National Junior Team, she won the 200 free, 200 fly, and 200/400 IM at Speedo Summer Championships-West. At Winter Juniors-West, she was runner-up in the 200 fly and 400 IM and she placed fourth in the 200 IM.

Rank Event Age Time Std Meet Date Team LSC Points
1 400 IM LCM 17 4:40.57 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 6/13/21 MVN CA 970
2 400 IM SCY 17 4:06.74 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 West Speedo Winter Junior 12/10/21 UNAT CA 968
2 200 FR LCM 17 1:58.10 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2021 TYR 18&U Spring Cup Irvine 4/30/21 MVN CA 989
3 200 IM LCM 17 2:11.96 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2021 Speedo Summer Championships West 8/7/21 MVN CA 1009
4 200 FR SCY 17 1:44.40 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 CA OB CIF-SS Division 1 5/27/21 UNAT CA 978
4 200 FL SCY 17 1:54.28 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 West Speedo Winter Junior 12/11/21 UNAT CA 970
4 200 FL LCM 17 2:10.21 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2021 Speedo Summer Championships West 8/3/21 MVN CA 940
8 200 IM SCY 17 1:56.44 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 West Speedo Winter Junior 12/9/21 UNAT CA 980
9 100 FR LCM 17 55.75 2020 Olympic Trials Wave I 2021 TYR 18&U Spring Cup Irvine 5/2/21 MVN CA 922

17-18 Boys

Baylor Nelson – SwimMAC Carolina (Charlotte, NC)

Nelson was the top IMer in the 17-18 age group for all of 2021. He ranked #1 at year-end in both the 200 IM and 400 IM in short course yards and in long course meters. He displayed his broad array of talent by also finishing #5 in the LCM 100 free and #6 in the SCY 200 back and 200 breast and the LCM 200 free and 200 back.

Nelson won the SCY 200 back, 200 breast, 200 IM, and 400 IM at Winter Juniors-East, a week after winning the LCM 200 IM and placing second in the 200 back and 400 IM at U.S. Open.

Rank Event Age Time Std Meet Date Team LSC Points
1 200 IM SCY 18 1:42.01 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 East Speedo Winter Junior 12/9/21 MAC NC 1051
1 400 IM SCY 18 3:42.78 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 East Speedo Winter Junior 12/10/21 MAC NC 993
1 200 IM LCM 18 1:59.86 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2021 Toyota US Open Championship 12/2/21 MAC NC 1015
1 400 IM LCM 18 4:17.61 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2021 Toyota US Open Championship 12/3/21 MAC NC 984
5 100 FR LCM 18 49.86 2020 Olympic Trials Wave I 2021 Speedo Summer Championships East 8/3/21 MAC NC 937
6 200 BK SCY 18 1:41.89 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 East Speedo Winter Junior 12/11/21 MAC NC 1015
6 200 BR SCY 18 1:54.83 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 East Speedo Winter Junior 12/11/21 MAC NC 979
6 200 FR LCM 18 1:49.28 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2021 Speedo Summer Championships East 8/4/21 MAC NC 951
6 200 BK LCM 18 2:00.85 2020 Olympic Trials Wave I 2021 Toyota US Open Championship 12/4/21 MAC NC 945

Nelson is ranked among the all-time top-100 in the age group in ten events, including the SCY 200 back (35th), 200 breast (22nd), 200 IM (2nd), and 400 IM (14th), and the LCM 100 free (31st), 200 free (34th), 100 back (97th), 200 back (57th), 200 IM (9th), and 400 IM (18th). He was the 10th-fastest male junior swimmer in the world in 2021 in the LCM 200 IM and the 14th-fastest in the 400 IM. He was also ranked #30 in the 100 free, #33 in the 200 free, #69 in the 100 back, #29 in the 200 back, and #67 in the 100 breast.

Runner-Up

Jack Aikins, SwimAtlanta (Atlanta, GA)

Aikins was the top backstroker of the 17-18 age category, ending 2021 with the #1 times in the SCY 200 back and the LCM 100/200 back. He was the only 18&U swimmer in the final of the men’s 200m back at U.S. Olympic Team Trials and he was a semi-finalist (placing 12th) in the 100m back. In addition, he was 3rd in the SCY 100 back and 9th in the LCM 50/100 free in 2021.

Rank Event Age Time Std Meet Date Team LSC Points
1 200 BK SCY 18 1:39.85 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 GA Sr. Short Course State Ch 3/21/21 SA GA 1064
1 100 BK LCM 18 54.03 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 6/14/21 SA GA 1019
1 200 BK LCM 18 1:57.50 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 6/17/21 SA GA 1013
3 100 BK SCY 18 46.05r 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 GA March Medley Relay Meet 3/19/21 SA GA 1030
9 50 FR LCM 18 22.74r 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 GA LC Senior State Championships 7/23/21 SA GA 934
9 100 FR LCM 18 49.98 2020 Olympic Trials Wave I 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 6/16/21 SA GA 931

Aikins ranks among the top-100 all-time in the SCY 50 free (43rd), 100 free (52nd), 100 back (15th), and 200 back (4th), as well as the LCM 50 free (31st), 100 free (42nd), 100 back (4th), and 200 back (7th).

Honorable Mention

  • Luke Hobson – Lakeridge Swim Team-PC / University of Texas: A freshman at Texas, Hobson broke the boys 17-18 National Age Group Record in the 500 free at the Minnesota Invite in December 2021. In the morning session, he took down Michael Phelps’ 2004 mark of 4:12.33 with a stunning 4:12.12. He lopped another 2.4 seconds off that time in finals, setting the new NAG at 4:09.72. Hobson ended the year with the #1 times for 17-18 boys in the SCY 500/1650 free and he was #2 in the LCM 400 free; “3 in the SCY 1000 free; and “4 in the SCY 200 free and LCM 200 free.
NAGs:      
500 free SCY 4:12.12 12/2/2021
500 free SCY 4:09.72 12/2/2021

 

Rank Event Age Time Std Meet Date Team LSC Points
1 500 FR SCY 18 4:09.72 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) Minnesota Invite 2021 12/2/21 UNAT PC 1019
1 1650 FR SCY 18 14:40.15 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) Minnesota Invite 2021 12/4/21 UNAT PC 990
2 400 FR LCM 17 3:52.79 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 6/13/21 LAKE PC 943
3 1000 FR SCY 17 8:58.07 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 UT CA-NV Sectionals St. George 3/14/21 LAKE PC 949
4 200 FR SCY 18 1:33.18 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) Minnesota Invite 2021 12/3/21 UNAT PC 993
4 200 FR LCM 18 1:49.10 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2021 Speedo Summer Championships West 8/4/21 LAKE PC 955
  • Jack Alexy – Greater Somerset County YMCA Storm-NJ: Alexy broke the boys 17-18 National Age Group Record in the 100m free in prelims at U.S. Olympic Team Trials, bettering his own PB by .9 and taking a .09 chunk out of Caeleb Dressel’s old national mark of 48.78 that had stood since 2015. During 2021, Alexy also notched the #5 time for the age group in the SCY 100 free and LCM 50 free; and the #6 time in the LCM 100 back. Alexy had world junior rankings of #14 in the 50 free and #10 in the 100 free.
NAGs:      
100 free LCM 48.69 6/16/2021

 

Rank Event Age Time Std Meet Date Team LSC Points
1 100 FR LCM 18 48.69 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 6/16/21 GSCY NJ 994
5 100 FR SCY 18 42.63 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 MA AP YMCA Swimming Festi 4/11/21 GSCY NJ 966
5 50 FR LCM 18 22.47 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 6/19/21 GSCY NJ 957
6 100 BK LCM 18 55.47 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 6/14/21 GSCY NJ 957
  • Matt Fallon – Greater Somerset County YMCA Storm-NJ: Fallon took down the boys 17-18 NAG Record in the 200m breast in semi-finals at U.S. Olympic Team Trials, when he qualified first for finals with 2:08.91. The only 18&U swimmer in the final, he wound up placing 8th, adding 3.3 seconds. His semis time ranked #2 in the world among junior swimmers for 2021. Fallon wrapped up 2021 with the #1 time for the age group in the SCY 200 breast; #2 in the SCY 100 free; #3 in the SCY 400 IM; #4 in the SCY 100 breast; and #5 in the LCM 100 breast.
NAGs:      
200 breast LCM 2:08.91 6/16/2021

 

Rank Event Age Time Std Meet Date Team LSC Points
1 200 BR SCY 18 1:51.39 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 MA AP YMCA Swimming Festi 4/11/21 GSCY NJ 1041
1 200 BR LCM 18 2:08.91 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 6/16/21 GSCY NJ 1066
2 1000 FR SCY 18 8:56.67 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 NJ GSCY 13 Over States 3/11/21 UNAT FL 956
3 400 IM SCY 18 3:44.76 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 MA AP YMCA Swimming Festi 4/9/21 GSCY NJ 971
4 100 BR SCY 18 52.35 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 MA AP YMCA Swimming Festi 4/10/21 GSCY NJ 1006
5 100 BR LCM 18 1:01.30 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 6/13/21 GSCY NJ 992

Past Winners

Year 17-18 Girl 17-18 Boy
2021 Torri Huske Baylor Nelson
2020 Regan Smith Josh Matheny
2019 Regan Smith Luca Urlando
2018 Erica Sullivan Drew Kibler
2017 Olivia Carter Michael Andrew
2016 Katie Drabot Michael Andrew
2015 Katie Ledecky Andrew Seliskar
2014 Katie Ledecky Andrew Seliskar
2013 Missy Franklin Caeleb Dressel
2012 Missy Franklin Jack Conger

Originally published Jan 5, 2021

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TeamRegan
4 months ago

Someone I think should be included his 17-year-old Charlotte Hook. Charlotte has been persevering over this last year after getting third at the Olympic trials in the 200 butterfly. She went on to have a silver medal performance at the world championships for short course meters in the 200 butterfly, very talented athlete and has chances to make the world/Olympic team near future.

John
4 months ago

Who was ahead of Huske in the 200 IM?

jeff
Reply to  John
4 months ago

I checked two different places and it seems that Huske was first in the 200 IM. She was the 6th fastest American, behind Walsh/Douglass who were both turned 19 before this year as well as Cox/Baker/Small, all of whom have graduated from college already.

Tom
4 months ago

Context is important. Lydia had a great year. But the category is best swimmer, not best swim. In addition to the breadth and depth of Torri Huske’s events and times, look at where she ranks across the board in multiple events. However, if you only want to look at the Olympics, there is an argument to be made for Torri Huske as the better swimmer. Torri Huske’s 100 Fly in the Olympics ranks 10th in world History (not by age group, but of any age). Her 100 Fly in Trials broke the American record and ranks her 7th in world history. Lydia Jacoby’s gold medal time ranks her 18th in world history. The women’s Olympic 100 fly final had four… Read more »

Pacific Whirl
4 months ago

But Jacoby is an Olympic champion. Huske is only fourth individually. Also, this article leaves out a world medalist in HM.

Last edited 4 months ago by Pacific Whirl
DMacNCheez
Reply to  Pacific Whirl
4 months ago

Huske would absolutely win this award in most years, and is an insanely talented swimmer. But I, have to agree that an individual Olympic Gold Medal trumps anything, so Jacoby should’ve taken the award this year

Troyy
Reply to  Pacific Whirl
4 months ago

They appear to be giving it to Huske because they already gave Jacoby two awards which kind of cheapens the award.

Pacific Whirl
Reply to  Troyy
4 months ago

An Olympic champion deserves these awards.

Troyy
Reply to  Pacific Whirl
4 months ago

I didn’t say Jacboy receiving the awards cheapens them … quite the opposite.

jeff
Reply to  Pacific Whirl
4 months ago

I think times are a good reason for Huske over Jacoby. 1:04.95 100 breast is really good, but 55.66 100 fly is even better imo. Jacoby’s was just more of a breakout performance since she was basically unknown at an international/national level, while Huske already won gold at 2019 WJC. It’s not like Huske choked in the finals too; 55.73 is a great time, the field was just too fast.

Last edited 4 months ago by jeff
SCCOACH
Reply to  jeff
4 months ago

Gold medal > impressive times that aren’t gold medals. This is the first ranking so far I disagree with.

I’m not outraged by it, Huske is awesome. Personally, in a year with the Olympics I give this to the gold medalist. In a non Olympic year Huske wins easily.

Jacoby is the golden girl and the winner. The way she won gold in a huge and exciting upset also propels her. Swimswam will change their results because of this post, thank you Braden.

Last edited 4 months ago by SCCOACH
jeff
Reply to  SCCOACH
4 months ago

Fair enough, I can see it going with Jacoby for sure too. I guess for me, I put more value on the time itself/how well she performed under pressure and she put up a crazy fast swim in the final that pretty much met the high expectations going in. It’s not like MAndrew, who was pretty far off his bests when it mattered the most.

Idkman
Reply to  SCCOACH
4 months ago

This award as always been about times, specifically records and ranking. Huske has more records and number one times. At the end of the day I don’t think Lydia took too much offense to this I mean she still has a Olympic gold medal.

Tea rex
Reply to  Pacific Whirl
4 months ago

It’s comparing swimmers within 17-18 age in USA, not ranking swimmers in the world then eliminating ages and countries. For a “NAG” award, I think you have to give weight to being the #1 NAG time in multiple events, vs in one event

Fluidg
Reply to  Pacific Whirl
4 months ago

Start a website and do your own awards.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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