2022 NCSA Spring Championships: Day 1 Finals Live Recap


The opening night of action from the 2022 NCSA Spring Junior National Championships in Orlando will feature finals in the men’s and women’s 200 back, 50 breast and 100 free, plus the fastest heats for the timed finals of the women’s 1000 free, men’s 1650 free, and 200 medley relays.

Among the highlights of this morning’s session were the 200 back swims from Lilla Bognar (1:54.22) and Josh Zuchowski (1:43.39), who claimed the top seed in the women’s and men’s 200 back, respectively. Read a full recap of the session here.

Women’s 200 Back – Final

  • Meet Record: 1:49.85, Kylie Stewart, 2014

Top 3:

  1. Maggie Wanezek (EBSC) – 1:52.36
  2. Carly Novelline (WILD) – 1:53.17
  3. Tess Howley (LIAC) – 1:53.28

The entire A-final dropped time from prelims, with several swimmers swimming more than two seconds faster than this morning. That group included Elmbrook’s Maggie Wanezek, who set a new lifetime best by over a second to win in 1:52.36. That time appears to put her in the top 20 all-time in the 15-16 age group.

WILD’s Carly Novelline took 2nd in 1:53.17, just ahead of LIAC’s Tess Howley (1:53.28). Lilla Bognar, who had the fastest time this morning, ended up 4th tonight with a 1:53.29.

Men’s 200 Back – Final

  • Meet Record: 1:40.05, Jack Conger, 2013

Top 3:

  1. Josh Zuchowski (FAST) – 1:41.20
  2. JT Ewing (AAC) – 1:41.85
  3. Sam Powe (MCC) – 1:41.99

The A-final developed into a three-man race, and the top three finished with a wide gap ahead of the rest of the field.

At the wall, FAST’s Josh Zuchowski, who had the fastest time this morning, got his hand on the wall first with a 1:41.20. That’s a new lifetime best for the 17 year-old Stanford commit, whose previous best of 1:41.68 sit at #3 all-time in the 15-16 age group.

AAC’s JT Ewing touched just ahead of MCC’s Sam Powe, 1:41.85 to 1:41.99. That’s a lifetime best by over two seconds for Ewing, who’s heading to NC State, and a best time by four-tenths for Powe, a Georgia commit.

No one else was under 1:44.8 in the A-final, and Nathaniel Germonprez‘s 1:44.46 to win the B-final would’ve finished 4th in the A-final.

Women’s 1000 Free – Timed Final

  • Meet Record: 9:31.79, Becca Mann, 2013

Top 3:

  1. Lucy Malys (OLY) – 9:46.36
  2. Madison Smith (RMSC) – 9:49.45
  3. Mary McKenna (LIE) – 9:50.23

Top-seeded Lucy Malys OLY didn’t hit a lifetime best, but she didn’t need to, as the Ohio State commit won by over three seconds with a time of 9:46.36.

A pair of 16 year-olds finished next. RMSC’s Madison Smith took 2nd in 9:49.45, knocking nearly six seconds off of her seed time, while LIE’s Mary McKenna finished 3rd in 9:50.23, hitting a new lifetime best by over eight seconds.

Men’s 1650 Free – Timed Final

  • Meet Record: 14:46.40, PJ Ransford, 2014

Top 3:

  1. Levi Sandidge (COR) – 14:49.75
  2. Giovanni Linscheer (COR) – 14:51.96
  3. Sean Green (LIAC) – 15:05.83

The fastest heat quickly turned into a battle between teammate Levi Sandidge and Giovanni Linscheer. The two were still close with less than 100 yards to go, but Sandidge appeared to find another gear and pulled away from Linscheer, winning 14:49.75 to 14:51.96.

However, the biggest swim may have come from the 3rd-place finisher, Sean Green of Long Island Aquatic Club. Only 14 years-old, Green crushed a 15:05.83 to break a 13 year-old National Age Group record. The previous mark of 15:14.17 was set by Arthur Frayler back in late 2008.

Women’s 50 Breast – Final

Top 3:

  1. Lucy Thomas (EBSC) – 27.25
  2. Kaelyn Gridley (WILD) – 27.85
  3. Zoe Skirboll (RXA) – 27.91

Meet-record holder Lucy Thomas of Elmbrook touched just a tad slower than her winning time from last year, but today’s time of 27.25 was enough to win by six-tenths of a second.

There was a tight race for 2nd, but WILD’s Kaelyn Gridley got her hands on the wall first in 27.85, followed by Zoe Skirboll of RXA at 27.91. FOXJ’s Caroline Larsen touched just behind Skirboll at 27.92.

Men’s 50 Breast – Final

  • Meet Record: 24.14, Anthony Grimm, 2019

Top 3:

  1. Kael Mlinek (ISWM) – 24.32
  2. Kledi Kadiu (CSP) – 24.52
  3. Chase Swearingen (NAAC) – 24.78

Inspire’s Kael Mlinek, a Princeton commit, got his hands on the wall first with a 24.32, finished exactly two-tenths of a second ahead of CSP’s Kledi Kadiu (24.52).

There was a decent margin between those two and the rest of the field. 16 year-old Chase Swearingen took 3rd in 24.78, just ahead of Ozan Kalfat (24.82) and Alan Churches (24.87).

Women’s 100 Free – Final

  • Meet Record: 47.09, Simone Manuel, 2014

Top 3:

  1. Carly Novelline (WILD) – 48.46
  2. Camille Spink (NCAP) – 48.69
  3. Elizabeth Tilt (GOLD) – 49.10

This race quickly turned into a duel between the swimmers in the middle of the pool, but WILD’s Carly Novelline eventually pulled away just enough from Camille Spink of NCAP, and won 48.46 to 48.69. Each swimmer has been faster, but they were the only two under 49 tonight.

Third-place went to GOLD’s Elizabeth Tilt, who touched in 49.10. Notably, Lucy Thomas took 5th in 49.65 less than 15 minutes after winning the 50 breast.

Men’s 100 Free – Final

  • Meet Record: 43.56, Jack Dolan, 2019

Top 3:

  1. Hudson Williams (NAAC) – 43.32
  2. Scotty Buff (GTAC) – 43.56
  3. William Hayon (MWWM) – 44.18

NAAC’s Hudson Williams, pushed past GTAC’s Scotty Buff on the last length and got his hand on the wall in 43.32 to set a new meet record. Williams, a NC State commit, moves to #8 all-time in the 15-16 age group with that swim, and he’s now only 0.03s behind Caeleb Dressel for #7 on that list.

A Florida commit, Buff’s underwater talent was on display tonight, and he took 2nd in 43.56, matching the previous meet record, which was set by Jack Dolan in 2019. Will Hayon of the Mid Wisconsin Wave Makers took 3rd in 44.18; the future Virginia Tech Hokie’s lifetime best of 43.74 came at this meet last year,

Further down the results, Alec Filipovic won the C-final with a time of 43.76 after going 45.49 in prelims. His time tonight would’ve finished third overall had he made the A-final this morning. Filipovic, a Texas commit, has a lifetime best of 43.67 from last December.

Women’s 200 Medley Relay – Timed Final

  • Meet Record: 1:37.74, Elmbrook Swim Club, 2021

Top 3:

  1. Elmbrook Swim Club – 1:36.77
  2. New Albany Aquatic Club – 1:40.52
  3. Academy Bullets Swim Club – 1:40.84

Elmbrook took down their year-old record by nearly a second en route to winning by nearly four seconds tonight.

200 back champion Maggie Wanezek flexed some range, leading off in 24.26. Lucy Thomas split 26.89 on breast, right in line with her winning 50 breast time. Campbell Stoll split 23.47 on fly, and Abby Wanezek anchored in 22.15, good for a 1:36.77 overall.

That time appears to break the 15-18 National Age Group record in the event. The previous record of 1:37.04 was set by the Nashville Aquatic Club in 2019. That quartet included a star-studded cast of Alex Walsh, Ella Nelson, Jordan Hurt, and Gretchen Walsh.

New Albany took 2nd in 1:40.52, followed by the Academy Bullets at 1:40.84.

Men’s 200 Medley Relay – Timed Final

  • Meet Record: 1:26.47, Nation’s Capital, 2015

Top 3:

  1. Arlington Aquatic Club – 1:28.16
  2. New Albany Aquatic Club – 1:28.68
  3. Nation’s Capital – 1:28.89

It was a much closer race on the men’s side, as three teams touched under 1:29, but Arlington emerged victorious.

Nolan Dunkel nearly got under 22, leading off in 22.09. Bailey De Luise split 24.54 on breast, then JT Ewing (21.54) and Mcgrath Marsh (20.33) brought it home for a total time of 1:28.16.

Just as on on the women’s side, New Albany took 2nd, touching in 1:28.68, while Nation’s Capital finished 3rd in 1:28.89.

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2 years ago

Some Schools that Elmbrook relay is faster than this year:
Notre Dame
Arizona state
And many more full scholarship division 1 teams

Reply to  Klorn8d
2 years ago

Would be ranked 24th in the NCAA this year, less than half a second off the A cut.

2 years ago

Is the meet slower/smaller than recent years? Just wondering as it seems there are a lot of swimmers entered with only B times and no A times. I mean, the meet is run very well, but the pool is better than ISCA, where they swim outside and scrape their bodies on the bottom.

Reply to  anonymous
2 years ago


Reply to  anonymous
2 years ago

so to answer this, there is no time trials this year, this is the reason why there are a lot of bonus times making it onto the psych sheet. Each qualifying time is allowed bonus swims up to 4 total swim. 1 hard cut gets you 3 swims, and 2 hard cuts get you 2 bonus swims; ect. This is to keep coaches/timers/officials off deck and give them a longer break.

So in one sense, the meet has more heats that do carry slower times in the first few heats, but overall getting a second swim for finals is proving extremely challenging for some top swimmers.

Overall the separation from 16th to 80th is not much and it shows… Read more »

2 years ago

the EBSC 200 medley relay broke the NAG which included Walsh x 2 and Ella Nelson… A. Wanezek is headed to UW Madison next year and Stoll to Texas the year after that. Can’t wait for the other two’s college announcements sometime in the near future! what talented young people!

2 years ago

I feel sorry for all these Nova kids. “You’ll be a distance swimmer and you’ll like it.”

2 years ago

Believe that EBSC broke the 15-18 NAG relay record that had the Walsh sisters.

2 years ago

I’m fairly positive that Powe is a UGA commit (according to his Instagram) and is just from Tennessee.

Team Regan
2 years ago

Tuggle is the one to watch these next couple of years. I think her SC times are going to pull towards her lc times sooner rather than later.

Reply to  Team Regan
2 years ago

Why the dislike? Kind of rude

Reply to  Melanie
2 years ago

Honest answer is she was breaking records at 10 and kinda peaked at 13/14 and has never shown the potential scy that she does LCM so while she’s still a teenager it’s maybe just not there?

Reply to  coachymccoachface
2 years ago

She’s not going backwards per se though, she was able to go 49.6 last night in the 100 and her PB is 49.1. At trials, she was 1:58.8, and her PB is 1:58.2, so although she’s not dropping time, she’s still in contention for a title here

Reply to  Melanie
2 years ago

It’s not easy being a prodigy at 10 years old, and then trying to keep duplicating that level of success year after year. She moved around a lot the past couple years and has settled in to a very solid Santa Maria Swim Club program – let’s see what she has in the tank for the 200/500.

2 years ago

Wow, those are some fast mile times.

Kris Todd
Reply to  swimfan27
2 years ago

Hafner’s Heroes never disappoint!!!

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