2022 U.S. Junior Nationals: Day 1 Finals Live Recap



The first finals session of the 2022 US Junior Nationals get underway tonight from Irvine, California. On tap for this session is finals of the 200 fly and 100 breast, the top seeded heat of the girl’s 800 free and boy’s 1500 free, as well as the 200 medley relay for all teams. Finals kick off at 5 PM local, 8 PM Eastern, time.

All eyes will be on Carmel Swim Club’s sibling duo in the 200 fly, as Alex Shackell comes in as the top seed in the girls event and her older brother Aaron comes in as the top seed in the boys event. Alex is the heavy favorite, outpacing the field by three seconds in the prelims, while Aaron will face stiff competition in the form of Cavalier Aquatics’ Thomas Heilman.

After setting a new meet record this morning, Elmbrook’s Lucy Thomas comes in as the top seed in the girl’s 100 breast, while Coronado’s Nick Mahabir comes in as the top seed on the boys side. In the girl’s 800, Longhorn Aquatics’ Jillian Cox comes in as the top seed, nearly 6 seconds clear of the field. In the boy’s 1500, Fullerton’s Matthew Chai comes in seeded under the 2016 meet record and 14 seconds clear of the field.

The session will wrap up with the 4×50 medley relay, where Elmbrook holds the top seed on the girl’s side and SwimMac holds the top seed on the boy’s side.


  • World Junior Record: 2:05.20, Summer McIntosh (2022)
  • Meet Record: 2:09.02, Olivia Carter (2017)
  • 13-14 NAG: 2:07.01, Mary Meagher (1979)
  • 15-16 NAG: 2:05.96, Mary Meagher (1981)
  • 17-18 NAG: 2:06.39, Regan Smith (2020)

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Alex Shackell (Carmel): 2:09.44
  2. Hana Shimizu-Bowers (Badger-MR): 2:12.41
  3. Annika Parkhe (Patriot-IL): 2:12.54
  4. Lilly Derivaux (Jersey Wahoos): 2:12.94
  5. Edie Simecek (Flatiron): 2:13.18
  6. Kelsey Zhang (Palo Alto Stanford): 2:13.34
  7. Maggie Schalow (Irvine Nova): 2:14.19
  8. Abby O’Sullivan (Mission Viejo): 2:14.71

Carmel’s Alex Shackell put up a dominant performance to start off the evening, powering through the back half to finish in 2:09.44. The swim marks another lifetime best for Shackell and she narrowly missed Olivia Carter’s 2017 meet record. Shackell now clocks in as #9 all time in the 15-16 age group with another full year still left in the age group.

Finishing runner-up was Badger’s Hana Shimizu-Bowers, who dropped 7 tenths from her prelim swim to grab the silver. Rounding out the top three was Patriot Aquatic Club’s Annika Parkhe, who dropped nearly four seconds on the day to snag the bronze.


  • World Junior Record: 1:53.79, Kristof Milak (2017)
  • Meet Record: 1:56.54, Andrew Seliskar (2013)
  • 13-14 NAG: 1:59.02, Michael Phelps (2000)
  • 15-16 NAG: 1:54.58, Michael Phelps (2001)
  • 17-18 NAG: 1:53.84, Luca Urlando (2019)

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Aaron Shackell (Carmel): 1:57.42
  2. Thomas Heilman (Cavalier Aquatics): 1:57.84
  3. Henry McFadden (Jersey Wahoos): 1:59.05
  4. David Schmitt (Evolution): 1:59.11
  5. Evan Vanbrocklin (Olympus): 1:59.21
  6. Conor McKenna (Lakeside- NT): 1:59.27
  7. Josh Zuchowski (Flood): 1:59.84
  8. Gary Jones (Magnolia): 2:01.20

Aaron Shackell completed the Carmel/Shackell sweep of the 200 fly, posting a new lifetime best of 1:57.42 to take the win. He was challenged closely by Thomas Heilman, but Shackell closed in a swift 30.4 to take the win.

Heilman settled for the silver, swimming a 1:57.84, his first time ever under 1:58. That swim is also good for 6th all time in the 15-16 age group for the 15 year old.

Rounding out the top three finishers was Henry McFadden of Jersey Wahoos, who finished third in 1:59.05. That swim was nearly a full second faster than his prelim swim and marked a half second drop from his lifetime best.


  • World Junior Record: 1:04.35, Ruta Meilutyte (2013)
  • Meet Record: 1:08.07 Lucy Thomas (2022)
  • 13-14 NAG: 1:08.09, Amanda Beard (1996)
  • 15-16 NAG: 1:07.05, Megan Jendrick (Quann) (2000)
  • 17-18 NAG: 1:04.95, Lydia Jacoby (2021)

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Lucy Thomas (Elmbrook): 1:07.63
  2. Emma Weber (Denver Hilltoppers): 1:08.31
  3. Katie Christopherson (Swim Atlanta): 1:08.46
  4. Raya Mellot (Crow Canyon): 1:08.76
  5. Jessey Li (Mason Manta Rays): 1:09.17
  6. Alicia Henry (Dynamo): 1:09.65
  7. Aubree Brouwer (Springfield-AR): 1:09.79
  8. Grace Rainey (SwimMac): 1:09.97

Top seed Lucy Thomas improved upon her prelims meet record, blasting a 1:07.63 to take the national title. Thomas’ first 50 was nearly identical to this morning, but she closed hard and pulled away from Denver Hilltoppers’ Emma Weber over the final 15 meters to take the title. Weber finished runner-up in 1:08.31, nearly 7 tenths off of her lifetime best.

Rounding out the top three was SwimAtlanta’s Katie Christopherson, who touched in 1:08.46, just off of her lifetime best that she set in the prelims.

14 year old Raya Mellott finished fourth, slicing another half second off of her lifetime best to fonish in 1:08.77. That moves her to 2nd all time in the 13-14 age group, only behind breaststroke legend Amanda Beard.


  • World Junior Record: 59.01, Nicolo Martinenghi (2017)
  • Meet Record: 1:00.08, Michael Andrew (2016)
  • 13-14 NAG: 1:03.23, Reece Whitley (2014)
  • 15-16 NAG: 1:00.17, Josh Matheny (2019)
  • 17-18 NAG: 59.82, Michael Andrew (2016)

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Nick Mahabir (Coronado): 1:00.79
  2. Joshua Chen (Ames Cyclone): 1:01.80
  3. Colin Zhang (Glenbrook)/Daniel Li (Rose Bowl): 1:02.15
  4. —-
  5. Charlie Egeland (Aquajets): 1:02.24
  6. Saavan Shah (Swim Atlanta): 1:02.41
  7. Watson Nguyen (Matroplex): 1:02.66
  8. Brasen Walker (Raleigh Swim Assoc): 1:02.74

Coronado’s Nick Mahabir defended his top seed from the morning, dropping another tenth to take the title in 1:00.79. Mahabir used a strong back half to pull away from the field to secure the win.

Second place went to Ames Cyclones’ Joshua Chen, who pushed Mahabir through the first 50 meters but was unable to hold the pace over the race’s second half.

Glenbrook’s Colin Zhang and Rose Bowl’s Daniel Li tied for third in 1:02.15. Zhang was out ahead of Li at the 50, but Li used a stronger back half to secure a tie for the third place spot on the podium.


  • World Junior Record: 8:11.00, Katie Ledecky (2014)
  • Meet Record: 8:30.84, Gillian Ryan (2012)
  • 13-14 NAG: 8:28.54, Becca Mann (2012)
  • 15-16 NAG: 8:13.86, Katie Ledecky (2013)
  • 17-18 NAG: 8:06.68, Katie Ledecky (2016)

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Jillian Cox (Texas Longhorn): 8:31.34
  2. Maddie Waggoner (Jersey Wahoos): 8:38.94
  3. Sophia Knapp (Tide-VA): 8:39.27
  4. Chloe Kim (Scarlet): 8:44.88
  5. Kate Hurst (Scarlet): 8:45.83
  6. Emma Hastings (East Carolina): 8:47.70
  7. Hayden Miller (Cypress Fairbanks): 8:50.77
  8. Alexa Reyna (Badger-MR): 8:53.39

Top seed Jillian Cox of Longhorn Aquatics dominated the final heat, winning by over 7 seconds and posting a new lifetime best of 8:31.84.

The silver medal went to Maddie Waggoner of Jersey Wahoos, who dropped over 5 seconds from her lifetime best to finish in 8:38.94. Rounding out the top 3 was Tide’s Sophia Knapp, who dropped nearly 8 seconds to finish in 8:39.27.

Scarlet Aquatics out of northern New Jersey notably had two swimmers in the top 5, with Chloe Kim finishing 4th in 8:44.88 and Kate Hurst finishing 5th in 8:45.83.


  • World Junior Record: 14:46.09, Franko Grgic (2019)
  • Meet Record: 15:16.61, Johannes Calloni (2016)
  • 13-14 NAG: 15:31.03, Jesse Vassallo (1976)
  • 15-16 NAG: 15:03.91, Bobby Hackett (1976)
  • 17-18 NAG: 14:45.29, Larsen Jensen (2004)

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Matthew Chai (Fullerton): 15:28.25
  2. Sean Green (Long Island): 15:31.20
  3. Bobby Dinunzio (Tide-VA): 15:37.79
  4. Luke Whitlock (Fishers): 15:38.15
  5. Andrew Taylor (Tampa Bay): 15:39.00
  6. Freddy Klein (SwimMac): 15:42.62
  7. Max Hardart (Badger-MR): 15:43.26
  8. Bucky Gettys (Texas Gold): 15:43.67

Top seed Matthew Chai took care of business, winning the title in 15:28.25, nearly 3 seconds clear of the field. Despite adding nearly 12 seconds from his seed, the Cal commit was able to win comfortably.

Sean Green of Long Island had a fantastic swim, dropping nearly 13 seconds from his seed to finish second in 15:31.20. Rounding out the top three was Tide’s Bobby Dinunzio, who finished in 15:37.79.


  • 15-18 NAG: 1:51.55 Elmbrook Swim Club (2021)

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Elmbrook Swim Club: 1:51.41
  2. Carmel Swim Club: 1:52.08
  3. Denver Hilltoppers: 1:54.33
  4. Irvine Nova: 1:55.24
  5. Shroeder YMCA: 1:55.78
  6. Dynamo: 1:56.02
  7. Mission Viejo: 1:56.93
  8. All Star: 1:57.00

The Elmbrook Swim Club girls re-set their own NAG record this evening, winning the Juniors title in 1:51.41. They were led by a blistering 30.44 split by Lucy Thomas and were able to hold off Carmel for the win.

200 fly champ Alex Shackell began to close ground on the anchor leg for Carmel, but ultimately ran out of room. Shackell closed in a scintillating 24.71 for Carmel.

The Denver Hilltoppers rounded out the top three teams, led by a 31.58 split from 100 breast runner-up Emma Weber.


  • 15-18 NAG: 1:42.46, Mason Manta Rays (2019)

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Dynamo: 1:41.93
  2. Nitro: 1:42.36
  3. Rose Bowl: 1:42.46
  4. Aquajets: 1:42.58
  5. Spartan Aquatic: 1:43.04
  6. InSpire Swim Team: 1:43.22
  7. SwimMac: 1:43.38
  8. Elmbrook Swim Club: 1:43.48

While it appeared that Nitro had won the junior national title and secured the NAG record swimming in the top seeded heat, Dynamo dominated one of the late heats to sweep both the title and NAG record out from underneath them. Dynamo was led by a 25.58 back split by Idris Muhammad and a 24.24 fly split from Owen McDonald and becomes the first 18 and under team under 1:42.

Out of the top heat, Nitro swimming out of lane 8, ran down both Rose Bowl and Aquajets on the final leg to break the 15-18 NAG record, a record they held for about 20 minutes. Nitro was led by a blistering 22.60 anchor leg by Jeremy Kelly, making up nearly a full second on Aquajets and over a half second on Rose Bowl over the final 50 meters.

Rose Bowl also impressed, tying the old NAG record en-route to a second place finish. Rose Bowl was led by a 28.05 breaststroke split by Daniel Li, who tied for 3rd in the 100 breast earlier tonight. Aquajets held the lead through the first 150 meters but weren’t able to hold on, settling for the bronze in 1:42.58.

A notable split came out of the first boys heat, as 15 year old Thomas Heilman split a 24.00 fly leg to help lead Cavalier Aquatics to a 9th place finish.

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1 year ago

27.1 breast split from Kael Mlinek🔥🔥

1 year ago

An all UT 4×200 relay would finish second at worlds (if you clone Kibler and foster)

1 year ago

23.7 fly split from Bryce Halterman from Paseo.

1 year ago

Best backstroker ong

1 year ago

We’re those nags in speedos without goggles?!?

1 year ago

Good swim by Mahabir.

Michael Andrew Wilson
1 year ago

Those Vassallo and Hackett NAGs 😂😳 Just amazing. I realize there was a different mindset about mileage and youth back then, but still….wow.

Reply to  Michael Andrew Wilson
1 year ago

And the other Bobby almost broke the 15-16 nag, i believe

Reply to  Michael Andrew Wilson
1 year ago

It’s now considered child abuse to train a 13-14 year old that hard to go that fast so I predict his record lasts at least a 100 years.

Reply to  Michael Andrew Wilson
1 year ago

Mack Horton is off Vassalo but was 15:37 at 14
Kieren Perkins was 14:58 at 16, crazy

Reply to  Swimmer94
1 year ago

Carew-Perkins training and racing development and that of Jakob Ingebrigtsen have many similarities. Would even include Ben Titley model here, adjusted for middle distance. I wouldn’t worry about Americans. They will alway interpret this through their own cultural filter and miss the key point of it.