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



The first session of the 2022 Junior National Championships is underway this morning, featuring prelims of the 200 fly and 100 breast. Today also includes timed finals of the women’s 800 free and men’s 1500 free. The slow heats of the distance events start at 2:05 Pacific Time, while the fastest two heats will be swum with finals.

Carmel Swim Club’s Alex Shackell enters the meet as the top seed in the women’s 200 fly. The 15-year-old has had an incredible season, already having gotten down to 2:10.21 in the 200 fly. She enters just over a second off the meet record of 2:09.02, which has stood since 2017.

Shackell’s older brother, Aaron Shackell, is the #2 seed in the men’s 200 fly, coming in just behind 15-year-old Cavalier Aquatics swimmer Thomas Heilman. Heilman leads the field with his personal best of 1:58.01, just 0.04 second ahead of Shackell’s 1:58.05.

University of Denver Hilltoppers 18-year-old Emma Weber is another swimmer who might take a stab at the meet record. Weber leads the field in the women’s 100 breast, coming in at a blistering 1:07.62. Weber’s seed time comes in half a second faster than Zoe Bartel‘s meet record of 1:08.11.

Coronado Swim Association’s Nick Mahabir comes in as the top seed in the men’s 100 breast, entering at 1:01.71. The 16-year-old is the only swimmer in the field who has been under 1:02 in the event.


  • 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 Qualifiers:

  1. Alex Shackell – 2:10.00
  2. Hana Shimizu-Bowers – 2:13.18
  3. Lilly Derivaux – 2:13.70
  4. Kelsey Zhang – 2:13.88
  5. Maggie Schalow – 2:13.95
  6. Annika Parkhe – 2:14.26
  7. Edie Simecek – 2:14.49
  8. Abby O’Sullivan – 2:14.60

It was all 15-year-old Alex Shackell out of Carmel Swim Club this morning. The rising star clipped her personal best in the event by 0.21 seconds, posting a sizzling 2:10.00 to lead the field this morning by 3.18 seconds. Shackell’s swim was well put together, as she was 1:02.28 on the first 100, then swam 33.32 and 34.40 on the final 2 50s, for a 1:07.72 on the final 100. With the performance, Shackell moves up one spot in the all-time rankings, now sitting at #16 among 15-16 girls in U.S. history. She also inched a little closer to the meet record of 2:09.02, which Olivia Carter set back in 2017.

17-year-old Hana Shimizu-Bowers had a very nice swim this morning, taking nearly a second off her personal best to finish 2nd overall. Shimizu-Bowers clocked a 2:13.18, marking her first time under 2:14 in the event. Fellow 17-year-old Lilly Derivaux also dipped under 2:14 for the first time in her career, taking 3rd with a 2:13.18.

Another notable performance came with 16-year-old Annika Parkhe, who swam a new personal best by 2 seconds to make it into the ‘A’ final tonight. Parkhe speed to a 2:14.26 this morning, hitting the wall exactly 2 seconds ahead of her previous best time.


  • 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 Qualifiers:

  1. Aaron Shackell – 1:57.79
  2. Thomas Heilman – 1:58.78
  3. David Schmitt – 1:58.82
  4. Henry McFadden – 2:00.02
  5. Josh Zuchowski – 2:00.71
  6. Conor McKenna – 2:01.14
  7. Gary Jones – 2:01.28 (tie)
  8. Evan Vanbrocklin – 2:01.28 (tie)

These boys didn’t waste any time getting after it this morning in prelims of the 200 fly. Carmel Swim Club 17-year-old Aaron Shackell led the field with a new personal best of 1:57.79. That means the Shackell sibling duo will be entering tonight’s finals as the top seeds in the men’s and women’s 200 fly respectively. For Aaron Shackell, the swim was a lifetime best by about a quarter-of-a-second, bringing him under 1:58 for the first time in his young career. The swim also moves Shackell up to #16 all-time in the 17-18 boys age group.

The parallels here are quite staggering. Alex Shackell swam a personal best by 0.21 seconds this morning, while Aaron dropped 0.26 seconds. Both are the top seeds for finals, and both are now #16 all-time in their respective age groups.

15-year-old Cavalier Aquatics swimmer Thomas Heilman was just off his personal best of 1:58.01 this morning, taking the #2 seed for finals with a 1:58.78. Heilman looked strong through the first 150m of the race, even splitting a very strong 30.4 on the 3rd 50. He hit a wall coming home on the final 50, however, and Evolution Racing Club 17-year-old David Schmitt very nearly beat him at the touch. Schmitt swam a massive best time, blowing away his entry of 2:02.26 with a 1:58.82 this morning.

Flood Aquatics Swim Team’s Josh Zuchowski, 18, had a great swim this morning to qualify for the ‘A’ final. Zuchowski tore down his previous lifetime best of 2:03.25, clocking a 2:00.71 to qualify 5th for finals.


  • World Junior Record: 1:04.35, Ruta Meilutyte (2013)
  • Meet Record: 1:08.11, Zoe Bartel (2016)
  • 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 Qualifiers:

  1. Lucy Thomas – 1:08.07
  2. Katie Christopherson – 1:08.39
  3. Emma Weber – 1:08.54
  4. Raya Mellott – 1:09.32
  5. Grace Rainey – 1:09.71
  6. Aubree Brouwer – 1:09.88
  7. Jessey Li – 1:09.95
  8. Alicia Henry – 1:10.04

Elmbrook Swim Club 16-year-old Lucy Thomas was on fire this morning, blasting a new lifetime best of 1:08.07 to take down the 6-year-old meet record held by Zoe Bartel. Thomas took 0.75 seconds off her previous best, getting out to a sizzling 31.51 on the first 50. She faded just a bit on the back half of the race, coming home in 36.56, but no matter, as she broke the record and has now risen to #7 all-time in the 15-16 girls rankings.

The race tonight ought to be an absolute thriller. SwimAtlanta’s Katie Christopherson, also 16, went under 1:09 for the first time in her career, locking up the #2 seed for tonight with a 1:08.39. Christopherson now sits at #12 all-time in the 15-16 girls rankings. She swam a slightly more conservative race than Thomas, splitting 32.30 on the opening 50, then coming home in 36.09.

University of Denver Hilltoppers 18-year-old Emma Weber will certainly be in the mix tonight as well. Weber had a solid morning swim, clocking a 1:08.54 to take the 3rd seed for tonight. Weber is the only swimmer in this field who has been under 1:08 in the event, so we’ll be looking to her to make some noise tonight.

Crow Canyon Country Club Sharks 14-year-old Raya Mellott had a massive performance this morning, posting the 4th-fastest time of prelims with a 1:09.32. The swim was a best time by 1.01 seconds, marking Mellott’s first time under 1:10 in the event. She has now vaulted all the way up to #3 all-time in the 13-14 age group. She will have a chance tonight to become the only 14&under American to break 1:09 in the 100 breast, outside of legendary 13-14 NAG Record holder Amanda Beard (1:08.09).



  • 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 Qualifiers:

  1. Nick Mahabir – 1:00.94
  2. Joshua Chen – 1:02.35
  3. Saavan Shah – 1:02.64
  4. Charlie Egeland – 1:02.65
  5. Daniel li – 1:02.70
  6. Colin Zhang – 1:02.70
  7. Brasen Walker – 1:02.95
  8. Watson Nguyen – 1:02.96

After crushing the Singaporean National Record last week at Nationals, 16-year-old Nick Mahabir was back in action this morning, clocking a 1:00.94 to lead prelims by a massive margin. The swim was just a bit off the 1:00.34 he swam at Nationals just days ago, but sets him up very nicely for another run at the record again tonight.

Another 16-year-old, Joshua Chen, clocked a personal best of 1:02.46 to take the #2 seed for tonight’s finals. Chen swam a tightly split racing, going 29.48 on the first 50, then coming home in 32.87.

18-year-old Saavan Shah was on fire this morning, blowing away his previous best of 1:04.08. He swam a 1:02.64 to take the 3rd seed for tonight, thanks to a blistering 28.46 on the first 50 of the race.

16-year-old Colin Zhang had a phenomenal swim this morning, taking a second off his personal best with a 1:02.70 to qualify for the ‘A’ final tonight.

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6 months ago

David Schmitt went a best time at nationals last week too

6 months ago

And a new PB for Mikayla Tan (DOB 2010) 1:11.98 in the 100 breast that makes her climb up to 3rd in 11-12 NAG list

Reply to  OLOAP
6 months ago

Has a shot to drop more time since I think she’s in a swim-off for 1st alt.

Reply to  OOGA BOOGA
6 months ago

Yep, she missed C final for 6 hundredth but she has another chance at the swimoff

6 months ago

Heilman pacing very good up until 150 then half a second slower than his PB then it seems like he switched off the last lap let’s what he has in store for tonight

Reply to  OLOAP
6 months ago

Agreed. Seems like he shut down a bit on the last 50. Hopefully, he’s saving up for a monster swim tonight!

6 months ago

And there’s a new PB for 12 years old Audrey Derivaux! Nice improvement by nearly 1.5 seconds in just three weeks