2023 Winter Juniors – East: Day 2 Prelims Live Recap






The first full day of the 2023 Winter Junior Championships – East is here. This morning’s prelims session will feature heats of the 500 free, 200 IM, and 50 free and is set to last a little less than 2 hours.

16-year-old Thomas Heilman (Cavalier Aquatics/Piedmont Family YMCA) is set to pull a tough double today. Heilman is entered in both the boys 200 IM and 50 free. He’s the top seed in the 200 IM, entering with the 1:41.71 he swam to set the Winter Juniors meet record, as well as the 15-16 NAG at last year’s meet. Meanwhile, Heilman is the #2 seed in the 50 free, behind East Carolina Aquatics 18-year-old Lucca Battaglini.

The girls 500 free has Carmel Swim Club 15-year-old Kayla Han entered as the top seed with a 4:39.18. Of note, Carmel 17-year-old Alex Shackell is also entered in the event, coming in as the #10 seed with a 4:46.84. Shackell ripped a 1:42.28 leading off the Carmel girls 800 free relay last night, so definitely keep an eye on her in this event.


  • Meet Record: 4:27.52, Summer McIntosh (2022)
  • 13-14 NAG Record: 4:35.14, Katie Ledecky (2011)
  • 15-16 NAG Record: 4:28.71, Katie Ledecky (2014)
  • 17-18 NAG Record: 4:26.58, Katie Ledecky (2015)


  1. Kayla Han (Carmel Swim Club) – 4:40.11
  2. Alex Shackell ((Carmel Swim Club) – 4:42.02
  3. Kate Hurst (Scarlet Aquatics) – 4:43.46
  4. Lynsey Bowen (Carmel Swim Club) – 4:43.94
  5. Emma Reiser (Swim Atlanta) – 4:46.60
  6. Lillie Nesty (Gator Swim Club) – 4:47.04
  7. Iris Kim (Scarlet Aquatics) – 4:48.27
  8. Lexie Ward (Carmel Swim Club) – 4:48.81

The girls 500 free really came alive in the final heat (heat 9), as nearly the entire top 8 came out of that heat. Carmel Swim Club 17-year-old Alex Shackell got out to an incredible start, flipping in 1:48.29 at the 200 mark. She would fade from that aggressive early pace but still managed a huge new personal best of 4:42.02 this morning. Of course, Shackell went a 1:42.28 flat-start 200 free last night, so it’s possible we see an even more aggressive race out of her tonight, as she surely has her sights set on getting under 4:40.

It was Shackell’s new Carmel teammate Kayla Han, 15, who ended up winning the heat. Han trailed Shackell through the first half of the race but eventually pulled even, then began to pull away from Shackell on the final 100. Han popped a 4:40.11, which was good for the top seed and just less than a second off her personal best of 4:39.18.

Scarlet Aquatics’ Kate Hurst put together a fantastic back half to earn the #3 seed for tonight’s final. Hurst clocked a 4:43.46 after coming home in a very fast 56.44 on the final 100. The swim was a new personal best for Hurst by a little over a second.

Hurst’s Scarlet Aquatics teammate Iris Kim also made it into the top 8, swimming a 4:48.27 for 7th this morning.

There was a 3rd Carmel swimmer who made it through as well. 16-year-old Lynsey Bowen won the first of the circle seeded heats, swimming a 4:43.94.


  • Meet Record: 4:12.33, Rex Maurer (2022)
  • 13-14 NAG Record: 4:22.50, Luka Mijatovic (2023)
  • 15-16 NAG Record: 4:15.36, Drew Kibler (2016)
  • 17-18 NAG Record: 4:08.42, Luke Hobson (2022)


  1. Luke Whitlock (Fishers Area Swimming Tigers) – 4:16.93
  2. Cooper McDonald (Dynamo Swim Club) – 4:17.99
  3. David King (Cavalier Aquatics/Piedmont Family Y) – 4:19.00
  4. Nathan Szobota (Nova of Virginia Aquatics) – 4:19.78
  5. Norvin Clontz (Mecklenburg Swim Association) – 4:20.15
  6. Gregg Enoch (Carmel Swim Club) – 4:20.48
  7. Matt Marsteiner (New Wave Swim Team) – 4:21.86
  8. Jason Zhao (Mason Manta Rays) – 4:22.26

The boys 500 free was incredibly fast this morning, seeing 4 boys go under 4:20 and another 2 swim 4:20s. It was the first of the circle seeded heats that ended up being faster, as Dynamo’s Cooper McDonald really took off on the field in the middle of the race. It looked like McDonald was firmly in control of the race but Fishers Area Swimming Tigers’ Luke Whitlock was flying at the end of the race and managed to track down and pass McDonald. Both boys broke 4:20 for the first time this morning, as Whitlock clocked a 4:16.93 for 1st and McDonald was 4:17.99 for 2nd.

Cavalier Aquatics/Piedmont Family Y’s David King also broke 4:20 for the first time in his career, taking 3rd overall with a 4:19.00. Nova of Virginia’s Nathan Szobota also cracked 4:20 this morning, swimming a 4:19.78. Szobota holds a personal best of 4:18.38.

Meanwhile, both Mecklenburg Swim Association’s Norvin Clontz and Carmel Swim Club’s Gregg Enoch have been under 4:20 before in their careers and will be in the ‘A’ final tonight as well. Both boys went 4:20 this morning.


  • Meet Record: 1:52.21, Katie Grimes (2022)
  • 13-14 NAG Record: 1:55.29, Tess Howley (2019)
  • 15-16 NAG Record: 1:53.38, Teagan O’Dell (2023)
  • 17-18 NAG Record: 1:51.36, Kate Douglass (2020)


  1. Molly Sweeney (Carmel Swim Club) – 1:56.09
  2. Elle Scott (SwimMAC Carolina) – 1:56.25
  3. Audrey Derivaux (Jersey Wahoos) – 1:57.64
  4. Sophia Umstead (Michigan Lakeshore Aquatics) – 1:57.82
  5. Katie Christopherson (Swim Atlanta) – 1:58.18
  6. Emily Thompson (Greater Somerset County Y) – 1:58.36
  7. Kayla Han (Carmel Swim Club) – 1:58.52
  8. Addie Robillard (Mason Manta Rays) – 1:58.72

Carmel continues to roll this morning, as 16-year-old Molly Sweeney clocked a 1:56.09 to lead the field. She was out in 24.84 on fly, then backed that up with a 29.20 on back. Her back half was great as well, as she went 33.66 on breast and 28.39 on free.

Sweeney finished just ahead of SwimMAC Carolina’s Elle Scott, who went 1:56.25. That marks a new personal best for Scott, while Sweeney holds a career best of 1:55.40.

14-year-old Audrey Derivaux out of Jersey Wahoos had a great swim as well, posting a huge new personal best of 1:57.65.

Carmel’s Kayla Han pulled an impressive double, coming in 7th this morning with a 1:58.52 after posting the top time of the morning in the 500 free.


  • Meet Record: 1:41.71, Thomas Heilman (2022)
  • 13-14 NAG Record: 1:45.29, Michael Andrew (2014)
  • 15-16 NAG Record: 1:41.71, Thomas Heilman (2022)
  • 17-18 NAG Record: 1:41.39, David Nolan (2011)


  1. Thomas Heilman (Cavalier Aquatics/Piedmont Family Y) – 1:44.57
  2. Thomas Mercer (Lakeside Swim Team) – 1:44.66
  3. Baylor Stanton (Gwinnett Aquatics) – 1:44.77
  4. Gregg Enoch (Carmel Swim Club) – 1:45.42
  5. Carter Lancaster (Bolles School Sharks) – 1:45.54
  6. Spencer Nicholas (Nashville Aquatic Club) – 1:46.19
  7. Drew Hitchcock (Baylor Swim Club) – 1:46.45
  8. Jake Wang (Suburban Seahawks Club) – 1:46.51

Meet record holder Thomas Heilman, a 16-year-old out of Cavalier Aquatics/Piedmont Family YMCA clocked the top time of the morning in the boys 200 IM, swimming a 1:44.57. It was a solid morning swim for Heilman, though we can expect him to be faster tonight, especially given that he went 1:41.71 in this event at last year’s meet to set the record. Heilman will be racing in the 50 free as well, so we’ll see how he fares there.

Speaking of doubles, Carmel Swim Club’s Gregg Enoch did the same thing his teammate Kayla Han did on the girls side. Enoch already made the ‘A’ final of the 500 free this morning, then managed to turn around and make the ‘A’ final here in the 200 IM as well. On top of that, his 1:45.42 this morning actually marks a new personal best for the 17-year-old as well, clipping his previous mark of 1:45.55.

Lakeside Swim Team’s Thomas Mercer, 17, was right behind Heilman’s time this morning, ripping a new personal best of 1:44.66 for 2nd overall. Mercer was out fast, splitting 22.68 on fly and 25.96 on back for a 48.64 on the opening 100. He then tacked on a 31.06 breast split before coming home in a speedy 24.96 on free.

Also of note, Nashville Aquatic Club’s Spencer Nicholas, 18, a member of that NAC boys 200 medley relay NAG Record last night, made it into this final. Nicholas took a second off his previous best in the event, swimming a 1:46.19 for 6th this morning.


  • Meet Record: 21.49, Abbey Weitzeil (2014)
  • 13-14 NAG Record: 21.89, Claire Curzan (2019)
  • 15-16 NAG Record: 21.50, Claire Curzan (2021)
  • 17-18 NAG Record: 21.32, Simone Manuel (2015)


  1. Julie Mishler (Fishers Area Swimming Tigers) – 22.12
  2. Jillian Crooks (TAC Titans) – 22.21
  3. Katie Belle Sikes (East Carolina Aquatics) – 22.23
  4. Annam Olasewere (Chelsea Piers Aquatic Club) – 22.25
  5. Lily Christianson (Irish Aquatics) – 22.35
  6. Josie Connelly (OLY Swimming) – 22.37
  7. Sarah Paisley Owen (Metro Atlanta Aquatic Club) – 22.41
  8. Lillie Nesty (Gator Swim Club) – 22.46

Fishers Area Swimming Tigers earned their 2nd top seed of the morning, seeing 16-year-old Julie Mishler clock a 22.12 to lead the girls 50 free. The performance marks a huge new personal best for Mishler, taking over half-a-second off her previous mark of 22.67.

TAC Titans’ Jillian Crooks clipped her PB of 22.24, taking 2nd overall this morning in 22.21.

Showing off her freestyle versatility, Gator Swim Club 17-year-old Lillie Nesty popped a new personal best of 22.46 to make it into the ‘A’ final of the 50 free as the 8th seed. Nesty also made the ‘A’ in the girls 500 free at the beginning of the session, where she finished 6th.

After qualifying for the ‘B’ final in the 200 IM, 15-year-old Charlotte Crush out of Lakeside Swim Team was the first one out in the 50 free this morning, swimming a 22.59 for 9th. Crush has a personal best of 22.36, so we’ll see what she’s able to do tonight.


  • Meet Record: 18.71, Ryan Hoffer (2016)
  • 13-14 NAG Record: 19.76, Michael Andrew (2014)
  • 15-16 NAG Record: 19.24, Michael Andrew (2015)
  • 17-18 NAG Record: 18.67, Caeleb Dressel (2015)


  1. Lucca Battaglini (East Carolina Aquatics) – 19.38
  2. Thomas Heilman (Cavalier Aquatics/Piedmont Family Y) – 19.61
  3. Marvin Johnson (McCallie GPS Aquatics) – 19.79
  4. Devin Dilger (OLY Swimming) – 19.80
  5. Andy Kravchenko (Bolles School Sharks) – 19.87
  6. Kyle Peck (Stingrays) – 19.96
  7. Blake Amlicke (Nashville Aquatic Club) – 19.99
  8. Spencer Nicholas (Nasheville Aquatic Club) – 20.04

East Carolina Aquatics’ Lucca Battaglini, 18, led the way in the boys 50 free this morning, popping a new personal best of 19.38. It was an excellent morning swim for Battaglini, who is now the #17 American 17-18 boys in the event all-time. His previous best coming into this morning was a 19.47.

After leading prelims of the men’s 200 IM, 16-year-old Thomas Heilman had a little left in the tank, enough to post a new PB of 19.61 in the 50. He clipped his previous mark of 19.63 and came in 2nd overall.

Marvin Johnson, a 17-year-old out of McCallie GPS Aquatics, swam a 19.79 for 3rd, establishing a new personal best by 0.08 seconds.

OLY Swimming’s Devin Dilger ripped a 19.80 to break 20 seconds for the first time in the event, also coming in 4th overall. Of note, East Carolina Aquatics and OLY Swimming are the only two clubs to put a swimmer in both the boys and girls 50 free ‘A’ final today.

Mason Manta Rays’ Kyle Peck, 17, also broke 20 seconds for the first time, swimming a 19.96 for 6th place.

Nasheville Aquatic Club rounded out the top 8 this morning, seeing Blake Amlicke clock a 19.99 for 7th and Spencer Nicholas a 20.04 for 8th. Notably, both boys were members of the NAC boys 200 medley relay that broke the 17-18 NAG last night. Both boys also went personal bests this morning, with Amlicke breaking 20 seconds for the first time. Nicholas also, of course, qualified for the ‘A’ final of the 200 IM, where he also swam a personal best this morning.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 months ago

This Heilman kid is a machine!

2 months ago

Is there a scenario where Kayla Han gets on the Olympic team next year? I’m saying no at this time. Not even a chance. Thoughts?

2 months ago

You have the 13-14 boys 500 NAG record woefully incorrect

2 months ago

RAYS-VA is not the Mason Manta Rays…

2 months ago

Livestream messed up AGAIN. No women’s 2IM prelims. Begins with the 50 free.

2 months ago

Given how much they’re known for distance swimming, OLY Swimming putting a swimmer in the ‘A’ final of the 50 free for both genders was not on my bingo card for this meet.

2 months ago

Easy looking 1:44.5 for Thomas pushed the fly, backed off on back, solid breast and decent free not too crazy

2 months ago

1:38 incoming.

Reply to  Bayliss
2 months ago

thats a little ambitious.

Reply to  Bayliss
2 months ago

Calm down

Reply to  Tanner
2 months ago

Probably referring to the 200 fly, which wouldn’t be that crazy of a prediction.

Reply to  124swim
2 months ago

If so, yeah. Not in the I.M today though