2023 Winter Juniors – East: Day 4 Finals Live Recap

2023 SPEEDO WINTER JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS – EAST

Saturday Finals Heat Sheet

Day 4 Finals Livestream, Courtesy of USA Swimming:

The final night of the 2023 Winter Junior Nationals is a busy one, as it will feature 6 events. The night will commence with the fastest heats of the 1650 freestyle, followed by the finals of the 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, and finally the 400 freestyle relay.

After scaring the meet and 17-18 NAG record in prelims, all eyes will be on Alex Shackell in tonight’s 200 fly ‘A’ final. Shackell clocked 1:51.33 this morning to drop over two seconds from her previous lifetime best.

Kayla Han is the top seeded entrant in tonight’s 1650 free timed final, but Kate Hurst of Scarlet clocked a time of 16:08.25 in the earlier heats. The time from Hurst, who won the gold medal in the 1500m free at the recent World Junior Championships, could hold up for a top three spot, if not the top spot.

Baylor Stanton of Gwinnett Aquatics came within striking distance of the 15-16 NAG record in the 200 backstroke this morning. Stanton hit the wall in 1:41.14, a massive PB and just shy of the 1:40.88 record held by Maximus Williamson. Stanton will have another shot to get closer to the record tonight.

GIRLS 1650 FREESTYLE – FINALS

  • Meet Record: 15:26.17, Katie Grimes (2022)
  • 13-14 NAG Record: 15:52.84, Claire Weinstein (2021)
  • 15-16 NAG Record: 15:15.17, Katie Ledecky (2013)
  • 17-18 NAG Record: 15:13.30, Katie Ledecky (2014)

Top 8: 

  1. Kayla Han (CSC) – 16:00.74
  2. Kate Hurst (SCAR) – 16:08.25
  3. Lexie Ward (CSC) – 16:17.93
  4. Chloe Kim (SCAR) – 16:25.35
  5. Emma Reiser (SA) – 16:31.26
  6. Kylie McMurray (GPAC) – 16:35.30
  7. Clara Renner (SAC) – 16:35.45
  8. Neala Klein (BSS) – 16:38.66

Kayla Han of Carmel dominated the final heat of the 1650, clocking a personal best time of 16:00.74 to secure the win. Her teammate, Lexie Ward, dropped 20 seconds from her entry time to take 3rd overall (16:17.93).

Han took the race out strong, splitting 4:47.06 through the first 500 and 9:40.05 at the 1000 mark. She closed in a swift 27.78 on the final 50 to make a run at the 16-minute mark, touching the wall 5 seconds faster than her previous best.

Junior World Champion Kate Hurst swam in the earlier heats, where she posted a time of 16:08.25. Her time held up for 2nd overall.

BOYS 1650 FREESTYLE – FINALS

  • Meet Record: 14:37.91, Michael Brinegar (2017)
  • 13-14 NAG Record: 15:00.95, Luka Mijatovic (2023)
  • 15-16 NAG Record: 14:37.86, Liam Custer (2020)
  • 17-18 NAG Record: 14:34.22, PJ Ransford (2015)

Top 8:

  1. Luke Whitlock (FAST) – 14:50.37
  2. Nathan Szobota (NOVA) – 14:59.50
  3. Freddy Klein (MAC) – 15:02.12
  4. William Mulgrew (SAC) – 15:05.90
  5. Kyler Heffner (SA) – 15:07.46
  6. Luke Corey (NAAC) – 15:07.51
  7. Matthew Marsteiner (WAVE) – 15:14.50
  8. Ian Platts-Mills (NCAC) – 15:15.41

17-year-old Luke Whitlock of FAST put on a show in the final heat of the 1500, roaring to a massive best time of 14:50.37. Whitlock took the race out strong, flipping through the 500 in 4:24.94 and the 1000 in 8:56.16.

Nathan Szobota from NOVA of Virginia took the silver tonight, turning in a sub-15 minute effort of 14:59.50. Freddy Klein of SwimMAC rounded out tonight’s top three, recording a time of 15:02.12 to grab 3rd. The time by Klein takes over 5 seconds off his entry time of 15:08.04.

Notably, Ian Platts-Mills (NCAC) recorded a time of 15:15.41 from the earlier heats, which held up for a top 8 finish once the final heat was swum tonight. He came into the meet seeded 24th.

GIRLS 200 BACKSTROKE – FINALS

  • Meet Record: 1:48.32, Bella Sims (2022)
  • 13-14 NAG Record: 1:50.95, Charlotte Crush (2023)
  • 15-16 NAG Record: 1:48.30, Regan Smith (2018)
  • 17-18 NAG Record: 1:47.16, Regan Smith (2019)

Top 8:

  1. Leah Shackley (BRY) – 1:50.21
  2. Charlotte Crush (LAK) – 1:52.67
  3. Audrey Derivaux (JW) – 1:52.75
  4. Sarah Rodrigues (JAC) – 1:54.81
  5. Lillie Nesty (GSC) – 1:55.12
  6. Haley McDonald (LAK) – 1:55.24
  7. Roos Rottink (MTAC) – 1:55.26
  8. Kayman Neal (MAC) – 1:55.71

Charlotte Crush of Lakeside took the race out fast through the first 50, flipping in 25.13. Leah Shackley flipped right with her, getting her feet on the wall in 25.34. Shackley took the lead off the turn and never relinquished it, splitting 27.08, 28.03, and 29.76 on the final three 50s to hit the wall in 1:50.21. The time marks a personal best and her first win of the competition.

Crush posted a time of 1:52.67 to grab 2nd, and 14-year-old Audrey Derivaux of the Jersey Wahoos continued her great meet with another podium appearance in 3rd.

The ‘B’ final featured a great race between a variety of swimmers, with Emily Thompson of GSCY grabbing the win in 1:55.01. She shattered her time from earlier in the day (1:56.76), and lowered her best time of 1:56.21 as well. Thompson had a great showing here in Columbus so far, recording a 3rd place finish in the 200 IM on night one, a 2nd place finish in the 400 IM yesterday, and an 8th place finish in the 100 back. Thompson will feature in the ‘B’ final of the 200 fly later in the evening.

BOYS 200 BACKSTROKE – FINALS

  • Meet Record: 1:39.62, Daniel Diehl (2022)
  • 13-14 NAG Record: 1:43.15, Michael Andrew (2014)
  • 15-16 NAG Record: 1:40.88, Maximus Williamson (2022)
  • 17-18 NAG Record: 1:37.35, Ryan Murphy (2014)

Top 8:

  1. Baylor Stanton (GA) – 1:41.24
  2. David King (CA-Y) – 1:41.69
  3. Kyle Peck (RAYS-VA) – 1:42.71
  4. Ethan Ekk (ATAC) – 1:43.91
  5. Crash Ackerly (NOVA) – 1:43.92
  6. Johnny Crush (LAK) – 1:44.22
  7. James Bennison (WAVE) – 1:45.22
  8. Kenneth Barnicle (GSCY) – 1:46.31

Baylor Stanton backed up his statement swim from this morning with a 1:41.24 winning time, just 0.10 shy of his prelim marker. The 16-year-old now ranks #3 all-time in the 15-16 age group, just sitting behind Maximus Williamson and Ryan Murphy.

David King of Cavalier Aquatics-Piedmont YMCA had a big swim for 2nd, touching in 1:41.69 to eclipse his previous best time of 1:42.89. King, a member of the class of 2024, has committed to swim at Virginia.

After a 2nd place finish in the 100 back a day ago, Kyle Peck took bronze in the 200 back tonight. His time of 1:42.71 checks in as a new lifetime best.

Five swimmers broke the 1:44-barrier tonight, as Ethan Ekk (1:43.91) and Crash Ackerly (1:43.92) took 4th and 5th, respectively.

GIRLS 100 FREESTYLE – FINALS

  • Meet Record: 46.29, Abbey Weitzeil (2014)
  • 13-14 NAG Record: 47.67, Claire Curzan (2019)
  • 15-16 NAG Record: 47.23, Claire Curzan (2020)
  • 17-18 NAG Record: 46.09, Simone Manuel (2015)

Top 8:

  1. Jillian Crooks (TAC) – 47.30
  2. Charlotte Crush (LAK) – 47.86
  3. Rylee Erisman (LAKR) – 48.32
  4. Annie Jia (UDAC) – 48.77
  5. Katie Belle Sikes (ECA) – 48.83
  6. Lily King (MPAC) – 48.84
  7. Lily Christianson (IA) – 49.18
  8. Lili Higgo (BSS) – 49.25

Jillian Crooks led from start to finish en route to the 100 freestyle title tonight, splitting 22.62/24.68 for a time of 47.30. It was a huge swim for the Tennessee commit, who eclipsed her previous best time by over a second (48.47). Crooks broke the :22-second barrier in the 50 free for the first time yesterday, clocking a 21.95 lead-off on the TAC Titans 200 free relay.

Charlotte Crush was back in the water just minutes after a 2nd place showing in the 200 back, stopping the clock in 47.86 for 2nd. It was a huge drop for Crush as well, as she took down her previous best by about a second (48.81). Crush took it out strong with Crooks, turning through in 22.91 before closing in 24.95.

14-year-old Rylee Erisman continued her great meet here in Columbus, rounding out the top 3 in a time of 48.32. Her time checks in as another personal best, lowering the 48.62 she clocked earlier today.

Six of the eight swimmers broke the 49-second barrier tonight, as Annie Jia (48.77), Katie Belle Sikes (48.83), and Lily King (48.84) placed 4th, 5th, and 6th, respectively.

BOYS 100 FREESTYLE – FINALS

  • Meet Record: 41.23, Ryan Hoffer (2015)
  • 13-14 NAG Record: 43.51, Thomas Heilman (2021)
  • 15-16 NAG Record: 41.96, Kaii Winkler (2023)
  • 17-18 NAG Record: 41.23, Ryan Hoffer (2015)

Top 8:

  1. Thomas Heilman (CA-Y) – 42.00
  2. Devin Dilger (OLY) – 42.72
  3. Lucca Battaglini (ECA) – 42.88
  4. Spencer Nicholas (NAC) – 43.37
  5. Jason Zhao (RAYS) – 43.46
  6. Johnny Crush (LAK) – 43.50
  7. Luke Bedsole (HSA) – 43.67
  8. Austin Carpenter (COA) – 43.83

Thomas Heilman put on a show in the final of the 100 free, splitting 20.27/21.73 en route to the 2nd fastest 15-16 100 free of all-time. He stopped the clock in 42.00 to just miss the NAG record held by Kaii Winkler (41.96).

Devin Dilger touched in 42.72 to grab 2nd place, continuing his impressive showing on the day. Dilger entered the meet with a time of 44.15, lowered it to 43.09 this morning, and now lowered it again to 42.72.

Lucca Battaglini, who ripped a time of 19.06 to win the 50 free on day one, stopped the clock in 42.88 for 3rd. His swim represents a new best time, and marks his first time breaking the 43-second threshold.

GIRLS 200 BREASTSTROKE – FINALS

  • Meet Record: 2:06.02, Alex Walsh (2018)
  • 13-14 NAG Record: 2:10.22, Allie Szekely (2012)
  • 15-16 NAG Record: 2:06.45, Alex Walsh (2018)
  • 17-18 NAG Record: 2:05.68, Ella Nelson (2020)

Top 8:

  1. Molly Sweeney (CSC) – 2:07.49
  2. Addie Robillard (RAYS) – 2:08.75
  3. Avery Klamfoth (MAC) – 2:11.27
  4. Molly Yacoviello (YY) – 2:12.14
  5. Sofia Plaza (MAC) – 2:12.19
  6. Elle Scott (MAC) – 2:13.09
  7. Stella Chapman (CW) – 2:13.27
  8. Dani Karnaugh (SCAR) – 2:14.27

Carmel’s Molly Sweeney led the race from start to finish, recording a best time of 2:07.49 to secure her second individual win of the meet. Her time of 2:07.49 represents a new best time. She took the race out fast, splitting 28.77/31.97 to turn through the 100 in 1:00.74, before closing in 32.76 and 33.99 to hold on for the win over Addie Robillard.

Robillard had a great swim herself, as she finished in 2:08.75 to come up 0.35 short of her best ever time. Robillard, the 16-year-old from the Mason Manta Rays, has had a great meet. She placed 7th in both the 200 and 400 IMs, took the silver in the 100 breast yesterday, and doubled up with breaststroke silvers by taking 2nd tonight.

Avery Klamfoth of SwimMAC rounded out the top three in 2:11.27. SwimMAC was well represented in tonight’s championship final, as her two teammates placed 5th (Sofia Plaza) and 6th (Elle Scott).

BOYS 200 BREASTSTROKE – FINALS

  • Meet Record: 1:52.12, Josh Matheny (2019)
  • 13-14 NAG Record: 1:55.52, Reece Whitley (2014)
  • 15-16 NAG Record: 1:52.37, Reece Whitley (2016)
  • 17-18 NAG Record: 1:51.38, Josh Matheny (2020)

Top 8:

  1. Xavier Ruiz (RAC) – 1:54.97
  2. Noah Cakir (TS) – 1:55.09
  3. Jordan Willis (MAC) – 1:55.30
  4. Grayson Nye (TAC) – 1:55.31
  5. Norvy Clontz (MSA) – 1:56.63
  6. Gabe Nunziata (ODAC) – 1:57.44
  7. Javier Colmenares (SOFL) – 1:58.81
  8. Breno Santana (AZFL) – 1:58.97

Xavier Ruiz made a huge drop to win the 200 breaststroke, clocking 1:54.97. After entering the meet with an entry time of 2:00.42 (15th seed), Ruiz dropped to 1:58.27 this morning to slide through to tonight’s ‘A’ final ranked 4th. He then proceeded to drop 3.30 seconds from his morning effort, splitting 26.35, 28.98, 29.75, and 29.89 for his 1:54.97 win.

After finishing 2nd in last night’s 100 breast, Noah Cakir replicated that performance in tonight’s 200. He stopped the clock in 1:55.09 to out battle Jordan Willis (1:55.30) and Grayson Nye (1:55.31) for 2nd place.

The entire A-final posted sub 2-minute performances, with nine additional ones recorded in tonight’s ‘B’ final and bonus final. That means 17 athletes swam a sub 2-minute 200 breast tonight, showcasing the East’s depth in the longer distance breaststroke event.

GIRLS 200 BUTTERFLY – FINALS

  • Meet Record: 1:51.06, Bella Sims (2022)
  • 13-14 NAG Record: 1:55.29, Tess Howley (2019)
  • 15-16 NAG Record: 1:51.24, Regan Smith (2018)
  • 17-18 NAG Record: 1:50.85, Claire Curzan (2022)

Top 8:

  1. Alex Shackell (CSC) – 1:50.15 **17-18 NAG RECORD** & **MEET RECORD**
  2. Leah Shackley (BRY) – 1:54.07
  3. Emily Brown (DCST) – 1:55.50
  4. Audrey Derivaux (JW) – 1:55.90
  5. Emily Wolf (FAST) – 1:57.57
  6. Hazel Mouhidin (CRIM) – 1:57.88
  7. Annie Jia (UDAC) – 1:58.17
  8. Tori Abruzzo (PWAC) – 1:59.94

Alex Shackell put on a show for everyone during the last session in Columbus, as she roared to a new 17-18 NAG record. She posted a time of 1:50.15, eclipsing Claire Curzan‘s previous mark of 1:50.85 from March of 2022.

See a full comparison of the two swims below:

Splits Comparison

Shackell New Record (December 2023): Curzan Old Record (March 2022):
24.14 24.48
51.61 (27.47) 52.32 (27.89)
1:20.05 (28.44) 1:20.68 (28.31)
1:50.15 (30.10) 1:50.85 (30.17)

The winner of the 200 backstroke from earlier in the night, Leah Shackley, posted a swift 1:54.07 to grab 2nd place. Her swim clips her previous best time of 1:54.63, which she set in April.

Emily Brown and Audrey Derivaux placed 3rd and 4th, clocking sub-1:56 efforts in the process.

BOYS 200 BUTTERFLY – FINALS

Top 8:

  1. Thomas Heilman (CA-Y) – 1:40.73 **15-16 NAG RECORD** & **MEET RECORD**
  2. Drew Hitchcock (BAY) & Jacob Johnson (SSC) – 1:43.46
  3. Greg Enoch (CSC) – 1:44.56
  4. Sam Marsteiner (WAVE) – 1:45.29
  5. Thomas Mercer (LAK) – 1:45.55
  6. Landon D’Ariano (GAAC) – 1:46.13
  7. Baylor Stanton (GA) – 1:47.02

The last two individual events in Columbus did not disappoint, as we saw a NAG record go down in both 200 fly events. Thomas Heilman won the event tonight in 1:40.73, dipping under the 1:40.86 marker he threw down last year.

See a full comparison of the two swims below:

Splits Comparison

New Record (December 2023): Old Record (December 2022):
22.47 22.66
48.03 (25.56) 48.31 (25.65)
1:13.89 (25.86) 1:14.39 (26.08)
1:40.73 (26.84) 1:40.86 (26.47)

Drew Hitchcock (BAY) and Jacob Johnson (SSC) hit the wall simultaneously for 2nd place, stopping the clock in 1:43.46. Carmel’s Gregg Enoch, who won the 500 free on day one, posted a time of 1:44.56 to grab 4th place.

GIRLS 400 FREESTYLE RELAY – FINALS

  • Meet Record: 3:13.15, Sandpipers of Nevada (A Sims, K Grimes, M Hodges, C Weinstein) (2022)
  • 13-14 NAG Record: 3:21.90, Nation’s Capital Swim Club (Sebring, Spink, Sun, Gemmell) (2019)
  • 15-16 NAG Record: 3:19.17, Virginia Gators (Bray, Kulp, Muzzy, Hamilton) (2017)
  • 17-18 NAG Record: 3:14.80, Santa Margarita High School (Hodges, Salvino, O’Dell, Kozan) (2022)

Top 8:

  1. Carmel Swim Club (Shackell, Bowen, Sweeney, Han) – 3:15.78
  2. Lakeside Swim Team (McDonald, Crush, Braeger, Kahler) – 3:17.54
  3. Laker Swim (Erisman, Reynolds, Reese, Larweth) – 3:17.73
  4. Bolles School Sharks – 3:19.34
  5. TAC Titans – 3:20.24
  6. SwimMAC Carolina – 3:21.09
  7. Nashville Aquatic Club – 3:22.21
  8. Carmel Swim Club ‘B’ – 3:23.82

Carmel Swim Club ended the night with another relay victory, as the quartet of Alex Shackell (47.61), Lynsey Bowen (49.92), Molly Sweeney (49.30), and Kayla Han (48.95) combined to post a time of 3:15.78.

Lakeside Swim Team took 2nd in 3:17.54, while Laker Swim claimed 3rd (3:17.73).

Rylee Erisman, who placed 3rd in the individual 100 earlier in the evening, led off the Laker squad in another best time. Her lead-off split of 48.32 equals her lead-off from the individual final.

BOYS 400 FREESTYLE RELAY – FINALS

  • Meet Record: 2:54.75, Lakeside Aquatic Club (M Williamson, R Paulk, M Hatcher, C Lucas) (2022)
  • 13-14 NAG Record: 3:07.45, Cavalier Aquatics (Heilman, Browne, Kidd, Wang) (2021)
  • 15-16 NAG Record: 2:59.57, Rose Bowl Aquatics (Kim, Dalmacio, Larrick, Maurer) (2021)
  • 17-18 NAG Record: 2:55.35, Spartans Aquatic Club (Muhammad, Sacca, Beamon, McGrady) (2021)

Top 8:

  1. Cavalier Aquatics-Piedmont YMCA (Heilman, King, Browne, Moore) – 2:54.66
  2. Bolles School Sharks ‘A’ (Tolentino, Lancaster, Sohovich, Kravchenko) & Bolles School Sharks ‘B’ (Whittall, Macht, Destang, Meyers-Labenz) – 2:55.85
  3. Lakeside Swim Team – 2:56.34
  4. Suburban Seahawks Club – 2:57.76
  5. Dynamo Swim Club – 2:57.89
  6. Nashville Aquatic Club – 2:57.98
  7. Huntsville Swim Association – 2:59.02

Cavalier Aquatics-Piedmont YMCA took the win in the final event of the meet, with Thomas Heilman of Cavalier Aquatics leading off the relay team in 42.00. The swim by Heilman matched his winning time from the individual event earlier in the evening. David King (43.20), Will Browne (43.96), and Max Moore (45.50) joined Heilman on the winning squad.

The time by Cavalier Aquatics is within a second of the 15-18 NAG record of 2:53.81 set by Allegheny North back in 2018.

Bolles School Sharks showcased their sprint freestyle depth, as their ‘A’ and ‘B’ squads tied for 2nd.

Final Team Scores

Top 5 (Girls):

  1. Carmel Swim Club – 594 points
  2. SwimMAC Carolina – 417 points
  3. Lakeside Swim Team – 297 points
  4. Bolles School Sharks – 241 points
  5. Scarlet Aquatics – 155 points

Top 5 (Boys):

  1. Bolles School Sharks – 340 points
  2. Cavalier Aquatics-Piedmont YMCA – 338 points
  3. Lakeside Swim Team – 293 points
  4. SwimMAC Carolina – 270.5 points
  5. Suburban Seahawks Club – 238.5 points

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Swimmingrules
2 months ago

It’s crazy that, if I’m being honest, I was slightly underwhelmed by Heilman’s fly times at this meet. Not saying he’s not out of this world but I thought we were going to see a 1:38 2 fly, after this summer. Frankly it was all in his turns too.

HolyShmooda
2 months ago

Two relays under 2:56 is pretty nuts. Has a club team ever had that kind of depth?

Justin Pollard
2 months ago

Assuming those splits are wrong on the Cavalier relay? They add to 2:52.66 I think.

PVK
2 months ago

2 42.00s in the same session – with a 1:40.7 sandwiched in between, no less – is some man strength. Let’s see if Maximus can put up something similar on the relay.

swimfan27
2 months ago

Bolles has depthhhhh

KSW
2 months ago

42.00 again 🫠

Snarky
Reply to  KSW
2 months ago

Maximus was 41.99 at West. Kind a fun virtual rivalry.

swimfan27
2 months ago

Hellman matching his time from earlier

swimfan27
2 months ago

Okay so Kayla Han can sprint too lol