Alex Shackell Moves To #3 For 15-16 Girls With 21.87 50 Free; Erika Pelaez Now #6


Alex Shackell became just the fifth U.S. girl in the 15-16 age group to break 22 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle on Thursday, establishing a massive personal best time at the Winter Junior Championships – East in Greensboro, N.C.

Shackell put up a time of 21.87 to move into third all-time in the 15-16 age group, crushing her previous best time of 22.34 by nearly half a second (0.47).

The 16-year-old joins an impressive list of names who have broken 22 seconds before turning 17: Claire Curzan, Gretchen WalshTorri Huske and Anna Moesch.

Making the swim even more impressive for Shackell was the fact that it came shortly after swimming a best time in the 200 IM, as the Carmel Swim Club product clocked 1:56.61 to knock more than a second off her previous PB of 1:57.63 and move into 17th all-time for 15-16 girls.

Joining her in rocketing up the 15-16 age group rankings in the girls’ 50 free was Eagle Aquatics’ Erika Pelaez, who dropped nearly three-tenths in 22.02 to move up into sixth all-time in the 15-16 age group.

Pelaez, 16, had previously been 22.29 in November 2021 which ranked tied for 21st all-time, while Shackell’s 22.34 had her in 26th.

All-Time Performers, 50 Freestyle – Girls’ 15-16 Age Group

  1. Claire Curzan, 21.50 – 2021
  2. Gretchen Walsh, 21.82 – 2018
  3. Alex Shackell, 21.87 – 2022
  4. Torri Huske, 21.95 – 2019
  5. Anna Moesch, 21.97 – 2022
  6. Erika Pelaez, 22.02 – 2022
  7. Simone Manuel / Kate Douglass, 22.04 – 2013 / 2016
  8. Amy Tang, 22.06 – 2019
  9. Alex Walsh, 22.08 – 2018

Shackell now heads into finals holding the top seed in two events, and it’s already been a wildly successful competition for the up-and-coming star.

On Wednesday night, Shackell split 22.83 swimming fly on Carmel’s meet record-setting 200 medley relay, and then followed up by leading off the club’s 800 free relay in 1:43.60, making her the sixth-fastest swimmer of all-time in the 15-16 age group in the 200 free.

Shackell is coming off a breakout summer in the long course pool, having won three gold medals and one bronze at the 2022 Junior Pan Pacific Championships. That medal haul included an individual gold in the 100 fly and an individual bronze in the 200 fly.

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1 month ago

wait there’s 2 shackells?

1 month ago

Shes #1 in 2025

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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