SwimMAC’s Kathleen Baker has set herself up for a tough finals session, as she made the A-finals in the 100 fly, 100 back, and 100 breast individually, plus the 200 medley relay on day 2 at the 2012 Winter Junior National Championships in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Baker is one of the most versatile juniors in the country, which she demonstrated on Thursday night by winning the 200 IM title in a new Meet Record time.
On Friday, in a single session, she took the 5th seed in the 100 fly (54.13); roughly fourty minutes later took the 2nd seed in the 100 breast (1:02.09); and another half-an-hour after that took the top seed in her best event, the 100 back, in 53.62. We have no inside info here, but our best guess is that we might see one of those races come off of her schedule in the finals.
That 100 back final should be a great one amongst some really young stars of American swimming. Michigander Taylor Garcia, only 15 like Baker, is the 2nd seed in 53.90, and the Phoenix Swim Club’s Keaton Blovad, only 14, blew away her best time with a 53.98 for the 3rd seed.
Lurking, among others, is 16-year old Mickayla Hinkle of the St. Croix Swim Club as the 7th seed; she’s coming off of her Minnesota high school championship meet though so we’ll have to see if she can get that low; and PASA’s Ally Howe as the 8th seed. Lakeside’s Asia Seidt had a big time drop to just miss out on the A-Final herself.
In what was purported to be a great 100 breaststroke field, Californian Heidi Poppe so far looked easily the class of the field, taking the top seed in a best time of 1:00.38. That’s the fourth-best time by a 15-16 in history. Lindsey Horejsi, who ranks third on that same list, was 3rd in prelims in 1:02.26.
Hershey’s Meaghan Raab took the top seed in the 200 free, though the 1:46.93 wasn’t a best time for her. That might be ok, after she peaked in prelims of the 200 IM on Friday. Mount Pleasant (South Carolina) swimmer Megan Kingsley took the 100 fly top seed in 53.29 (ahead of 50 free shock winner Lindsey Engel in 53.80).
And finally, 200 IM runner-up Ella Eastin from Southern California cruised to the top seed in the 400 IM in 4:13.58 ahead of the Gator Swim Club’s Hannah Burns in 4:15.34. Both swimmers are 15, though Eastin seemed to save a little bit more of her energy on the back-half of this race after going out in a very hard first 200 yards.
On the men’s side, the developing story of this meet continues to be Davie Nadadores 16-year old Dylan Carter, who is swimming his first ever taper meet in yards. He topped the prelims of the men’s 200 free in a new Meet Record of 1:36.04; that bettered the 1:36.20 set by Will Hamilton in 2010.
Carter, who is a citizen of both Trinidad & Tobago as well as the United States, recently began training in south Florida, and so far to great success it would seem. Bolles’ Josh Booth, a Brit who also recently moved to Florida, was 2nd in 1:37.49.
200 IM winner Steven Stumph is hunting another crown, with a 54.58 in the 100 breaststroke, though a familiar race is shaping up. He and Curtis Ogren duel’ed in the 200 IM on Friday (Stumph was the winner) and also the 400 IM this morning. Michael Duderstadt was 3rd in 55.08.
Ogren took the top seed in that 400 IM in a new Meet Record of his own: 3:46.13. That bettered a 2010 swim by current Florida Gator Curtis Omana of 3:47.60. Nobody is within 4 seconds of his swim, including Stumph the 4th seed.
In a bit of a morning upset, so far, Bolles’ Santo Condorelli bettered his teammate Joseph Schooling in the men’s 100 fly 47.45 – 47.72. Condorelli obviously has the speed to get the job done in this race, but Schooling is the National High School Record holder whereas Condorelli had only been a 49-mid prior to this meet. Swimming side-by-side (with SwimMAC’s Matthew Josa in lane 3 thanks to a 48.15), these two will have a chance to settle up in finals.
Finally, Stuart Hennssey out of the Denver Swim Academy and Regis Jesuit High School, is the top seed in the 100 backstroke in 48.52. Carter, who is a great backstroker in addition to his freestyles, is the 2nd seed in 48.93, and Texas commit William Glass is 3rd in 48.94.