Five Big Things From The First Night Of U.S Junior Nationals


Day 1 prelims recap here
Day 1 Finals preview here

To see a full recap of day one finals, click here.


Ella Eastin swam a very impressive 200m fly race to win the gold and set a new best time of 2:10.12. That time took over a second off her previous best time of 2:11.30 that she set back at the 2013 Junior Nationals.

Eastin has been an Olympic Trials qualifier in the race since she was 14-years-old. Now 18, she’s shown the largest amount of improvement in a 200m fly swim since she went from a 2:15.15 to a 2:12.60 back in 2013.

Her time tonight was just under a second slower than Jasmine Tosky’s meet record of 2:09.28 from 2010.


Miranda Tucker won the 100m breaststroke Thursday night, churning out a 1:08.32 best time to win gold by over an entire second.

Although the time itself is impressive, one of the greatest aspects of Tucker’s race was her front end speed. Right from the get-go, Tucker took charge of the race splitting a swift 32.4 on the first 50.

Coming home, she was slower in 35.92, however her strategy clearly worked. Prior to this meet, her best time was a 1:09.11 from the 2015 Indiana Sectionals.

Before to this season, Tucker’s best time was a 1:10.45 from the 2012 Olympic trials where she was on the younger end of the qualifier spectrum.


The men’s 100m breaststroke was a race right down to the wire and showed some impressive tactics by both Devon Nowicki and Ethan Browne.

Browne took the race out hard in 29.53, well ahead of the 30.18 that Nowicki swam. Nowicki showed off his impressive back-half speed however, putting together a very solid last 50 split of 32.11 in order to pass Browne and win gold.

Browne ended up second in 1:02.4 to Nowicki’s 1:02.29.


Although Taylor Ruck lives and competes in the United States, Ruck is a Canadian citizen and technically is not an American. Because of this, Ruck is in the running to break Canadian records.

Tonight she came very close to breaking the 13-14 Canadian mark, swimming a time of 8:43.75 in the women’s 800m freestyle final. That time was good for third and fell just short of Savannah King’s 8:42.45 mark.

Ruck currently holds four Canadian records in the 13-14 year-old category including the 200 and 400m freestyles.


In both the women’s 800m freestyle and the men’s 1500m freestyle the winner took home the gold by a fairly slim margin.

Joy Field grabbed gold in the 800m freestyle final with a time of 8:41.53. She was just over a second faster than Kahra Williams who ended up second in 8:42.65. Field, Williams, and bronze medallists Ruck were together for the majority of the race.

The men’s race had Aaron Apel coming up victorious with a time of 15:27.35. He was just short of Jordan Wilimovsky’s meet record of 15:23.01.

Apel wasn’t leading start to finish, as Taylor Abbott was right with him for the majority of the race. Abbott ended up second in 15:31.28.





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Julie Wolfe beadle
6 years ago

Taylor Ruck turned 15 at the end of May

Drew Brees
6 years ago

Girls 2fly showcased 2nd and 4th place from my own Westlake High School.

6 years ago

Did you notice that Ethan Browne wore a practice brief in the finals of the 100 breast. Pretty impressive swim considering. And I am sure his parents are happy they don’t have to pay for the expensive jammer.

6 years ago

I’m not sure who wrote this, but the distance swimmers weren’t even in the same heat (girls or guys), so how could you say they were “together for the majority of the race” or “Apel wasn’t leading start to finish”?

Phil Jackson
Reply to  coach
6 years ago

You are not sure who wrote this yet it has the author’s name right under the title. You must be an amazing coach considering how good you are at paying attention to detail.

Reply to  Phil Jackson
6 years ago

Why do you have to be rude?

6 years ago

Possibly a big consideration in the distance freestyle was just how big the personal explosion was by the winner; Apel came into the meet with a best LCM time over 16:20, 12 seconds over the 16:08 qualifying time for the meet. He got in on a short course cut swum just 4 months ago and even then was only the 4th fastest seeded SCY entry(34th of 54),10 seconds slower than the top SCY entry. So, from heat 4 of 7, Apel dropped over 50 seconds, down to just over 4 seconds over the 2008 meet record set by our inaugural 2016 Olympian (Wilimovsky won the Worlds 10K a few days ago to qualify for Rio). Aaron came from almost 31… Read more »

About Mitch Bowmile

Mitch Bowmile

Mitch worked for 5-years with SwimSwam news as a web producer focusing on both Canadian and international content. He coached for Toronto Swim Club for four seasons as a senior coach focusing on the development of young swimmers. Mitch is an NCCP level 2 certified coach in Canada and an ASCA Level …

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