Hirschberger, Schmidt Hit Top 20 Age Group 1000 Frees To Open NCSAs

2017 NCSA Junior Nationals

If the first night of timed finals is any indication, this year’s NCSA Junior Nationals will be a historically fast meet. Matthew Hirschberger and Sierra Schmidt each put up top-20-ranked 1000 frees for under-18s all-time on opening night.

Hirschberger went 8:55.32. He checks in at #14 all-time for the 17-18 age group and sits nine seconds off the National Age Group record, though he was still ten seconds off his 15-16 NAG record set back in 2015 at 8:45.11. Hirschberger competes for the Nation’s Capital Swim Club and will attend Stanford next season.

In the girls event, Schmidt went 9:35.06. She, too, is still a high school senior, but is already competing for Club Wolverine after verbally committing to swim for Michigan next year. Schmidt was 9:35.06 to win the women’s event, moving to #16 all-time for 17-18 girls and displacing Kaitlin Sandeno for that spot.

Also of note, Madison Homovich of the Marlins of Raleigh took second in 9:38.16, jumping to #21 all-time in the 15-16 age bracket. In the men’s race, Robert Freeman was second for the Baylor Swim Club. He, too, moved up in the 15-16 ranks, going 8:56.30 to jump from 8th to 7th all-time in that age class.

The night concluded with four relay races. Machine Aquatics won the boys 200 free relay in 1:22.14, getting straight 20-second splits from Thomas Hallock (20.14 leadoff), Christian Ginieczki (20.31), Casey Storch (20.82) and Jayaprakash Kambhampaty (20.87).

Minnesota’s Aquajets Swim Team won the girls 200 free relay in 1:31.94. That included a 22.68 anchor job from Rachel Wittmer as well as a 22.96 split from 13-year-old Abigail Kapeller. Also on the winning squad were Carly Quast (23.33 leadoff) and Alexis Schaaf (22.97).

The girls medley relay went to Nation’s Capital in 1:40.25, narrowly touching out the Aquajets. 14-year-old Phoebe Bacon led off in 25.10, with Abigail Harter splitting 28.13 on breaststroke, Isabella Gati 24.95 on fly and Katelyn Mack 22.07 on freestyle.

The boys medley relay is still unofficial. The meet website indicates that a “DQ in question” has the results still up in the air, and results were not included on Meet Mobile or in the linked results.

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Not Hirschberger’s first time under 9:00. He has the 15-16 NAG at 8:45, which happens to be faster than the 17-18 NAG as well. This is his first time under 9:00 as a 17-18 year old tho.


Not bad for someone who not been doing any distance work in over a year. Jeff will fix that.


22.07 anchor for 15-yr-old Katelyn Mack for NCAP — wow


NCAP boys unofficially went 1-2 in Medley.


Which team dq’ed?

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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