It was a good morning for Nation’s Capital on the final prelims session of NCSA Junior Nationals. Janet Hu and Andrew Seliskar combined to grab top seeds in 4 of 6 prelims races, and Seliskar is seeded within a tenth of winning all three tonight.
Michael Andrew had a great prelims, too, putting up the fastest 50 free time and breaking his own National Age Group record in the 200 IM.
Janet Hu is the top seed in the girls 50 back, narrowly topping Beata Nelson this morning. Hu was 24.75 swimming for NCAP, while the unattached Nelson went 24.79.
Zoe Avestruz of the Aquajets is knocking on the door of a 24-second race as well, putting up a 25.07 for third in prelims. She’s followed by Dynamo’s Kylie Stewart (25.13).
NCAP also holds the top seed in the boys race. Andrew Seliskar went 22.06 this morning and should be shooting to crack 22 in the middle lane of the A final. Second seed is 100 back winner Lucas Kaliszak of Baylor in 22.11.
It’s about a half-second dropoff from there to the 3-seed, NCAP’s John Shebat in 22.67. He’s got Alexander Martin and Justin Plaschka hot on his heels. The final spot in the championship heat went to 14-year-old Michael Andrew in 22.91.
Janet Hu took her second top seed by putting up the fastest morning swim of the 200 IM. The Stanford signee went 1:59.77 to claim lane four for the final. Behind her are a Wisconsin duo: Ozaukee’s Katherine Drabot (2:00.23) and Beata Nelson (2:0078), pulling her own double with the 50 back along with Hu and Kylie Stewart, who is fourth for Dynamo in 2:01.17.
Not wanting to be outdone by his teammate Hu, Andrew Seliskar made it two in a row as well, swimming to the top 200 IM seed with a 1:46.62. That leads the field by almost a second, and he’s probably got more in the tank for tonight. Second is Michael Andrew, who broke another National Age Group record, getting .02 under his own 200 IM mark at 1:47.42. That’s the 5th NAG for Andrew in what’s become one of his better single-meet performances.
Baylor’s Sam McHugh went 1:48.10 for third place, with Jae Park and Nick Arakelian in a tight battle for fourth. Also in the final is Gunnar Bentz, who took 7th with a 1:49.44.
Simone Manuel looks primed for another big sprint breakout tonight; she’s the top 50 free seed with a 22.22. Hu, swimming her third straight event, sits second in 22.49. Based on prelims, expect those two to be pretty well checked out from the field.
Georgian Caitlin Cooper is third in 22.91, with Wisconsinite Katherine Drabot just behind in 22.96. Kylie Stewart, also entered in all three races this morning, sits fifth in 23.14.
Swimming his third event of the morning, Michael Andrew nabbed his first top seed with a 20.33 in the 50 free. That’s still a ways off a lifetime-best for the Indie Swimming 14-year-old, who holds the NAG record at 19.85 from earlier this year. He’s got some stiff competition for finals – Justin Plaschka is just .03 back at 20.36 and James Jones sits at 20.40. Jones’s NCAP teammate Andrew Seliskar is 20.41 and sits fourth.
100 free winner Townley Haas is fifth in 20.51 – he’s done well this weekend in sprints as well as his signature distance races, but probably doesn’t have the speed to challenge the top few in this race tonight. Still, he’s really proved his versatility this week with some fast sprint races. Michigan high school state champ Tabahn Afrik, Baylor’s Lucas Kaliszak and Steven Tan round out the A heat.
The day will continue with heats of the miles, and the 400 free relay will wrap up at finals as well.
Full results available on Meet Mobile under “2014 NCSA Spring Championship.”