Star age group swimmer Ilya Kharun has been removed from the U.S. roster for the Junior Pan Pacific Championships in August and the Open Water World Junior Championships in September.
USA Swimming confirmed the news, saying that they were “recently informed that Ilya is not an American citizen.”
It is not clear how or why Kharun got so far into the selection process before it became known that he was not a US citizen, and the 17-year old Sandpipers of Nevada swimmer declined to comment, for now, on the situation.
While Kharun is a member of a USA Swimming team, an individual close to the situation tells SwimSwam that they believe Kharun was born in Canada.
There is other likely fallout from the fact that Kharun is not an American citizen. That includes invalidation of his National Age Group Record from December, which is currently still recognized in USA Swimming’s official records lists. Kharun swam a 45.59 in the 100-yard fly at the Speedo Winter Junior Championships West meet last year, which broke the prior record of 45.62 set by Luca Urlando.
The USA Swimming submission form required for all National Age Group Records includes the rules that an athlete must be a U.S. citizen.
USA Swimming did not respond to how they would handle the record, nor how they would handle his results from Open Water Nationals or April’s US International Team Trials. Both of those meets were only open to athletes eligible to represent the United States, which we now know Kharun is not, and among his results was a Junior National title in the 7.5km open water race.
USA Swimming’s Junior Pan Pacs roster was already over the statutory limit of 40 athletes by one, another wrinkle they declined to explain, though Kharun’s scratch makes it moot. This means that Kharun’s roster slot won’t be filled.
He will be replaced by Alex Ayers of SwimMAC Carolina in the 7.5km race at the Open Water World Junior Championships in September. Ayers finished 3rd in the 7.5km US National Junior Championship race earlier this year behind Kharun and Luke Ellis, who is already on the team.
Updated US Roster for the 2022 Junior Pan Pacific Championships
|2022 JUNIOR PAN PACIFIC CHAMPIONSHIPS U.S. ROSTER|
|Berit Berglund||100 BK||Carmel, Ind||Carmel Swim Club|
|Lily Christianson||50 FR||Osceola, Ind .||Irish Aquatics|
|Jillian Cox||800 FR||Cedar Park, Texas||Longhorn Aquatics|
|Piper Enge||100 BR||Mercer Island, Wash .||Bellevue Club Swim Team|
|Erin Gemmell||200/400 FR||Potomac, Md .||Nation’s Capital Swim Club|
|Cavan Gormsen||400 FR||Wantagh, N .Y||Long Island Aquatic Club|
|Kayla Han||1500 FR/400 IM||La Mirada, Calif .||La Mirada Armada|
|Bailey Hartman||100 FL||Danville, Calif||Crow Canyon Sharks|
|Tess Howley||200 FL||Rockaway Park, N .Y||Long Island Aquatic Club|
|Natalie Mannion||200 BK||Boston, Mass .||Commonwealth Swimming|
|Michaela Mattes||800/1500 FR||Sarasota, Fla .||Sarasota Sharks|
|Anna Moesch||50/100 FR||Green Brook, N .J .||Greater Somerset County YMCA|
|Kennedy Noble||200 BK||Avondale, Ariz . .||Phoenix Swim Club|
|Teagan O’Dell||200 IM||West Covina, Calif||Irvine Novaquatics|
|Julia Podkoscielny||400 IM||Fort Lauderdale, Fla||Pine Crest Swimming|
|Alex Shackell||100/200 FL||Nashville, Tenn||Carmel Swim Club|
|Emily Thompson||200 IM||Basking Ridge, N .J||Greater Somerset County YMCA|
|Maggie Wanezek||100 BK||Brookfield, Wisc.||Elmbrook Swim Club|
|Gracie Weyant||200 BR||Sarasota, Fla .||Sarasota Sharks|
|Kayla Wilson||100/200 FR||Virginia Beach, Fla .||Tide Swimming|
|Spencer Aurnou-Rhees||200 IM||Bexley, Ohio||New Albany Aquatic Club|
|Ben Delmar||200 BR||Charlotte, N .C .||SwimMAC Carolina|
|Daniel Diehl||100 BK||Cumberland, Md .||YMCA of Cumberland|
|Diggory Dillingham||50 FR||Bend, Ore .||Bend Swim Club|
|Bobby Dinunzio||1500 FR||Virginia Beach, Va||Tide Swimming|
|Alec Enyeart||400/800/1500 FR||Kansas City, Mo .||Tsunami Swim Team of K .C .|
|Zhier Fan||100 BR||Plano, Texas||Metroplex Aquatics|
|Thomas Heilman||100/200 FL, 50 FR||Crozet, Va||Cavalier Aquatics/Piedmont Family YMCA|
|Keaton Jones||200 BK||Gilbert, Ariz .||Swim Neptune|
|Cooper Lucas||400 IM||Keller, Texas||Lakeside Aquatic Club|
|Matthew Lucky||(200 breast**)||Harrisburg, N .C .||SwimMAC Carolina|
|Rex Maurer||200/400 FR||Pasadena, Calif .||Rose Bowl Aquatics|
|Henry McFadden||200 FR||Haddonfield, N.J.||Jersey Wahoos|
|Watson Nguyen||100 BR||Plano, Texas||Metroplex Aquatics|
|Josh Parent||800 FR||Wilbraham, Mass||Bluefish Swim Club|
|Aaron Shackell||200 FL||Carmel, Ind||Carmel Swim Club|
|Hudson Williams||100 FR||Powell, Ohio||New Albany Aquatic Club|
|Maximus Williamson||200/400 IM||Southlake, Texas||North Texas Nadadores|
|Kaii Winkler||100 FR||Miami, Fla||Eagle Aquatics|
|Josh Zuchowski||100/200 BK||Jupiter, Fla .||Flood Aquatics Swim Team|
|Head Coach: Brent Arckey (Sarasota Sharks)|
|Assistant Coaches: Chuck Batchelor (SwimMAC Carolina), Tom Kleiboeker (Tsunami Swim Team of K .C .), Ginny Nussbaum (Long Island Aquatic Club),|
*Club affiliation when athlete had their qualifying swim.
**Matthew Lucky is listed as being in the 200/400 free on the official USA Swimming roster. We believe that this is an error, and he was selected in the 200 breast.
Events listed are the events each athlete qualified for the team in. Athletes may choose to swim additional events at the 2022 Junior Pan Pacific Championships
Updated Roster for the 2022 Open Water World Junior Swimming Championships
- Mariah Denigan (Indiana University) – 10K
- Summer Smith (University of Tennessee) – 10K
- Katie Grimes (Sandpipers of Nevada) – 7.5K
- Claire Stuhlmacher (Fast Lane Aquatics’) – 7.5K
- Claire Weinstein (Sandpipers of Nevada) – 5K
- Abigail Miller (Mission Viejo Nadadores) – 5K
- Joshua Brown (Highlander Aquatic Club) – 10K
- Brice Barrieault (Sandpipers of Nevada) – 10K
- Alex Ayers (SwimMAC Carolina) – 7.5K
- Luke Ellis (Sandpipers of Nevada) – 7.5K
- Samuel Marsteiner (New Wave Swim Team) – 5K
- Nathan Szobota (NOVA of Virginia) – 5K
Well, Ilya’s times are showing up on the swimming Canada page. I guess he is officially representing Canada going forward!
I am hoping he doesn’t get deported and get permanent denial of US citizenship.
Geez, grownups! Get it together for the kid’s sake!
I don’t know Ilya or his family and I will speculate that most of the commenters don’t them either. What I do know is that he has worked incredibly hard and is a very talented swimmer. In fact, that is an understatement. Unless you are a swimmer, parent of a swimmer or a coach, you have no idea what it takes to get to this level. Stop posting hurtful and ridiculous commentary about a kid and a family that you do not know. My heart goes out to this young man. Not for losing his spot on Pan Pacs, but for getting a taste of just how detached some people are from a little bit of compassion and reason.
Wait, he has (had?) a 100y fly NAG and was swimming the 7.5k at this meet?
Sandpipers gonna Sandpiper I guess.
Everyone’s going off on conspiracy theories but I’m still stuck on this point!!!
Not sure how many years he has been in the US, but I am wondering the family may be in the process of getting the citizenship or not yet five or more years as the requirement for the citizenship application eligibility is having lived here for five or more years being a legal immigrant first.
He was a Sandpiper in 2013
wow. Great research
He was a sandpiper as a 5 year old and was in the same group as my son.
As a Canadian living in the US married to an American i have 2 Canadian born children who are “Americans Born Abroad” but honestly we only got their Certificates because we moved to the US. My American born son is a “Canadian Born Abroad” but couldn’t compete as Canadian because we didn’t get his Certificate.
Maybe they hadn’t bothered to get his Certificate but thought they could get it quickly enough but like all things government it is taking too long.
It really doesn’t take that long to get your child their Canadian citizenship documented. Once you submit the papers it’s about 3 months… why wait until there is an urgent need? You never know when it is going to be required.
Wow even better! Ilya’s parents are Cirque Du Soleil performers??? Add that to the rags-to-riches script! The truth really is stranger than fiction.
The comment from a family member saying that has disappeared.
He would have to show a birth certificate, passport, or birth identity to enroll in schoo unless something has changed.