Jason Turcotte to Lead 8 Juniors to FINA World Cup with Hardy, Ervin, Shields

  21 Braden Keith | September 27th, 2012 | Featured, National, News

Jason Turcotte of the Dynamo Swim Club in Atlanta will lead a team of 8 junior swimmers and three National Team swimmers to the FINA World Cup Series this fall.

The team will be accompanied by three National Team swimmers who will serve in a mentoring role for the athletes; this is something that USA Swimming has started doing a lot more of, with the unique aspect of these World Cup meets being that the mentors can actually swim as well.

The team will again hit the European leg of the tour, making stops in Moscow, Russia and Berlin, Germany. Though he won’t be an official mentor, the team is expected to be joined in Moscow at least by superstar Ryan Lochte.

Turcotte will have two members of his own team on the trip with him (Kylie Stewart and Gunnar Bentz), and is the coach of the 2010 and 2011 Speedo Long Course Junior National Champions. He follows in the footsteps of the Bob Bowman and Michael Phelps led squad that hit Europe last year. That included swimmers like Chase Kalisz and Missy Franklin, the latter of whom broke a World Record in Berlin.

This year’s team is much further from their next attempt at the Olympics than was last year’s, but still carries huge accolades. IM’er Celina Li, already committed to Cal for the fall, will make the trip. Her star in the national conversation has been rising in the last few weeks.Becca Mann, a 14-year old incredibly tough swimmer who made multiple Olympic Trials finals, will also join them.

Other swimmers on the roster include:

  • Breaststroker Allie Szekely, who almost broke a historic 13-14 Amanda Beard National Age Group Record
  • Kaitlyn Jones from the Delaware Swim Team who made her breakout at the Tom Dolan Invite last year and also was on the Jr. Pan Pacs roster
  • Leah Smith from the jewis Community Center in Pittsburgh, who’s another part of the women’s distance resurgance in the U.S. right now
  • Michelle Cefalout of Tualatin Hills in Portland, Oregon, who this summer swept the Junior National butterfly titles, including a 59.31 in the 100 to break the minute for the first time

They will be joined by Jessica Hardy, Anthony Ervin, and Tom Shields: three Cal Bears working alongside the former Stanford assistant Turcotte.

Shields has dominated American college swimming with his incredible underwaters that translate well to short course, but is still developing in long course. This will be a great opportunity to step into the international spotlight for him. Ervin is coming off of a comeback, and so reviatlized was he by his Olympic final that he’s decided to continue on with his career.

Hardy is the most experienced of the three in this series: in 2009, where about every other race at the World Cup resulted in a World Record, a full schedule from Hardy in her first action back from a doping suspension led her to the series victory and a $100,000 check. She swept the 50 breaststrokes at all 5 meets, including breaking the World Record in Berlin: which still stands as the global standard.

Name Team Coach
Kaitlyn Jones Delaware Swim Team Bruce Gemmell
Celina Li Pleasanton Seahawks Steve Morsilli
Becca Mann Clearwater Aquatic Team Randy Reese
Leah Smith Jewish Community Center Al Rose
Kylie Stewart Dynamo Swim Club Jason Turcotte
Michelle Cefal Tualatin Hills Linck Bergen
Allie Szekely Central Bucks YMCA Stu Kukla
Gunnar Bentz Dynamo Swim Club Jason Turcotte

National Teamers:
Jessica Hardy
Anthony Ervin
Tom Shields

Selection Criteria

Full selection criteria is available here, but to summarize, up to 10 boys and 10 girls could be taken. They were chosen based on the swimmers that ranked highest in the World Rankings, with a limit that they must have been in the top 50.

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21 Comments on "Jason Turcotte to Lead 8 Juniors to FINA World Cup with Hardy, Ervin, Shields"

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4 years 27 days ago

Looks like there are 4 athletes on the team that were Finalist at Olympic Trials.

Kaitlyn Jones – 8th 200 back
Celina Li – 6th 200 IM
Becca Mann – 5th 400 IM, 6th 400 free, 5th 800 free
Kylie Stewart – 7th 100 back, 5th 200 back

4 years 27 days ago

Out of curiosity, why are most of the junior members female? (they clearly deserve it… Shows the depth and youth of the women’s team… I was just curious. Guess it could be simply logistics since many are still in high school…)

4 years 27 days ago

agree wonder how they picked these 7 junior teamers and how they picked these national team members? highest ranked who want to go? just curious

4 years 26 days ago

Braden you said three Cal Bears when talking about the national team members of this squad but Hardy is a SC Trojan.

4 years 26 days ago

She actually swam for Cal in college, but moved to SoCal for post-grad training.

4 years 26 days ago

Hardy swam for Cal for two years in college, turned pro, and then began training under Salo at USC.

4 years 26 days ago

So I have to ask, at least 3 of these girls (maybe more) are hs seniors and have been on the “recruiting circuit”. How can they possibly be ready to really perform in these meets?? And if they are not really ready to perfom, why are we spending USA swimming $$$’s to send them?

4 years 26 days ago

Easy there captain negativity… I take it you were not recruited out of HS or have been a part of it? A trip on campus can only be 48 hours, usually Fri to Sunday. Practice Friday AM at home, possibly Friday PM and Saturday AM if they want have pool space away from the team (rules are rules).

Even if they weren’t rested for this meet or training at peak, this is the type of investment in potential future national team members the NTD Busch is willing to make. Sometimes the experience is worth more then the results, hence the reason for the other JR Nat Team trips.

4 years 26 days ago

Sorry coach ….but not these girls. They are leaving home on Thurs (usually missing pm practice), staying “off campus” Thurs night. On campus until Sun am, so they miss Fri – Sat practices. If they are “consciencious” (damn I don’t know how to spell) they get in once for a semi-practice while on campus (they don’t work very hard). Back on Sunday, tired from not sleeping, behind in school work, but super up to date on twitter and facebook. Sorry….money not well spent IMHO.

4 years 25 days ago

Hank, You are making assumptions that are not true. I know for a fact some go to thurs am practice, get 1 or 2 practices while visiting (true not a high quality practice), and a sunday practice when they return. They also get one day off a week. Some even go extra mornings as well. Maybe they come up 1 hour short in a week … I guess that means they won’t do well. I think the opposite … they will be amazing and represent the USA exceptionally well. Congrats to everyone being selected. You swam fast this summer and deserve to be selected.

4 years 25 days ago

there are also some swimmers selected for SC Worlds that haven’t swum since Trials (3 months) and they are swimming just to go to Worlds. Same thing,,,,is it a good way to spend our money?

4 years 25 days ago

Sorry, but I’m sitting here wih an itinerary in my hands that supports everything I say (including not geting any sleep), and no JOEB I don’t think spending the money for SC Worlds on kids not in real/full training is good use of money either.

4 years 25 days ago

Sorry but I know one of the kids and you are completely incorrect.

4 years 25 days ago

Wasn’t planning to join the convo, but to put an end to this…

1. A lot of swimmers READ these comments…be mindful of what you write here. Some of these swimmers are young and impressionable. How would you feel if complete strangers (…or maybe not…) were gossiping about you publicly online.

2. (correct me if I’m wrong…)
Of the 8 junior swimmers, only 4 swimmers are in the recruiting process:
Kaitlyn Jones, Celina Li, Leah Smith, and Michelle Cefal. Remember you can only take a max 5 recruiting trips…which means 5 weekends max. And most don’t even take all 5. Celina Li (I believe) only visited USC and Cal before making her decision. So they’re not really missing that many days of swimming, regardless of many practices they attend/miss during that trip.

3. Given the timing of the World Cup, these swimmers are not necessarily expected to swim extraordinarily fast and be close to personal bests. They are probably not tapered (since they all participated in trials and jr. pan pacs) and are swimming in season. Rather, this is an opportunity for them to swim on an international level, to understand/acclimate to these high-pressure environments…and under the guidance/mentorship of some of the best from the national team. USA Swimming is making an investment in these swimmers because they form the foundation for the future of USA swimming.

4 years 23 days ago

Hank, if you are talking about NCAA Div 1 weekends, it is illegal to have a recruit more than 48 hours, off campus does happen. That is for many an advantage in terms of getting academic meetings in. You need to chill out about all this, international experience is PRICELESS when it comes to setting up kids to win OLYMPIC MEDALS. It’s part of the game, how about you let this all play out instead screaming about the sky falling. These swimmers (also people who have worked really hard to get where they are) are worth it.

4 years 26 days ago


Emily Cameron ——> UGA 2017

Lia Neal seems to be on her way to either stanford or cal for a recruiting trip.

4 years 26 days ago

Jack Roach will also go with the team. The relationship he forms with the national team athletes is amazing. The team will be managed by City of Plano Associate Head Coach Liz Kershaw. She has managed a World Champs team, a Dual in the Pool team and a Junior World Champs team, so they will be in good hands.

bobo gigi
4 years 26 days ago

Very happy to see Ryan Lochte and Tom Shields in the world cup. With their amazing underwaters they will make the show.
Very happy to see Anthony Ervin who continues his career.
And very happy to see some of the best american junior swimmers in the world cup like Gunnar Bentz, Becca Mann and especially Allie Szekely who is a diamond. I hope somebody has bought her a modern suit. It can help her to swim faster.


About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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