Day 3 from Palo Alto was the best day of action thus far in the meet, albeit a brief one. We only saw four individual events and the men’s 800 free relay, but the events were packed with lots of great talent. We saw meet-records get buzzed, as well as the introduction of the next generation of great swimmers.
Women’s 400 free
Day 3 got off to an exhilerating early start as 14-year old Kathleen Ledecky from Curl Burke scared the meet record in this 400 free, but ended up touching just shy in 4:10.39. That missed the all-time Junior Nationals mark by just .02 seconds. Though she’ll go home recordless, she swam this race about as well as a 14-year old can swim it, and was the fastest on every split except for one. This completes a distance sweep for Ledecky, after she won the 800 free on day 1. She is showing shades of Missy Franklin, who two years ago also tore up this junior nationals meet as a 14-year old for multiple championships in her first major introduction to the swimming world.
Megan Rankin, 17, from the Aquazot Swim Club in Irvine, California took 2nd in 4:13.51. That smashes the pre-2011 17-18 Aquazot team record held by one Laurin Weisenthal, who made international headlines in 2009 when she became one of the fastest English Channel crossers in history in 8 hours and 33 minutes. It’s also the 9th time this year that Rankin has cleared that record. Danielle Valley of the Sarasota Y in Florida took the bronze in 4:14.78.
Ledecky isn’t the only top performing-swimmer in this race who is young, even by junior standards. Rebecca Mann took 4th in 4:16.36 at only 13; last year she broke the 11-12 NAG Record in both the 800 and 1500.
Men’s 400 free
Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics’ Adam Hinshaw followed up on his win in the 400 IM yesterday to take the men’s 400 free on day 3 in 3:56.27. Unlike yesterday, however, he didn’t win the Hinshaw Brother Championship in this race. Though he bested brother Ben’s best time, who he will join at Cal, Ryan (an All-American at Indiana) remains the top 400 freestyler in the family.
Dyanmo Swim Club’s Matias Koski, 17, took 2nd in 3:56.40, which was right at his best time. That’s impressive for a swimmer who’s had a very busy summer. He added his silver medal here to his Finnish National Championship in early July and an 8th-place finish at the European Junior Championships. Thanks to his training in the United States, at one of the country’s better junior swim teams, he could lead Finland back to relevance in European swimming that they haven’t seen since the mid-90’s.
Logan Redondo collected another distance-free medal for the Mission Viejo men by finishing 3rd in 3:56.69. Redondo finished 2nd in the 1500 free earlier in the meet.
There was a great young group of future stars in this final, with four 15-year olds touching under four minutes. They were led by Jason O’Brien of North Coast Aquatics (5th-3:57.64) and followed by Liam Egan, Janardan Burns, and Jimmy Yoder.
Women’s 100 fly
Jasmine Tosky of Palo Alto – Stanford Aquatics is doing something that no other American is trying this year. Not only did she swim Worlds and Nationals back-to-back, she continued on to swim Junior Nationals this week. Of course, given that she lives in Palo Alto, the strain wasn’t as extreme as it was on others who were more than three weeks away from home. Still, to put up a near-career-best time of 59.51 to win this Junior Nationals title is a gutsy performance. That’s less than one-tenth slower than her mark from last year’s meet.
The runner-up was 16-year old Olivia Barker of the Sandpipers of Nevada took silver in 1:00.64, more than a second behind, though that is a career-best time for her. In 3rd was Spartaquatics’ (South Carolina) Haley Lips, whose been a member of the Junior National Team since the 2008-2009 season when she was only 14.
Men’s 100 fly
Renny Richmond travels roughly an hour every day to get to practice at the Lahaina Swim Club in Maui, but that daily trek is paying off bigtime with a Junior National title in 53.88. That marks as the fastest teenage time ever by a Hawaiian swimmer (and fastest by any Hawaiian of any age in textile).
Clark Smith, the 200 fly champion, from the Denver Swim Academy touched 2nd in 53.97. Matthew Josa from SwimMAC was 3rd in 54.48. David Marsh’s troops showed that the Carolina club is not only a stomping ground for post-grads, which they are loaded with. They had three swimmers in this final; besides Josa, Peter Brumm (7th – 55.34) and Logan Heck (8th – 55.59) also placed in the A-final.
Men’s 800 free relay
The quartet of Samuel Shimomura, Ian Burns, Jackson Partin, and Michael Nunan from the Santa Clara Swim Club took the win in the men’s 800 free relay in 7:34.06. The best split, however, along with the pole position for the individual 200 free, went to Dynamo Swim Club’s Gunnar Bentz in 1:51.69. The 15-year old, who already has a bronze medal in the 400 IM, could be the young sparkplug that USA Swimming has been looking for to jumpstart their men’s program, as he’s already got the long course down to match his short course swimming.
Full men’s 800 free relay.
The team scoring in this meet, which is generally much more closely followed than at Senior Nationals, is led by Palo Alto-Stanford Aquatics. Remember that their senior group, Stanford Aquatics, placed 2nd last week at the big-meet. Palo Alto is just outpacing Mission Viejo, who is being bouyed by some typically-great distance freestyle swims, only four points back. Dynamo Swim Club sits 3rd, followed by SwimMAC and Curl Burke.
Not surprisingly, California, which has the largest population of youth swimmers, has four teams in the top 10.
1. Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics 282
2. Mission Viejo Nadadores 278
3. Dynamo Swim Club 242
4. SwimMAC Carolina 235
5. Curl Burke Swim Club 166
6. Aquazot Swim Club 164
7. Bolles School Sharks 151
8. Sarasota YMCA Sharks 144
9. Santa Clara Swim Club 107
10. Alamo Area Aquatic Association 104