2019 MEL ZAJAC JR. INTERNATIONAL MEET
- May 24-26, 2019
- Vancouver, Canada (University of British Columbia)
- Meet website
- Estimated timeline
- Psych sheet
- Live Stream
- Live Results
The 56th annual Mel Zajac Jr. International Swim Meet is set to be a clash between the plenty talented USA and Canadian age group squads, as well as a variety of accomplished international swimmers – college-aged and up. The first night features the women’s and men’s 200 backstroke, 100 breaststroke, 200 freestyle, 400 IM, 50 butterfly, 400 freestyle relays, as well as the men’s 800 freestyle and the women’s 1500 freestyle.
Men’s 800m Freestyle – Timed Finals
The first event of the session saw a tight field move together through the first couple 100s, but former University of Arizona swimmer Chris Wieser distanced himself from the rest of the pack at the 400 mark; and his lead continued to grow. University of Calgary’s Peter Brothers had a huge last 100, however, and was neck-and-neck with Wieser as the two came under the flags.
Wieser ended up holding on for the win, posting a 8:11.53 to edge out Brothers, who finished a hair behind in 8:11.91. Also finishing the race nicely was 17-year-old Connor Daniels, recording a 8:12.41 to secure third place.
Women’s 200m Backstroke – Finals
- Jade Hannah, ISC – 2:10.62
- Ekaterina Avramova, NN – 2:12.25
- Regan Rathwell, Canadian Junior Team – 2:12.39
17-year-old backstroke stud and World Junior Championship medalist Jade Hannah lead the final heat of the 200 back from start to finish. She handily topped the rest of the field with her final time of 2:10.62, which is just shy off her personal best of 2:10.44 from 2017.
Ekaterina Avramova, who represented Turkey at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, narrowly held off 15-year-old Regan Rathwell for the runner-up spot, as the two hit the wall in times of 2:12.25 and 2:12.39, respectively.
Men’s 200m Backstroke – Finals
Atlanta, Georgia native Ian Grum, who will be heading to the University of Georgia next fall, held a solid lead through the entirety of the race en route to a new personal best time of 2:00.54. That’s a two-tenth drop from his 2018 best for the 17-year-old, perhaps indicating there’s a more substantial drop to come at the end of the summer.
16-year-old Cole Pratt posted a solid 2:02.13 to take second in the event. He’s the 15-17 Canadian national age group record holder in the event – set at 1:58.07 from April – so he’s likely back in training in preparation for the 2019 FINA World Championships, at which he will compete in the 200 back. Pratt held off a fast-charging Robert Hill of the University of Calgary, who picked up third with a 2:02.55
Women’s 100m Breaststroke – Finals
The women’s 100 breaststroke proved to be a close race as the field completed the first 50, but University of Manitoba’s Kelsey Wog gradually built up a slightly larger lead through the back-end of the race. Wog ended up finishing first, stopping the clock at 1:08.31.
Former SMU swimmer Rachel Nicol and soon-to-be University of Arizona swimmer Faith Knelson duked it out for the second and third spots. The 26-year-old veteran in Nicol ended up pulling ahead in the end, earning second place with a 1:09.00. Knelson settled for third in 1:09.36.
Men’s 100m Breaststroke – Finals
- Caspar Corbeau, THSC – 1:02.21
- Kevin Houseman, BISC – 1:02.23
- Joshua Matheny, USA Junior Team – 1:02.71
USA-based Caspar Corbeau, who represents the Netherlands in international competitions, narrowly lead a packed field at the 50 mark. The will-be Texas Longhorn extended his lead through 75 meters, but received heavy pursuit from Kevin Houseman, a Northwestern commit, in the final stretch. The two touched virtually simultaneously, but Corbeau had a little more reach in his stroke, reigning victorious in the event with a final time of 1:02.21.
Rounding out the top three was 16-year-old age group phenom Joshua Matheny, who finished closely behind Corbeau and Houseman with a 1:02.71.
Women’s 200m Freestyle – Finals
Top seed heading into tonight’s finals Danica Ludlow of the University of Calgary was out quick at the halfway point, building a solid lead over the remainder of the field. Edmonton’s 16-year-old Emma O’Croinin put herself back in contention at the 150 mark, and Emily Overholt outside-smoked her way into vying for the win in the final lap as well.
As the three crashed into the wall, it was the youngster in O’Croinin who took home the win, registering a final time of 2:00.34. Following closely behind was Overholt in 2:00.46, and Ludlow hung on for third with a 2:00.84.
Men’s 200m Freestyle – Finals
After lowering his personal best in this event in the preliminary heats to a 1:47.56, Luca Urlando came back tonight to lock up the victory, easily besting the rest of the field with a winning time of 1:47.81. The age group sensation has now dipped below 1:48 thrice in 2019.
Top seed heading into the meet Markus Thormeyer of the University of British Columbia got under the prestigious 1:50 mark to claim the runner-up spot in 1:49.66. Jeremy Bagshaw from Island Swim Club, who swam for Cal in the late 2000s, completed the podium with his 1:50.56 for third.
Women’s 400m IM – Finals
- Isabel Gormley, USA Junior Team – 4:47.58
- Charlotte Hook, USA Junior Team – 4:49.24
- Abby Arens, USA Junior Team – 4:50.22
A quarter of the women selected to represent the United States Junior Team at this meet competed in the 400 IM final, and, more impressively, they all finished 1-2-3.
17-year-old New York native Isabel Gormley held the lead from the get-go, putting up a solid performance to finish first in a time of 4:47.58. Charlotte Hook, who is only 15, cracked 4:50 for the first time in her career to take second – clocking a 4:49.24. Abby Arens, who is also 17, finished off the podium sweep with a third-place winning time of 4:50.22.
Men’s 400m IM – Finals
University of Calgary’s Tristan Cote blew away the rest of the competition on the backstroke leg and never looked back. The 23-year-old showcased a commanding victory, touching the pad at 4:21.60. Cote has qualified to swim this event at the 2019 FINA World Championships.
Running second was 17-year-old Jason Louser, thanks to an impressive breaststroke leg. The Cal commit finished the race in 4:27.02, slightly ahead of Island Swim Club’s Josh Zakala, who picked up third with a 4:28.16.
Women’s 50m Butterfly – Finals
After both Torri Huske and Olivia Bray competed in the championship final of the 200 free, they were back in action in the 50 fly. Huske dashed to the wall to scorch a new personal best time of 26.57 – which makes her the 3rd fastest all-time American junior performer in the event – and establishing a new meet record in the process.
Although it looked as though Bray would deliver a USA 1-2, former Western Kentucky University swimmer Haley Black snagged the runner-up spot, touching at 26.73 to beat out Bray’s 26.83.
Men’s 50m Butterfly – Finals
Luca Urlando established himself as the first double-event winner of the meet with his victory in the men’s 50 fly. The butterfly specialist seemingly inched slightly further away from the field with every stroke, until he reached the wall in a winning time of 24.15.
Women’s 1500m Freestyle – Timed Finals
Immediately after Luca Urlando became the first double-event winner of the meet, Emma O’Croinin followed-up with another individual event victory of her own. O’Croinin took out the race fast alongside University of Calgary’s Marit Anderson, and the two put an insurmountable amount of distance between them and the rest of the competition.
Eventually, O’Croinin kept pushing, finishing in dominant fashion with a final time of 16:47.02. Anderson finished soon afterwards in 16:57.82, while the next closest finisher was future Northwestern Wildcat Yulia Groysman at 17:29.50.
Women’s 400m Freestyle Relay – Timed Finals
- USA Junior Team – 3:47.92
- Canada Youth – 3:51.36
- University of Calgary – 3:52.78
The USA Junior Team’s relay, which was comprised of Torri Huske (56.72), Olivia Bray (56.72), Kaitlyn Dobler (57.94) and Alexandra Cisera (56.54), handily won the first contested relay in a combined time of 3:47.92. The Canadian Youth team’s relay finished second in 3:51.36, slightly ahead of the University of Calgary team’s 3:52.78 for third.
Men’s 400m Freestyle Relay – Timed Finals
- University of British Columbia – 3:24.31
- Equipe Quebec – 3:27.07
- USA Junior Team – 3:27.12
The UBC squad of Markus Thormeyer (49.92), Carson Olafson (51.11), Josiah Binnema (52.06), and Alexander Pratt (51.22) took home a comfortable victory in the final night of the session with a final time of 3:24.31. The USA Junior Team looked like they would comfortably get second, until Equipe Quebec’s Bernand Godolphin (51.16) ran down Julian Hill (51.68) in the final meters to earn his team the runner-up spot.