The sun is out, the temperature is in the mid 70’s, Disney World is hopping with spring breakers, and the live results are once again working at NCSA Junior Nationals: all is right in Orlando, Florida this morning.
With a full 24 heats of women’s 400 IM’s completed, here’s a quick rundown of the top seeds coming out of the morning.
Their were no earth-quaking times on Wednesday morning, though we saw on Tuesday almost an across-the-board rate of drops from prelims to finals. First Colony’s Simone Manuel, who on Tuesday broke the NAG Record in the 100 free, took the top seed in the 200 on Wednesday with a 1:45.54. That’s just off of her personal best time, though it would take a heroic effort tonight to break Knutson’s 1:42.8 in this event.
She was pretty well clear of the Delaware Swim Team’s Kaitlyn Jones, who took 2nd in 1:47.38, though that’s a best time for her by almost a full second. NCAP’s Janet Hu will be the 3rd seed in 1:47.82, while Clearwater’s Becca Mann finished 10th in 1:48.83 and will swim in the B-Final tonight.
In the men’s version of that race was another easy prelims swim from Jack Conger with a 1:37.45. This swim won’t be as much of a given in finals, with guys like Caeleb Dressel, Cannon Clifton, Gunnar Bentz, and Michael Domagala chasing him. Domagala had a great swim in his 200 fly already and there’s no reason that he shouldn’t get to a 1:35, at a bare-minimum, in finals.
Will Licon from Nitro took the top seed in the 400 IM in 3:48.89, and was followed closely by NCAP’s Andrew Seliskar in 3:48.98. That’s a huge time drop for Licon, though Seliskar has been faster. Expect them to go toe-to-toe in tonight’s breaststroke leg, where both are so strong.
Kaitlyn Jones will have a second chance at a medal in the women’s 400 IM, back-to-back, taking the top seed in 4:11.50. She’s shown great improvement in the 200 IM this season, but that’s her first best time in the 400 IM since 2009. She’s really thriving under the coaching change in Delaware. Becca Mann (4:11.55) and Kylie Stewart (4:15.02) will be right there with her in finals, and any of the three could easily win the race.
This day also saw a few sprint-stroke races, which is a nice twist since you don’t get to see a ton of it at this level. NASA’s Andrew Jovanovic and Michael Domagala tied for the top seed in the 50 fly in 21.77, with Andrew Seliskar and Jack Conger close behind in 21.8’s. This should be a great battle tonight, as a 50 yard fly rates about #1 on the “pure fun” scale in swimming. The women’s race also saw a tie for the top spot, between Janet Hu and Mary Schneider in 24.04.
Seliskar will have a third individual swim as he also raced to the top seed in the 50 breaststroke in 25.08. Rae Bullinger was a 28.59 in the women’s 50 breaststroke.