Speedo Summer Championships – Irvine Preview: Will Julian Climb World Rankings?

2021 Speedo Summer Championships – Irvine

The Speedo Summer Championships are set to kick off this Tuesday, August 4th, at two locations: Irvine (west) and Greensboro (east). The Summer Championships are replacing Speedo Summer Junior Nationals this year, but are also open to all ages, allowing swimmers a national-level end-of-summer championships meet.


The Irvine site of the meet is filled with big names, both 18&under and NCAA stars. One such star is Trenton Julian, a 22-year-old Cal swimmer, who made appearances in a number of finals at US Olympic Trials Wave II back in June. Julian is the top seed in the men’s 200 fly (1:55.35), 100 fly (51.70), 200 IM (1:59.21), 200 free (1:47.50), and 400 free (3:49.47). Julian is also entered in the 200 breast with a yards time.

After the Tokyo Olympics, Julian’s 1:55.35 200 fly from U.S. Trials is ranked 19th in the world this year. He’s also the 4th-fastest American in the event this year. In the 100 fly, Julian’s 51.70 is currently 29th in the world this year, and he’s the 6th-fastest American.

At the Olympic Trials, Julian had his top finish in the 100 fly, where he tied for 4th. He also placed 5th in the final of the 200 fly, and 8th in the final of the 200 IM. In the 200 free, he made the semifinal, where he finished 13th, not advancing to the final. Perhaps the most interesting race for Julian this week is the 400 free, which he scratched at Trials to focus on other events.

Another swimmer with a huge schedule, at least for now, is Mission Viejo’s Justina Kozan. Kozan, 17, is the top seed in the women’s 200 fly (2:09.68), 200 free (1:58.10), 400 IM (4:40.57), and 200 IM (2:11.55). The 17-year-old is also entered in the women’s 100 breast with a 1:11.45. Kozan will have plenty of opportunities to move up the all-time rankings for 17-18 girls at this meet.

The University of Texas’ David Johnston is also slated for a heavy schedule. The 19-year-old rising sophomore is the top seed in the men’s 1500 (15:18.61), 800 free (7:58.73), and 400 IM 4:16.74. Johnston made 2 finals at Wave II of the U.S. Olympic Trials. In the 400 IM, he finished 6th, while he took 7th in the 1500. He also finished 11th in prelims of the men’s 800 free. Johnston will also be competing in the 200 free, 400 free, and 200 back this week.

13-year-old rising star Kayla Han of La Mirada Armada is also racing at this meet, and she might have the toughest event lineup of anyone. Back in May, when she was still 12, Han made headlines by shattering Elizabeth Beisel‘s 11-12 NAG in the LCM 400 IM. Han will be racing the event here, where she is the 5th seed with her personal best of 4:50.70. Aside from the 400 IM, Han will also be racing the 200 free, 400 free, 800 free, 1500 free, 200 fly, and 200 IM. We’ll be looking the 13-year-old to move up the all-time rankings in her age group this week.

USC’s Isabelle Odgers is the top seed in the women’s 200 breast (2:27.67). Odgers had a lot of momentum heading into U.S. Trials after posting lifetime bests this spring. She didn’t disappoint, qualifying for the semifinal of the women’s 200 breast. Odgers will also be racing the women’s 200 IM, 100 breast, 100 fly, and 400 IM, and is seeded to make the final in each race.

Fellow USC star Kaitlyn Dobler is racing this week, albeit with a much lighter schedule. Dobler is the top seed in the women’s 100 breast (1:06.29), holding the top seed by almost 2 seconds. Dobler’s 1:06.29 came in the final at Olympic Trials, where she finished 6th in an incredibly competitive final. To give you an idea, despite finishing 5th at U.S. Trials, Dobler is still ranked 16th in the world this year, and that’s after the Olympics have concluded. Dobler is also set to race the 50 free, where her 25.68 has her seeded 3rd.

The University of Nebraska’s Autumn Haebig was arguably the star of the Olympic Trials Wave I meet, recording multiple top 2 finishes, to advance to the Wave II meet. Haebig will be returning in many of the same events this week, and is the #2 seed in the women’s 100 back (1:01.23). She’s also the #3 seed in the 200 free (2:00.55), and #6 in the 400 free (4:16.77). Haebig will also be racing in the 100 free, which she didn’t race at Trials.

Virginia Tech’s AJ Pouch(competing for Team Rebel Aquatics) is the top seed in both the men’s breaststroke events. Pouch was on fire at the Olympic Trials Wave II, finishing 5th in the 200 breast with his lifetime best of 2:10.35, He did suffer an unlucky draw in the 100 breast semifinals, however, finishing 9th, just 0.13 seconds outside of qualifying for the final. Pouch has a best time of 1:00.36 in the 100 breast, so we’ll see if he manages to break the 1:00 barrier this week in a less crowded field.

Schroeder Y 18-year-old Ziyad Saleem enters the meet as the top seed in both men’s backstrokes. In the 100 back, Saleem is seeded with a 55.54, giving him the top entry by over half a second. Saleem is currently ranked 39th all-time in the 17-18 age group in the event. In the 200 back, Saleem is the top seed by just 0.07 seconds. His 2:01.30 is just ahead of USC’s Harry Homan‘s 2:01.37. Saleem’s currently ranked 79th all-time in the 17-18 age group in the 200 back.

Ella Ristic, an Indiana swimmer representing Irvine Novaquatics, is the top seed in the women’s 100 free. Ristic’s time of 55.82 makes her the top seed by over half a second. Ristic is also seeded 4th in the women’s 200 free with a 2:00.65. She’s racing the 50 as well, and she’s entered in the 400 free with a yards time. Ristic’s SCY 500 free is a 4:42.06, indicating she may be vying for the title here in Irvine.

14-year-old Teagan O’Dell of Irvine Novaquatics is the top seed in the women’s 200 back. O’Dell’s time of 2:10.70 is the best of the field coming in by 2.5 seconds. She currently ranks 7th all-time in the 13-14 girls 200 back, and her 2:10.70 really isn’t that far off Missy Franklin‘s NAG of 2:09.16.

Here is the current all-time top 10 rankings for 13-14 girls in the LCM 200 backstroke:

Rank Time Swimmer Date
1 2:09.16 Missy Franklin 8/10/2009
2 2:09.27 Nora Mirabal 7/10/2016
3 2:09.70 Rye Ulett 8/1/2019
4 2:10.22 Taylor Ruck 1/16/2015
5 2:10.55 Alex Walsh 7/31/2015
6 2:10.66 Beth Botsford 1/1/1996
7 2:10.70 Teagan O’Dell 7/19/2021
8 2:10.95 Erin Earley 3/27/2014
9 2:11.31 Madison White 8/10/2009
10 2:11.41 Reagan Smith 8/3/2016

Cal’s Sean Grieshop is also entered in the meet. Grieshop is only entered in the men’s 200 IM, where he’s the #2 seed (2:01.31), and the 200 breast (2:18.10). He was somewhat off at U.S. Trials in June, so this meet will give Grieshop an excellent opportunity to bounce back with some solid LCM racing.

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9 months ago

Anyone know if they are streaming the meet?

Colorado Swim Fan
Reply to  DadCoach
9 months ago

SwimSwam please let us know if you can. I can’t find a link anywhere on the USA swimming website, are they allude to the intention of doing a live stream of the east and west events. Thank you!

Reply to  Colorado Swim Fan
9 months ago

Usually Irvine will stream it, just go to youtube.

James Beam
9 months ago

I hope Trenton does well. Seems like a good guy. Does anyone know if both of the meets will be streamed on USA Swimming’s website? The website and meet packet don’t have any info on this…

9 months ago

Does anyone know if there is a combined team score from both sites? Also excited to see which collegians kept going after trials.

Reply to  Bevo
9 months ago

No combined

Bobo Gigi
9 months ago

Interesting to see if Kozan will rebound after bad olympic trials.
2.10 at 14 in the women’s 200 back. Very fast. O’Dell is in good company in that all-time top 10. A lot of olympians. Let’s see if she can break 2.10 in her home pool.

cynthia curran
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
9 months ago

O’Dell came from Chino Hills where housing is cheaper than Irvine. Not certain if her parents stay in Chino Hills or moved to Irvine since the Catholic school Santa Margarita mention about her going to school there when she is a freshman.

Reply to  cynthia curran
9 months ago

Irvine is about 20% more expensive than Chino Hills, but Chino Hills have lots of bigger house (yard) which are more expensive than regular Irvine house.

Bobo Gigi
9 months ago

I hope it’s not the new norm to see a national meet split into two locations.
Already the same with US SCY junior nationals for a few years and again next December.

Reply to  Bobo Gigi
9 months ago

Just a Covid thing.

Reply to  Bobo Gigi
9 months ago

I believe they split the SCY version of Junior Nationals because it was becoming too crowded, and the time standards kept getting closer and closer to the SC National time standards. In a 3.5 day meet, 1000+ swimmers can feel pretty miserable when warming-up, and prelims sessions were becoming very long. Plus, splitting the meet made travel a little easier. When the meet was held in Federal Way or in Greensboro, it was pretty tough for swimmers on the West Coast/East Coast to travel to the other side of the country – not to mention these are 18U swimmers, and for most, it’s not reasonable to take a week off of school for a swim meet.

Last edited 9 months ago by Sophie
Fortnite Nick
9 months ago

Gotta admire Zhier Fan’s versatility – top 10 seed in 500 im