Speedo Winter Junior Championships – East: Day 4 Prelims Live Recap



The final day of the Speedo Winter Junior Championships is here. This morning’s prelims session will feature the 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, and 200 fly. The 1650 free will be competed starting this afternoon, and it will be a timed finals event, as always.

Rye Ulett (Dynamo Swim Club) enters the girls 200 back 1.68 seconds off Katharine Berkoff’s meet record. It would take a big swim to get that record, but we’ll definitely be on record watch tonight. Eagle Aquatics’ Erika Pelaez is the top seed in the girls 100 free by half a second, giving her a comfortable margin of a lead heading into the event.

Similarly, SwimMAC’s Grace Rainey is the top seed in the girls 200 breast this morning by over 2 seconds. Rainey will be out to break 2:10 for the first time today. Club Wolverine’s Hannah Bellard holds the top spot in the girls 200 fly.

Flood Aquatics 17-year-old Josh Zuchowski enters the boys 200 back just 0.89 seconds off Jacob Pebley’s meet record. Spartan Aquatic Club’s Kamal Muhammad is the top seed in the 100 free with his time of 43.48.

SwimMAC’s Baylor Nelson, who has been on fire this week in Greensboro, is slated to race the boys 200 breast, where he’s the top seed. SwimAtlanta’s Sebastien Sergile is the top seed in the boys 200 fly.

14-year-old Thomas Heilman will be racing in the 100 free and 200 fly this morning, so we’ll see if he can take down even more NAG records today.


  • Meet Record: Katharine Berkoff – 1:50.16 (2018)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Rye Ulett (DYNA) – 1:54.15
  2. Catie Choate (DYNA) – 1:55.43
  3. Jo Jo Ramey (FAST) – 1:55.82
  4. Sophie Brison (DYNA) – 1:55.84
  5. Natalie Mannion (CS) – 1:55.93
  6. Berit Berglund (CSC) – 1:56.05
  7. Lydia Hanlon (ATAC) – 1:56.12
  8. Kyla Maloney (DYNA) – 1:57.39

Dynamo Swim Club was all over these prelims, earning 4 of the 8 spots in the A final. Rye Ulett, the top seed, led the field this morning comfortably, despite being 2.3 seconds off her personal best. Fellow Dynamo teammates Catie Choate, Sophie Brison, and Kyla Maloney all finished in the top 8 as well. For Choate and Maloney, the swims were personal bests. Choate dropped nearly 2 seconds with her 1:55.43 this morning.

Jo Jo Ramey, a Fishers Area Swimming Tigers 16-year-old, also swam a personal best to qualify for the A final. Ramey had a highly success LCM season in 2021, getting down to 2:08.90 in the LCM 200 back. Given that, we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on Ramey tonight, as well as Carmel Swim Club’s Berit Berglund, who’s been swimming very well this week.


  • Meet Record: Jacob Pebley – 1:40.79 (2011)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Caleb Maldari (MAC) – 1:43.04
  2. Sam Powe (MCC) – 1:43.44
  3. Baylor Nelson (MAC) – 1:44.07
  4. Ben Irwin (SA) – 1:44.12
  5. Owen McDonald (DYNA) – 1:44.19
  6. Lance Norris (TAC) – 1:44.29
  7. Will Modglin (ZSC) – 1:44.31
  8. Jonny Marshall (FAST) – 1:44.51

SwimMAC 16-year-old Caleb Maldari swam a personal best by 1.61 seconds to grab the top seed for tonight’s A final. Josh Zuchowski, who was the top seed coming into this morning, swam a 1:45.48, 3.8 seconds off his personal best, finishing 13th to qualify for the B final. Maldari displayed excellent closing speed this morning, posting a 25.71 on the final 50 of the race, which was the only sub-26 split on the final 50 in the field.

Maldari will have his hands full tonight, however, even without Zuchowski in the mix. Sam Powe finished 2nd this morning, but his entry time was still faster than Maldari swam this morning. Similarly, Baylor Nelson, who has been shedding time all week, is the #3 seed, and has been a 1:43 before.

SwimAtlanta’s Ben Irwin and Dynamo’s Owen Mcdonald both clocked huge personal bests to make it into the top 8. Irwin took nearly 2.5 seconds off his previous best to post the 4th-fastest time of the morning, while McDonald dropped just under 2 seconds to finish 5th.

Fishers Area Swimming Tigers 17-year-old Jonny Marshall also had a big drop, improving by 2.64 seconds to grab the 8th seed for tonight’s A final.


  • Meet Record: Abbey Weitzeil – 46.29 (2014)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Anna Moesch (Un-NJ) – 48.39
  2. Erika Pelaez (EA) – 49.41
  3. Kristi McEnroe (YSSC) – 49.43
  4. Katherine Helms (MAKO) – 49.45
  5. Alexa Fulton (UMLY) – 49.50
  6. Alex Shackell (CSC) – 49.55
  7. Natalie Mannion (CS) – 49.56
  8. Sabrina Johnston (BGNW) – 49.69

Anna Moesch, the 50 free champion from earlier in the meet, clocked a massive personal best of 48.39 to post the top time of the morning by over second. With the swim, Moesch is now 14th all-time in the 15-16 age group.

Moesch has also now set up a very interesting final for tonight. Erika Pelaez was 49.41 this morning, but she has a personal best of 48.85. Alex Shackell also qualified for the A final, swimming a 49.55 to break 50 seconds for the first time in her career. Shackell has been on fire this week, so she could make some noise tonight as well.


  • Meet Record: Ryan Hoffer – 41.23 (2015)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Daniel Diehl (CUY) – 43.59
  2. Kaii Winkler (EA) – 43.68
  3. Kamal Muhammad (SPAC) – 43.74
  4. Andres Dupont Cabrera (BSS) – 43.92
  5. Sebastien Sergile (SA) – 44.00
  6. Ben Denman-Grimm (MAKO) – 44.09
  7. Lucca Battaglini (UN-NC) – 44.23
  8. Spencer Arnou-Rhees (NAAC) – 44.37

200 free champion Daniel Diehl is back at it, grabbing the top time in the 100 free this morning with a new personal best of 43.59. Kamal Muhammad touched 3rd this morning, though he still holds the fastest personal best in the field – 43.48. Muhammad also displayed superior speed this morning, posting the fastest opening 50 split in the field with a 20.74.

6th-place finisher Ben Denman-Grimm also had a very fast 1st 50, splitting 20.89 going out. Denman-Grimm went on to finish in 44.09, marking a personal best by 0.82 seconds.

The biggest improvement from anyone in the top 8 came from Eagle Aquatics 15-year-old Kaii Winkler, who dropped over a second to clock a 43.68. Winkler not only has a middle lane for tonight, he’s now the #5 performer all-time among 15-year-olds. The top 15-year-old 100 freestyler all-time is Ryan Hoffer, coming in at 43.13.


  • Meet Record: Alex Walsh – 2:06.02 (2018)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Grace Rainey (MAC) – 2:11.87
  2. Gracie Weyant (SYS) – 2:13.08
  3. Avery Klamforth (MAC) – 2:14.13
  4. Ainsley Jones (DYNA) – 2:14.26
  5. Addie Robillard (RAYS) – 2:14.60
  6. Eliza Brown (CS) – 2:15.20
  7. Samantha Armand (TAC) – 2:15.70
  8. Sofia Plaza (MAC) – 2:16.06

Grace Rainey out of SwimMAC paced the field this morning, taking the top seed for tonight’s A final. Despite swimming 1.6 seconds off her personal best, Rainey was still the fastest in the field this morning by 1.21 seconds, setting her up nicely for tonight.

It was a great performance by SwimMAC this morning, as they picked up 3 A finalists, plus a B finalist. MAC 14-year-old Avery Klamforth swam a personal best of 2:14.13 to post the 3rd-fastest time of the morning. With the swim, Klamforth has risen up to #32 all-time in the 13-14 age group.

Another 14-year-old, Addie Robillard of Mason Manta Rays, clocked a best time of 2:14.60, finishing 5th this morning. Robillard is now #43 all-time for 13-14s.


  • Meet Record: Josh Matheny – 1:52.12 (2019)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Will Heck (BSS) – 1:56.01
  2. Baylor Nelson (MAC) – 1:57.90
  3. Liam Heary (SRQ) – 1:58.54
  4. Will Scholtz (LAK) – 1:58.76
  5. Harry Herrera (BSS) – 1:58.79
  6. Adam McDonald (RAYS) – 1:58.93
  7. Matthew Lucky (UN-NC) – 1:59.18
  8. Ethan Schwab (BBD) – 1:59.73

Bolles School Sharks 17-year-old Will Heck swam a new personal best of 1:56.01 to grab the top seed for tonight over SwimMAC’s Baylor Nelson. Nelson has been on fire so far at this meet, and he was 1.89 seconds off his personal best this morning.

SRQ 16-year-old Liam Heary swam a giant personal  best of 1:58.54 to take 3rd this morning. Heary entered the meet with a personal best of 2:02.72, marking an improvement of 4.19 seconds. He swam a personal best of 54.43 in the 100 breast yesterday.


  • Meet Record: Regan Smith – 1:51.24 (2018)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Alex Shackell (CSC) – 1:57.23
  2. Hannah Bellard (CW) – 1:57.71
  3. Bella Answeeney (TV) – 1:58.49
  4. Emily Thompson (GSCY) – 1:58.68
  5. Martina Peroni (NAAC) – 1:59.26
  6. Lilly Derivaux (JW) – 1:59.51
  7. Sophie Shao (KW) – 1:59.83
  8. Lily Hann (LHY) – 1:59.85

It took swimming under 2:00 this morning to make it into the A final. Carmel Swim Club’s Alex Shackell swam another personal best, dropping 1.21 seconds for a 1:57.23. Shackell is the 100 fly champion from last night, swimming a 51.21, which was the fastest time at either the East or West meet by a full second.

Shackell will give Club Wolverine’s Hannah Bellard a run for her money tonight. Bellard has the fastest personal best in the field, coming in at 1:55.36. She swam a 1;57.71 this morning, finishing 2nd. Shackell and Bellard will be next to each other in the middle of the pool tonight, and it should be one of the most exciting races of the night.

Bella Answeeney, a 16-year-old from Team Velocity, swam a personal best of 1:58.49 to take 3rd this morning. Greater Somerset Y 15-year-old Emily Thompson had a huge swim this morning to post the 4th-fastest time of the morning. Thompson entered the meet with a best of 2:00.12, and blew through the 2:00 barrier this morning, clocking a 1:58.68.

Sophie Shao and Lily Hann also broke 2:00 for the first time this morning, finishing 7th and 8th respectively.


  • Meet Record: Luca Urlando – 1:40.91 (2018)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Thomas Heilman (CA) – 1:43.97
  2. Sebastien Sergile (SA) – 1:45.70
  3. Gibson Holmes (RAYS) – 1:45.83
  4. Aaron Shackell (CSC) – 1:45.87
  5. Carl Bloebaum (RAYS) – 1:45.99
  6. Henry McFadden (JW) – 1:46.61
  7. Tate Bacon (UN-NC) – 1:46.77
  8. Liam Custer (SYS) – 1:47.02

Cavalier Aquatics 14-year-old Thomas Heilman isn’t done yet. After DFS (declaring false start) in the 100 free this morning, Heilman dominated the field in the 200 fly. He roared to a new personal best of 1:43.97, dropping 2.16 seconds from his previous best. He was the fastest in the field this morning by nearly 2 seconds as well. The swim absolutely shatter Michael Andrew’s 13-14 boys NAG of 1:45.39, marking Heilman’s 13th NAG in the past 11 days. Heilman will have another shot lowering the record again tonight, and he’ll presumably lead-off Cavalier Aquatics’ 400 free relay, so he’ll be taking a stab at the 100 free record as well.

Sebastien Sergile (SwimAtlanta) was 1:45.70 this morning, swimming off his best of 1:44.05. Sergile has been swimming well this week, and the race between he and Heilman tonight should be fun.

The other 6 swimmers who qualified for the A final all swam personal bests to do so. Carmel Swim Club’s Aaron Shackell, the older brother of Alex Shackell, the top finisher in the girls 200 fly, dropped almost 2 seconds to finish 4th this morning.

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2 years ago

Dynamo girls in the A final for the 200 Back! Catie Choate is having another great meet, hitting a lot of top times.

super classy swim
2 years ago

the 4 dynamo girls in the 2 back A final is so amazing

2 years ago

Another swim, another Nag for Heilman, this time in the 200 fly: he went “easy” in the first half and then accelerated in the last 50 yds: really rare to see in a 200 fly, also in SCY. Amazing prospect.

2 years ago


2 years ago

FYI. Jonny Marshall swims for Firestone Akron Swim Team.