USA Swimming Announces 19 Swimmers For 2022 Mel Zajac Jr. Invitational Roster

USA Swimming has revealed its roster for the 2022 Mel Zajac Jr. Invitational, which will be held from June 3 to 5, 2022 in Vancouver, Canada.

Swimmers were selected onto this roster based off their performances from the time window between May 1, 2021 to April 30, 2022. This time window includes the 2022 U.S. Team Trials, which determined the rosters for the 2022 FINA World Championships and the 2022 Junior Pan Pacs meet. In order to be selected, a swimmer must be under 19 years old as of May 1, 2022. The roster size is limited to ten men and ten women.

The selection priorities are:

  • Priority #1. The available swimmer with the fastest time in the 100-meter Freestyle and 200-meter Freestyle will be added to the Team.
  • Priority # 2. The available swimmer with the highest FINA “A” Cut among any Individual Olympic Event will be added to the Team. This process shall repeat until the Team is full.

“Available” swimmers are those who were not previously selected to the World Championships or Junior Pan Pacs.

The Mel Zajac roster includes many swimmers who are too old to be selected onto the Junior Pan Pacs team, meaning they will be over 18 years old on December 31, 2022. This includes 18-year-old Cal commit Matthew Chai, who finished 5th in the men’s 1500 free but was not named onto the Junior Pan Pacs roster. Chai swam a time of 15:16.42 out of one of the slow mile heats, dropping 15.92 seconds from his previous best time.

Another notable swimmer that was too old for Junior Pan Pacs (despite being able to qualify had he met the age criteria) but eligible for Mel Zajac is Baylor Nelson. Nelson, a Texas A&M commit for the 2022-23 school year, will be swimming the 100/200 free, the 200/400 IM, and the 200 free. At trials, he finished 24th in the 100 free, 17th in the 200 back, 9th in the 200 IM, and 9th in the 400 IM.

In addition, since U.S. trials were not the only selection meet for Mel Zajac, there were swimmers who did not compete at trials that got selected to the team. Lilla Bognar, who clocked a time of 2:10.62 in the 200 back in August 2021, is amongst one of them and will be swimming the 200 back at Mel Zajac. Ella Welch, who went a time 55.55 in the 100 free in July 2021, will be swimming at Mel Zajac in the 100 free despite not swimming at trials.

Abi Liu, the head coach of the Bellevue Club Swim Team, was named as the head coach of the Mel Zajac team. However, she does not coach any of the athletes on the roster for the meet. Liu is best known for being the coach of Piper Enge, who will be representing the United States at Junior Pan Pacs. Gunnar Schmidt, the head coach of Club Wolverine, was named as an assistant coach. He is the coach of one swimmer on the Mel Zajac roster: Hannah Bellard.

Read the full Mel Zajac selection criteria here.

2022 Mel Zajac Jr. Invitational Roster

Women’s Team

Name Event Hometown Club
Lucy Bell 100 FL
Fort Collins, Colo.
Fort Collins Area Swim Team
800 FR
Grosse Ile, Mich.
Club Wolverine
200 BK
Greenville, S. C.
Team Greenville
1500 FR
Glen Rock, N. J.
Scarlet Aquatics
100 BK
Miami, Fla.
Eagle Aquatics
200 FR
Sarasota, Fla.
Sarasota Sharks
100 BK
Montrose, Ala.
TNT Swimming
800/1500 FR
Jensen Beach, Fla.
Treasure Coast Aquatics
1500 FR
Moorestown, N.J.
Jersey Wahoos
100 FR
Louisville, Ky .
Cardinal Aquatics

Men’s Team

Name Event Hometown Club
800/1500 FR
La Habra Heights, Calif.
FAST Swim Team
JT Ewing 200 BK
Falls Church, Va.
Arlington Aquatic Club
200 IM
Omaha, Neb.
iNspire Swim Team
200 BK
Apex, N.C.
TAC Titans
100 FL
Sebastian, Fla.
Treasure Coast Swimming Conquistadores
200 BK
Zionsville, Ind.
Zionsville Swim Club
400 IM
Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.
The Swim Team
100/200 FR, 200/400 IM, 200 BK
Huntersville, N. C.
SwimMAC Carolina
200 FL
Fort Worth, Texas
Lakeside Aquatic Club

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Swimmin in the South
1 year ago

21 guys on one team, 9 on the other. Things that make you go “hmmm?”

Reply to  Swimmin in the South
1 year ago

I’m not sure I understand the link between rosters sizes for Junior Pan Pacs and Zajac or why we would expect them to be the same. Am I missing something?

Swimmin in the South
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

Simply that one was supposed to be 10 and the other was supposed to be 20. But together it adds up. Something’s rotten in Denmark, and as you mentioned in the other thread, there seems to be a lack of transparency.

1 year ago

Where’s rex mauer?

Reply to  Thomas
1 year ago

Junior Pan Pacs.

Blake pierogi
1 year ago

I assume most of the swimmers will pick up a few more events

1 year ago

Why such a low #?

Reply to  Austinpoolboy
1 year ago

Probably because most going to jr pan Pacs and this is the overflow?!? A National teamers only have one option this summer so more juniors are getting international experience than senior ones!

1 year ago

No one swimming breaststroke ??

1 year ago

Only 9 men? USAS you have my info

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming by being her high school swim team's manager for four years. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in January 2022, where she hopes to contribute to and learn more about …

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