USA Swimming’s inaugural “Futures Championships” began Thursday, highlighting a trio of meets taking place in Greensboro, North Carolina, Mt. Hood, Orgeon and West Lafayette, Indiana.
The three meets were designed with the focus of having a championship meet for swimmers who didn’t qualify for Junior Nationals.
Greensboro, North Carolina
Erica Wirth made a huge drop in the women’s 800m freestyle to take home the gold medal with a very swift winning time of 8:50.63. She won the race by almost seven full seconds, taking down Emma Skelley who touched in at 8:57.54.
Both leaders dropped 11-seconds in order to grab their podium placements. Rounding out the top three was 17-year-old Bryanna Cameron in 8:59.51.
That time for Wirth was the fastest out of all three futures meets.
Trevor Leland kept the theme of big time drops rolling in Greensboro, sporting a 15:50.99 to win the men’s 1500m freestyle. Dropping 21-seconds, he took down Dylan Cudhay who also managed a large drop taking 14.5-seconds off his seed time.
Mt. Hood, Orgeon
Sixteen-year-0ld Haley Yelle took home a comfortable win in the women’s 800m freestyle, knocking 7.6 seconds off her best time to win the event in 8:51.61.
Second overall was Yuging Xie. Xie, at just 13, put together a very solid 8:54.18 to take silver over 18-year old Sydney Franzen. Franzen ended up taking home the bronze in 8:56.46.
In the men’s 1500m freestyle final, 17-year-old Shane Forker managed the fastest time in the distance swim out of all three futures meets.
Coming in fast, Forker swam to a 15:44.65 performance for gold. Second behind him was Eric Fierro in 15:56.59 followed by Christopher Miller in 16:05.54.
West Lafayette, Indiana
Winning the women’s 800m freestyle in Indiana was Emily Meckstroth. Meckstroth was the second fastest overall from any of the futures meets, rocking an 8:51.02 at the touch.
Elizabeth Walker finished behind her in 8:53.88, keeping things close. The two were well ahead of the remaining competitors as Caitlyn McHugh managed a third place finish with an 8:58.87.
Jackson Gunning was the only swimmer under 16-minutes in the men’s 1500m freestyle final in Indiana. Gunning put together a swift 15:59.41 time to drop a massive 33-seconds off his seed time and claim gold.
Gunning won by a long-shot as well, beating James Koval en route to a best time. Koval also made a large drop to better his seed, swimming a 16:08.10.
Hayden Curley rounded out the last podium spot with a time of 16:12.11.