Double Feature: NCAA + Jr Nats

NAGs, Army/Navy, Pre-Christmas Meets

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🏊‍♀️ SWIMS OF THE WEEK 🏊🏽‍♂️

Speedo Junior Nationals

Going to hit a little double feature here as the college landscape was a little sparse this weekend. We’ll start in the Midwest, where Westmont, IL and Columbus, OH hosted the split East-West Winter Junior Nationals meet. Four swimmers in particular popped some historic times.

The first, and most historically significant, swim came from Carmel’s Alex Shackell, who swam a 21.95 200 medley relay fly split to open up her meet. That split matches the fastest 50 fly split ever, tying Kate Douglass, a swimmer you may have heard of before. That was the harbinger for a banger of a meet by the Cal commit. All said and done, she’d finish up with 21.71/47.61/1:42.72 frees and 49.49/1:50.15 flys, with a 49.25 fly relay split to boot.

Charlotte Crush made her mark primarily with a couple of relay leadoffs. The 15 year old led off her team’s championship 200 medley relay with a 23.32 backstroke leg, and the 400 medley relay with a 49.53 - the second fastest ever swum by an American junior, breaking the 15-16 NAG by half a second. Her other results were strong as well with a 22.02 free, 50.46 fly, 1:51.74 back, 47.50 free relay split.

On the boys’ side, Worlds finalist Thomas Heilman at the East meet and World Junior record holder Maximus Williamson at the West meet had a virtual back and forth in some of their best events, resulting in a whole bunch of NAG records (Heilman being 15-16 and Williamson 17-18). Heilman, the big flyer from Cavalier Aquatics, compiled 19.24/42.00/1:32.00 frees, 44.80/1:40.73 flys, a 1:41.41 IM, and a 54.40 100 breast for S&Gs, adding 19.87/44.20 fly relay splits. Williamson, leading a strong Lakeside Aquatics team, swam a fairly similar lineup, with 19.46/41.92/1:31.37 frees, 21.96/47.17 backs, 1:41.18 IM, and a 1:55.16 200 breast.

Some other notables on the weekend:

  • 14-year-old Audrey Derivaux continues to rack up Junior Nats finals appearances with the older girls. The versatile youngster got A finals appearances in the 200 back (1:52.75), 100 fly (53.35), 200 fly (1:55.90), 200 IM (1:56.73), and 400 IM (4:08.51), topping out at 3rd in the 200 back and 400 IM.

  • Also from the younger end of the age spectrum comes summer sensation 14-year-old Shareef Elaydi, who got second swims in both flys (48.11/1:46.88) and the 200 IM (1:48.80).

  • Lucca Battaglini got the best of Heilman in the 50 free, blasting out a 19.06 PR. He’s not a one-trick pony though, as he also went 42.88 in the 100 free, 46.64 100 back, and 46.04 100 fly.

  • Meanwhile, Williamson also took a defeat in the 200 breast to Jake Eccleston, who just barely missed the meet record with a 1:52.95. He’d also win the 100 in 52.74.

  • A mess of ladies cracked the 22 second mark in the 50 free in addition to Shackell - Julie Mishler (21.87), Caroline Larsen (21.93), and Katie Belle Sikes (21.95) did it in the individual, while Jillian Crooks (21.95) did it leading off the 200 free relay.

  • Another Worlds finalist, Leah Hayes got in the action with some short course swimming, something she only really does rested occasionally. Her 1:53.57 200 IM was a PR and fastest between both meets, and she also added strong 48.35/1:44.47 frees, a PR 2:09.68 200 breast, and a 4:03.82 400 IM.

  • The East meet featured two of the best junior male backstrokers we’ve seen in Johnny Crush and Baylor Stanton. Crush took the 100 back title (45.56), adding 21.39/1:44.22 in the other two backstrokes, sneaking under 20 in the 50 free for the first time (19.99), and adding 43.50/4:25.62 frees and a 47.00 100 fly; for his part, Stanton took the 200 back (1:41.14) and added 46.57 in the 100, and 1:44.04/3:45.39 IMs.


This is always a good one - the oldest and most storied rivalry in sports. Graced by Rowdy Gaines play-by-play, the Midshipmen snuck past the Golden Knights men to avenge their streak-breaking 2022 loss 153-147, while the Navy womens’ streak increased to 35 years with a 162-138 win. The details:

  • Navy freshman Ben Irwin broke a conference record in the 200 back in his first Army/Navy meet - his day totaled 21.44/46.18/1:41.50 backs and a 47.10 100 fly.

  • Fellow Navy freshman Ela Habjan also broke a conference backstroke record, hers in the 100, to top a 24.96/52.87/1:55.79 backstroke day.

  • Aurelie Migault continued her strong campaign, sweeping the breaststrokes in 1:00.34/2:09.92, the latter a PR, and adding a 2:00.14 200 IM win.

  • Navy’s Molly Webber swept the longer frees, 1:46.88/4:49.74/9:58.91, bookending the distances with PRs.

  • Army kept themselves in the men’s meet through the strength of their longer freestyle groups. Big players in those disciplines were Wes Tate (1:35.14/4:20.16 PRs), Ian Tansill (4:27.55/9:02.00), Clayton Bernauer (4:27.72/9:05.58 PR), and Brice Barrieault (9:05.67).

  • The Navy mean got a huge breakout meet from freshman Juan Mora - he dropped a second and a half in his 100 breast (52.49) and over three seconds in the 200 breast (1:54.53).

Delta State Christmas Invite - Part One

DSU runs a Saturday-Tuesday Christmas invite, one of the latest of the season. With two days in, some fireworks already:

  • Henderson State’s sprint squads are at it again. Kiara Pozvai hit the #1 D2 time in the nation thus far this year with a 22.61, just missing her 22.59 PR but locking in her national invite. The Red Wave men meanwhile hit the #2 200 free relay in the nation with Jack Armstrong (19.43)/Jase Pickney (19.64), Patryk Dabrowski (19.60), and Lamar Taylor (19:24) combining for a 1:17.91.

  • Armstrong put down a bevy of top times, adding to that 50 free with a 1:35.56 200 free, 46.74 100 fly, and 53.77 100 breast.

  • He didn’t take the win in the 100 fly though, as HSU put two men sub-47 with Pickney hitting a 46.50 for the #1 time in the country this year.

  • Also in the sprints, a couple barriers were broken as Delta State’s Dani Solkow cracked 23 for the first time with a 22.92, while Incarnate Word’s Fabio Fasolo saw a time in the teens for the first time with a 19.85.

  • Henderson State’s men also ripped a school record 1:26.66 200 medley relay, with Taylor (22.28)/Armstrong (23.99)/Pickney (20.80)/Dabrowski (19.59), while University of Montevallo brought their school record sub-1:30 for the first time with a 1:29.23 (Will Mahone 22.74/Janek Barczyk 24.51/Aleksei Kolesnikov 21.47/Juan Celis 20.51).

  • Delta State’s women crushed their best 400 medley relay from the 2023 season, with Jordon Kloth (56.43), Alexis Moon (1:03.54), Mikayla Kloth (54.57), and Dani Solkow (50.09) combining for a 3:44.63 that would have placed 10th at 2023 NCAAs.

Other Good Stuff

A number of dual/tri meets going on pre-Christmas break with good results:

  • Williams popped a few D3 nationally relevant times at the Wesleyan quad meet. Amanda Wager (2:14.07) hit the #1 200 breast, while Charlotte Wishnack (2:16.28) now sits fourth. Sophia Verkleeren went top-5 times in the backstrokes (55.35/2:00.68). Samantha Kilcoyne’s 54.84 100 fly ties her for third.

  • Saint Mary’s Luke Schwenk isn’t resting on his laurels from last weekend’s midseason invite. Against Washington College, he nearly matched his 50 free PR (20.34), and added a 48.61 100 back PR to boot, taking over a second off his previous best.

  • Connecticut College’s Justin Finkel was perhaps the biggest breakout in D3 last year. The 2023 200 fly runner-up is rounding into form this semester with a season best 1:49.04 against Roger Williams and Trinity.

🏊🏽‍♂️ Weekend Preview 🏊🏼

Second half of DSU Christmas Invite, plus the UNLV Invite and a dual between two of the best D2 Florida schools in Tampa and Nova Southeastern, and we’re on the Christmas training.

We’ll do a bit of first semester retrospective and prognosticating in the interim.

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