WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB
August 31, 2013
USA Swimming National Junior Team head coach Jack Roach said it best when describing the FINA Junior World Championship Championships in Dubai as “making memories and building the future.”
The six-day meet came to a close on Saturday after a week of impressive swimming and 47 meet records, making it the best in meet history.
On the final day, Aussie Mackenzie Horton won the 1500-meter freestyle in a meet record 14:56.60 and Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania won the 50-meter freestyle in 25.10, both of them finishing with four gold medals.
Team USA’s Caeleb Dressel of Bolles won the 100-meter freestyle after a 23.03 opening 50-meter split to win in a meet record 48.97. It also broke the U.S. national age group record (17-18) set by Michael Phelps in 2004 in 49.05.
Teammate Andrew Seliskar won the 200-meter butterfly in a meet record 1:56.42 including a third 50-meter split of 29.04.
Australia won the gold medal count with 10 followed by Team USA and Russia, each with nine. The U.S. finished with 28 total medals, Russia had 26 and Australia had 18.
The U.S. won the combined (989 points), boys (410) and girls (517) team titles and received the Championship Trophy.
Florida Gold Coast swimmers were in the international spotlight.
AquaKids Sharks’ Clara Smiddy, the only FGC swimmer on the U.S. junior national team, took home three bronze medals and Dylan Carter of Davie Nadadores grabbed a silver medal.
Smiddy will now return home to compete for the South Florida Heat in high school swimming as a senior. Carter of Plantation American Heritage, who represents Trinidad and Tobago, is heading to California for college in January.
Twelve other FGC swimmers represented their international countries and several turned in lifetime-best times against a world-class field.
The 2015 FINA World Juniors Championships are set for Singapore.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org