By Sharon Robb
August 3, 2014—Rising swim star Caeleb Dressel won a junior national title on the fifth and final day of the USA Swimming Speedo Junior National Championships at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Complex in Irvine, California.
Dressel, 17, of the Bolles School Sharks Swim Club dominated the 50-meter freestyle race from start-to-finish to win in a lifetime-best 22.36, an 0.26 drop.
The University of Florida-bound Dressel is one of the nation’s top sprint prospects coming out of high school and was the top-ranked national recruit. He is the national high school record holder in the 50-yard freestyle in 19.29.
The former Clay High School standout holds seven national age group records including three in the 17-18 age group. Some of those records belonged to Michael Phelps.
Now he is ready for the next level at Florida.
“What a great way to finish our individual events,” Bolles coach Sergio Lopez wrote on his Facebook page.
In the 400-meter medley relay, Bolles relay of team of Dakota Mahaffey, James Daugherty, Ariel Spektor and Tyler Rice broke the 15-16 Florida swimming record in 3:50.09 and finished eighth in the final event of the meet.
Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics swept the combined (305 points) and men’s (191) team titles. Carmel Swim Club won the women’s team title with 290 points and was second overall in combined (290). Bolles was sixth in the combined team standings with 163. Bolles was seventh among the women’s teams (76) and 11th among the men’s (87).
Madison Homovich, 14, of North Carolina Aquatic Club and Townley Haas, 17, of NOVA of Virginia Aquatics were high point award winners.
In other championship finals:
Men’s 800-meter freestyle: Townley Haas, 17, of NOVA of Virginia Aquatics won his four junior national title in 8:01.82, just missing the meet record. He also won the 100, 200 and 400 freestyle races. Gainesville High School’s Eric Geunes, 16, of Gator Swim Club was 11th in 8:15.15, a 9.47 drop. Bishop Verot sophomore Santi Corredor, 15, of Swim Florida was 15th in 8:16.54, an 11.10 drop. Also in the 800, Marco Hosfeld of Swim Fort Lauderdale went a best time 8:23.88, an 0.81 drop and Boleck De Pawlikowski, 17, of Metro Aquatics went a best time 8:29.08, a 7:52.26 drop.
Women’s 1500-meter freestyle: Sierra Schmidt, 16, of North Baltimore Aquatic Club swimming unattached won in a best time 16:24.09 for her third title of the week. It was an 8.81 drop for Schmidt. Kendall Brent, 15, of Swim Florida was third in a best time 16:33.87, a 5.02 drop. Katie Duggan, 17 of Highland finished 21st in 16:55.53, dropping 10.25 off her previous best. Emma Layton, 15, of Area Tallahassee was 24th in a best time 16:58.44, a 12.94 drop.
Women’s 200-meter individual medley: Buoyed by a strong final freestyle leg, Kim Williams, 17, of Bellevue Swim Club won in a best time 2:14.58, a 3.22 drop. Williams also won the 400 IM earlier in the week. Bolles Mckenna Debever, 18, was second in the “B” race and tenth overall in a best time 2:18.30, a 1.31 drop.
Men’s 200-meter individual medley: Curtis Ogren, 18, of Palo Alto Stanford swept the IM events, winning the 200 IM in a best time 2:01.95 by nearly a half-body length and time drop of 0.69. Grant Sanders, 13, of Clearwater Aquatics was 13th in 2:06.32.
Women’s 50-meter freestyle: Amy Bilquist, 16, of Carmel won her third event in 25.28, just 5/100ths off the meet record and fourth all-time in 15-16 rankings. Kasey Smith, 17, of Bolles was sixth in a best time 25.89, an 0.21 drop. Pine Crest’s Marta Ciesla, 15, of Pine Crest finished ninth in a best time 25.83, an 0.23 drop.
Women’s 400-meter medley relay: SwimMAC Carolina won in 4:10.73 edging Y-Spartaquatics in 4:11.97 with relay members Stephanie Nelson, Maija Roses, Caitlin Casazza and Nora McCullagh.
Men’s 400-meter medley relay: Palo Alto Stanford broke the meet record in 3:45.86 to win with Willy Lee, Curtis Igren, Andrew Liang and Albert Gwo.
Melissa Marinheiro, 17, of South Florida Aquatic Club finished 31st in the 1500-meter freestyle in 17:06.46, 1.59 seconds off her best time. It was her fourth event of the meet. SOFLO teammate Kathleen Golding, 13, went 8.06, just off her best time, in the 800-meter freestyle time trial.
Nearly 1,100 of America’s up-and-coming swimmers competed in the five-day long course meet. After a two-day break, the Phillips 66 National Championships, featuring most of the nation’s top swimmers, get under way on Wednesday at the same Irvine, Calif. venue.
The five-day meet will serve as the USA National Team selection for the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships, 2014 Jr. Pan Pacific Championships, 2015 World Championships, 2015 World University Games and 2015 Pan American Games.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org