Pine Crest’s Julia Podkoscielny Takes Home Second Medal On Final Day Of Toyota U.S. Open

By Sharon Robb
GREENSBORO, N.C., December 4, 2021–Julia Podkoscielny of Pine Crest Swimming finished a great week of swimming with another medal at the Toyota U.S. Open Championships Saturday at Greensboro Aquatic Center.

She closed out her impressive U.S. Open debut with a third place in the 200-meter backstroke in a best time 2:12.42, shaving 1.74 seconds off her previous best of 2:14.16. She was fifth fastest qualifier in 2:13.87, first dropping 0.29 off her previous best. She was also 27th in the 100-meter freestyle in 58.40.

The University of Florida commit and U.S. national junior team member also took a silver medal in the 400-meter individual medley in a best time 4:43.57, dropping 1.26 off her previous best.

Azura Florida Aquatics’ Yeziel Morales was fourth in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:01.29.

Blair Stoneburg, 17, of Treasure Coast Aquatics, another member of the U.S. Junior National team, was eighth in the 1500-meter freestyle in 16:56.05. She was 24th in the 100-meter freestyle in 58.46.

University of Florida’s Kathleen Golding, 21, was 19th in the 100-meter freestyle in 57.61.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Honduran Olympian Julio Horrego scratched from the 200-meter breaststroke. He sustained a strained groin during the start of the 100-meter breaststroke.

Other notables and local swimmers in action were:

World record holder and Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky, competing unattached for Florida, won the 1500-meter freestyle in 15:45.32.

Florida’s two-time Olympic champion Bobby Finke pulled away late in the race for a two-body length lead to win in 15:04.77.

Stanford freshman Regan Smith, swimming unattached won the 200-meter backstroke in a U.S. Open record 2:07.09 and 200-meter butterfly in 2:10.58. The backstroke time was the second oldest U.S. Open record, 2:08.42 set by Hayley McGregory in 2008. Smith is world record holder in the event.

1500-meter freestyle: 1. Katie Ledecky, Unattached-Florida 15:45.32, 2. Sierra Schmidt, Scottsdale Aquatic Club 16:21.56, 3. Elise Bauer, Florida 16:32.55, 8. Blair Stoneburg, Treasure Coast Aquatics 16:56.05.

200-meter backstroke: 1. Regan Smith, Unattached 2:07.09, 2. Leah Smith, Texas 2:11.26, 3. Julia Podkoscielny, Pine Crest Swimming 2:12.42, best time dropping 1.74, her previous best was 2:14.16.

100-meter freestyle: 1. Mallory Comerford, Cardinals 54.74, 2. Arina Openysheva, Louisville 55.23, 3. Camille Spink, Nation’s Capital 55.44.

200-meter breaststroke: 1. Ahryoung Kim, Korea 2:29.86, 2. Abby Hay. Louisville 2:30.51, 3. Tylor Mathieu, Florida 2:32.73.

200-meter butterfly: 1. Regan Smith, Unattached 2:10.58, 2. Leah Gingrich, Hurricanes 2:11.02, 3. Amanda Ray, Florida 2:11.51.

1500-meter freestyle: 1. Bobby Finke, Florida 15:04.77, 2. Charlie Clark, Ohio State 15:07.53, 3. Trey Freeman, Florida 15:24.83.

200-meter backstroke: 1. Vaggelis Makrygiannis, Unattached 2:00.48, 2. Baylor Nelson, SwimMAC 2:00.85, 3. Richie Stokes, UCSC 2:01.24.

100-meter freestyle: 1. Andrej Barna, Cardinals 48.44, 2. Gus Borges, PRVT 49.40, 3. Tate Jackson, NITRO 49.52

200-meter breaststroke: 1. Brandon Fischer, Unattached 2:13.21, 2. Raphael Rached Windmuller, Florida 2:15.92, 3. Marcus Mok, Unattached 2:16.80.

200-meter butterfly: 1. Minseop Kim, Korea 1:59.30, 2. Junheon Hwangbo, Korea 1:59.33, 3. Thomas Heilman, Cal State 1:59.87.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Author: South Florida Aquatic Club - SOFLO Swimming

Welcome to the South Florida Aquatic club, a premier community swim team dedicated to providing opportunity and encouragement to all team members, from the beginner to the seasoned Olympic athlete in their pursuit of excellence. The year-round development program for competitive swimming features life-enhancing qualities including integrity, discipline, teamwork, sportsmanship and health and fitness. We invite you to navigate the club’s portal for information about the team.

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