By Sharon Robb
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY, August 19, 2019—Gaby Banks of South Florida Aquatic Club and Nicholas Vale of Pine Crest Swimming are among Jamaica’s eight-swimmer contingent in the seventh FINA World Junior Swimming Championships that begin Tuesday.
The six-day meet will feature the world’s best under-18 swimmers competing at the state-of-the-art Danube Arena.
Banks, 16, will compete in four events: 50-meter freestyle (26.65), 200-meter freestyle (2:15.05), 50-meter backstroke (34.29) and 200-meter individual medley.
Banks will be a senior at Cypress Bay High School when the swim season begins.
Vale will compete in five events: 100-meter freestyle (53.87); 200-meter freestyle (1:57.03); 400-meter freestyle (4:14.61); 50-meter butterfly (25.41); and 100-meter butterfly (57.95).
Vale, 18, will be a freshman at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.
Other past and present Florida Gold Coast swimmers competing are:
Izaak Bastian, Bahamas, St. Andrew’s alum: 50-meter freestyle (23.18); 50-meter breaststroke (28.20); 100-meter breaststroke (1:02.41); and 200-meter breaststroke (2:18.03).
Rodolfo Falcon, Cuba, Azura: 400-meter freestyle (4:06.27); 800-meter freestyle (8:24.40); and 1500-meter freestyle (16:00.80).
Luis Bucaro, Guatemale, Cypress Bay/TS Aquatics: 50-meter freestyle (26.24); 100-meter freestyle (55.01); 200-meter freestyle (1:57.84); and 400-meter freestyle (4:10.61).
Alex Joachim, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Azura: 50-meter freestyle (26.08); 100-meter freestyle (54.96); 50-meter backstroke (29.35); 50-meter breaststroke (31.44); 200-meter breaststroke (NTA); 50-meter butterfly (NTA); 100-meter butterfly (NTA); and 200-meter butterfly (2:18.15).
The U.S. team features 45 talented swimmers from 39 clubs across 19 different states.
Emerging talents such as U.S. National Team members Luca Urlando (Sacramento, California./DART Swimming) and Chase Travis (Warren, N.J./Somerset Valley YMCA) will look to showcase their talents on the world stage. Urlando and National Junior Team teammate Carson Foster (Montgomery, Ohio/Mason Manta Rays) will have the largest schedule of events competing in five races each.
“As we look at the teams we put together, we see swimmers that are already close to or breaking world junior records,” Team USA men’s head coach Billy Doughty said. “The youth coming up through United States swimming is pretty exciting.”
Added Team USA women’s head coach Crystal Keelan: “There’s a lot of fast kids out there, but some of the swims [by junior athletes] have been a little bit shocking and pretty exciting. We’re looking forward to seeing what they can do in international competition against the world’s best.”
MEN: 50 Free: David Curtiss, USA, 22.25; 100 Free: Andrei Minakov, RUS, 48.50; 200 Free: Luca Urlando, USA, 1:46.51; 400 Free: Jake Mitchell, USA, 3:48.09; 800 Free: Aleksandr Egorov, RUS, 7:52.04; 1500 Free: Franko Grgic, CRO, 14:56.55; 50 Back: Thomas Ceccon, ITA, 25.16; 100 Back: Thomas Ceccon, ITA, 53.60; 200 Back: Jan Cejka, CZE, 1:57.51; 50 Breast: Vladislav Gerasimenko, RUS, 27.77; 100 Breast: Alexander Zhigalov, RUS, 1:00.75; 200 Breast: Shoma Sato, JPN, 2:09.42; 50 Fly: Thomas Ceccon, ITA, 23.46; 100 Fly: Andrei Minakov, RUS, 50.83; 200 Fly: Luca Urlando, USA, 1:53.84; 200 IM: Carson Foster, USA, 1:58.69; 400 IM: Carson Foster, USA, 4:13.39; 4×100 free: Russia, 3:18.11; 4×200 free: United States, 7:16.42; 4×100 medley: Russia, 3:35.17.
WOMEN: 50 Free: Gretchen Walsh, USA, 24.85; 100 Free: Gretchen Walsh, USA, 54.13; 200 Free: Claire Tuggle, USA, 1:58.21; 400 Free: Lani Pallister, AUS, 4:06.57; 800 Free: Lani Pallister, AUS, 8:25.66; 1500 Free: Lani Pallister, AUS, 16:06.84; 50 Back: Daria Vaskina, RUS, 27.51; 100 Back: Daria Vaskina, RUS, 59.46; 200 Back: Rye Ulett, USA, 2:09.70; 50 Breast: Benedetta Pilato, ITA, 29.98; 100 Breast: Kayla van der Merwe, GBR, 1:07.12; 200 Breast: Evgeniia Chikunova, RUS, 2:21.07; 50 Fly: Anastasiya Shkurdai, BLR, 25.87; 100 Fly: Anastasiya Shkurdai, BLR, 57.39; 200 Fly: Lillie Nordmann, USA, 2:07.43; 200 IM: Anastasia Gorbenko, ISR, 2:11.92; 400 IM: Alba Vazques Ruiz, ESP, 4:40.64; 4×100 free: United States, 3:40.20; 4×200 free: China, 7:52.30; 4×100 medley: Russia, 4:01.83.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com