Podkoscielny, Pelaez, Stoneburg, Zuchowski Named To 2021-22 U.S. National Junior Team

By Sharon Robb
COLORADO SPRINGS, October 19, 2021—Four South Florida swimmers were named to the 2021-22 U.S. National Junior Team, USA Swimming announced.

They are Julia Podkoscielny, Blair Stoneburg, Erika Pelaez and Josh Zuchowski. It is the first time in more than 10 years, four South Florida swimmers earned the honor.

Podkoscielny represents Pine Crest Panthers Swimming and Pine Crest School; Stoneburg of Treasure Coast Aquatics and Jensen Beach High School; Zuchowski of FAST and King’s Academy; and Pelaez of Eagle Aquatics and South Florida Heat.

Podskoscielny is a University of Florida commit; Stoneburg has verbally committed to University of Wisconsin-Madison and Zuchowski is headed to Stanford.

Pelaez was selected for her 100 freestyle swim at the Piranhas Senior Invitational (55.51).

Stoneburg was selected for the 1500 freestyle (16:37.08) at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Indianapolis.

Podkoscielny was chosen for the 400 individual medley (4:44.83) at the Piranhas Senior Invitational.

Zuchowski was selected for the 200 backstroke (2:00.22) at the U.S. Olympic trials in a time trial.

To be eligible for selection, athletes had to be 18 years or younger and eligible to represent the U.S. in international competition on September 1, 2021.

The performance criteria to select the National Junior Team include the top two athletes in each individual Olympic event, as well as additional female athletes who have a World Ranking within, and including, the top 75 in an individual Olympic event and additional male athletes who have a World Ranking within, and including, the top 100 in an individual Olympic event that have also achieved a time faster or equal to the established time standards.

The 72 pool swimmers and seven open water swimmers selected are from 26 states and 61 clubs.

With four athletes apiece, Nation’s Capital Swim Club and TAC Titans had the most swimmers on the team. Sandpipers of Nevada and SwimMAC each had three selections. North Carolina is the highest-represented state with 10 athletes, followed by California with eight.

Athletes will remain named to the National Junior Team until August 31, 2022.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com