This past week, several Florida swimmers made the trek out to sunny Irvine, California to compete in the summer’s Speedo Junior National Championships. Overcoming the long travel day, the three-hour time change, and the dry air, these swimmers came to race. And they sure stepped up to the plate.
Speedo Junior National Championships is the premier event for top 18-and-under swimmers, many of which have gone on to compete at the very pinnacle of this sport. This year, there were Florida swimmers competing in races spanning all four stokes and distances varying from the 50 on up to the 1500. Interestingly, many of our home-state swimmers opted for the mid-distance and distance freestyle events. They made an impressive showing.
Here are the swimmers that stood out on the women’s side:
Having already competed in the Phillips 66 National Championships the week before, McMahon stuck around to swim the 200, 400, 800, and 1500 freestyles. She had multiple impressive swims, placing first in the 800 and 1500, second in the 400, and sixth in the 200. McMahon represented the Bolles School Sharks at the meet, but will be attending and competing for Alabama as a freshman this fall.
This fifteen-year-old from Swim Florida is an impressive young swimmer. McMurray competed in the 400 Individual Medley and the 200, 400, 800, and 1500 freestyle events. She placed fourth in the 400 and 800, seventh in the 1500, and seventeenth in the 200. Having three more years to possibly compete at Junior Nationals, McMurray seems to have a bright future ahead of her.
Being her first Summer Junior Nationals, Bauer came out to impress. Representing the Central Florida Marlins, she swam the 400 Individual Medley and the 400, 800, and 1500 freestyles. Bauer made substantial drops in the 800 and 1500, dropping over seven seconds in the 800 to get fifth and ten seconds in the 1500 to get sixth.
The men’s side of the meet was equally as stellar. Here are those who stood out:
Competing for the Gator Swim Club, Hill had standout swims in the 200 and 400 freestyles. In the 200, he dropped nearly two seconds for a second place finish. In the 400, he dropped over three seconds to get third. Hill also competed in the 100 freestyle and the 200 Individual Medley. A senior in high school, Hill has committed to Arizona State for the 2019-20 school year.
Being his last Junior Nationals, Kramer was determined to end his club swimming career with a bang. After a monstrous morning swim in the 400 freestyle, Kramer dropped over four seconds and went from 34th seed to 2nd before finals. At finals, he went his second-best time ever and placed eighth. Kramer also competed in the 200 freestyle (10th) and 800 freestyle (22nd). Kramer will be attending and competing for the University of South Carolina as a freshman in the fall.
Coming off a stellar Phillips 66, where he earned a spot on the 2018 Junior Pan-Pacific team in the 1500, Katz decided to stay another week in Irvine for Speedo Junior Nationals. At Junior Nationals, Katz represented the Sarasota Tsunami Swim Team in the 400 freestyle where he dropped three seconds and placed seventh. He also competed in the 200 freestyle. Katz will now be traveling with team USA to compete at the 2018 Junior Pan-Pacific games in Fiji August 23-27, 2018.
Written By Ryley Ober