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Eighteen Juniors Kick off FINA World Cup Action Saturday

11/7/2013

Eighteen of the nation’s top 18-and-under swimmers will represent USA Swimming beginning Saturday at FINA World Cup events in Tokyo and Beijing.

Headlining the roster are Gunnar Bentz (Atlanta, Ga.) and Kathryn McLaughlin (Dana Point, Calif.), who won four medals each at the 2013 FINA World Junior Championships in Dubai. A complete roster is available here.

In total, the 18 U.S. swimmers headed to Tokyo and Beijing combined to win 23 medals at August’s Junior Worlds. Individual gold medalists slated to compete include Bentz, McLaughlin, Ella Eastin (Irvine, Calif.), Becca Mann (Homer Glen, Ill.) and Kylie Stewart (Atlanta, Ga.).

Bill Rose, head coach of the Mission Viejo (Calif.) Nadadores, is serving as the group’s head coach. Ron Aitken of the Sandpipers of Nevada is his assistant.

The juniors will receive guidance from veteran USA Swimming National Team members Anthony Ervin (Valencia, Calif.) and Tom Shields (Huntington Beach, Calif.), who also will compete in Tokyo and Beijing.

The Americans will compete Saturday and Sunday in Tokyo before swimming Nov. 13-14 in Beijing. Visit fina.org for complete World Cup information.

This trip marks the third consecutive year USA Swimming has sent a top team of juniors to face top international competition at FINA World Cup events with demonstrated benefits for these swimmers’ development.

Roughly 94 percent of the 2011 and 2012 18-and-under World Cup athletes have gone on to represent the U.S. at other international competitions with 75 percent earning medals. In the last two years, five of these athletes have competed at either the Olympic Games or FINA World Championships, with four winning an individual or relay medal.