By Kyle Sagendorph // USA Swimming Digital Communications Coordinator | Monday, August 19, 2019
Forty-five of the nation’s top junior swimmers are gearing up for the start of the 2019 FINA World Junior Championships, Aug. 20-25 in Budapest, Hungary. The six-day event will feature over 1,200 athletes from 106 countries, competing for the title of World Junior champion at the state-of-the-art Duna Arena.
Five talented young captains lead Team USA: Carson Foster (Montgomery, Ohio/Mason Manta Rays), Lillie Nordmann (The Woodlands, Texas/Magnolia Aquatic Club), Maxine Parker (Bannockburn, Ill./Chelsea Piers Aquatic Club), Gretchen Walsh (Nashville, Tenn./Nashville Aquatic Club) and Luca Urlando (Sacramento, Calif./DART Swimming). Both Foster and Urlando will compete in four individual events in Budapest, which is the most among American men.
Urlando will be looking to build upon a very successful 2019 season which recently saw him claim the first National Title of his career, winning the 200-meter butterfly at the 2019 Phillips 66 National Championships. Just a month and a half prior to his national title, the 17-year-old also took down Michael Phelps’ 17-18 national age group record in the event by going 1:53.84 at the TYR Pro Swim Series at Clovis. While he has seen tremendous success early on in his career, Urlando will be vying for the first World Junior Championship of his career.
Walsh, like Urlando, will be making her FINA World Junior Championships debut. After winning five gold medals at the 2018 Junior Pan Pacific Championships in Fiji, Walsh has continued to earn podium spots in 2019. At the Phillips 66 National Championships, Walsh placed second in both the 50m and 100m freestyle, setting new personal bests by going 24.85 and 54.13 in each respective event.
Team USA selected its roster for the competition based on the results of the 2019 Phillips 66 National Championships, which took place in Palo Alto, Calif., from July 31-August 4. One of the top individual junior performances of the meet was by Torri Huske (Arlington, Va./Arlington Aquatic Club), who earned an invite to Budapest by breaking Mary Meagher’s 15-16 national age group record in the 100m butterfly – a record that had stood for 38 years – by touching the wall in 57.80, good for fourth place overall. With the fourth-place finish, Huske will be competing in the 50m butterfly in Budapest. She also earned a spot in the 100m freestyle and is a candidate for women’s 4x100m freestyle relay.
In total, 16 members of the U.S. National Junior Team will make the trip to Budapest following their successes in Palo Alto. Young National Junior Team talents such as Claire Tuggle (Fresno, Calif./Clovis Swim Club), Adam Chaney (Mason, Ohio/Mason Manta Rays) and Josh Matheny (Pittsburgh, Pa./Team Pittsburgh Elite Aquatics) will once again wear American flag caps after their multi-medal efforts at the 2018 Junior Pan Pacific Championships. Another swimmer looking to add international medals after a successful Junior Pan Pacific Championships run in 2018 is Jake Magahey (Dacula, Ga./Swim Atlanta), who came away from Fiji with one gold, one silver and one bronze medal.
Magahey’s gold in 2018 came by way of the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay, which he, Foster, Drew Kibler and Dare Rose teamed together to set a new meet record in 7:16.42. The men’s 4x200 freestyle relay team in Budapest will look familiar to that of the 2018 Junior Pan Pacs, as Magahey, Foster and Rose will once again swim together, and this time will be joined by Urlando in efforts to capture FINA World Junior Championships gold.
U.S. National Team member Chase Travis (Newark, Del./Nation’s Capital) will also swim for Team USA in her second FINA World Junior Championships pool appearance. At the 2017 event in Indianapolis, Travis swam the 800m freestyle, which she once again will be swimming in Budapest. Travis also represented Team USA at the 2018 FINA Open Water World Junior Championships, where she won gold in the girls 7.5k.
Coverage from Budapest will be available to subscribers of finatv.live. Daily prelims will begin at 3:30 a.m. ET, while daily finals and semifinals sessions begin at 11:30 a.m. ET.
For more information on the event, visit fina-budapest2019.com.
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