USA Swimming News

Friday, May 24, 2019

Nation's Premier Juniors Selected for International Competition

Nation's Premier Juniors Selected for International Competition

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Forty-one of the nation’s top junior swimmers were selected to compete at two of the best international junior events taking place this summer — the Mel Zajac Jr. International Swim Meet and the Mare Nostrum. In total, 36 clubs will be represented among the 41 junior swimmers competing for the United States in international competition for the first time.

The 56th annual Mel Zajac Jr. International Swim Meet is a three-day event, beginning May 24 in Vancouver, BritishCanada. To be eligible for the Mel Zajac Jr. International, athletes must have a minimum of a top-50 Power Ranking on the world 100, be in high school and have never previously represented the United States in international competition. This group will follow in the footsteps of Team USA Olympians Maya DiRado, Missy Franklin and Tom Shields as Mel Zajac junior competitors. The event was also Dakota Luther’s first international trip in 2017, just one month before she made the 2017 World Championships team.

Last year’s Mel Zajac featured two Americans being highlighted as top junior female and male swimmers of the event after Isabelle Stadden set the eighth best time in the world in the 200m backstroke, finishing in 2:08.37. Gianluca Urlando received male honors after his 53.21 performance in the men’s 100m butterfly.

Just over two weeks and 5000 miles later, the Mare Nostrum will take place in Canet-en-Roussillon, France (June 11 – 12) and Barcelona, Spain (June 15 – 16). Only the highest-ranked 18 and under athletes qualify for the Mare Nostrum, regardless of National Team or National Junior Team Status. Female swimmers must have a minimum of top-50 world rank and male swimmers must post a top-75 in the world ranking from 2018.

The 18 American junior competitors are an increased total from the 2018 Mare Nostrum, when only 10 American juniors made the trip to Europe. Making appearances at the 2018 Mare Nostrum were former junior standouts and current senior National Team athletes, Michael Andrew, Grace Ariola, Zoe Bartel, Brooke Forde, Bryce Mefford and Erica Sullivan.

Mel Zajac Jr. International Swim Meet Roster

Women’s Roster




Kathryn Ackerman

Michigan Lakeshore Aquatics

Jim Whitehead

Abby Arens

Marlins of Raleigh

Paul Silver

Olivia Bray

Virgina Gators

Doug Fonder/Kathy Fonder

Caitlin Brooks

Gator Swim Club

Robert Pinter

Alexandra Crisera

Beach Cities Swimming

Monique Shelton

Annabel Crush

Lakeside Swim Team

Mike Deboor/Tony Carroll

Kaitlyn Dobler

The Dolphins Portland Swimming

Nacim Bouferrache

Coleen Gillilan

Fort Collins Area Swim Team

Mike Novell

Isabel Gormley

Asphalt Green Unified Aquatics

David Rodriguez

Charlotte Hook

TAC Titans

Bruce Marchionda/Robert Norman

Torri Huske

Arlington Aquatic Club

Evan Stiles

Anna Keating

Machine Aquatics

Dan Jacobs

Justina Kozan

Brea Aquatics

Jim Johnson

Janessa Mathews

Ohio State Swim Club

Kyle Goodrich

Amanda Ray

New Wave Swim Team

John Roy/Edward Lower

Emma Wheal

Western Hills Athletic Club

James Bynum

Men’s Roster




David Curtiss

Hamilton Y Aquatic Club

Susan Welsh

Matt Fallon

Somerset Valley YMCA

Dan Roth

Ian Grum

Dynamo Swim Club

Ian Murray

Julian Hill

Gator Swim Club

Robert Pinter

Jason Louser

Long Island Aquatic Club

Dave Ferris/Ginny Nussbaum

Joshua Matheny

Team Pittsburgh Elite Aquatics

Dave Shraven

River Wright

Bluefish Swim Club

Chuck Batchelor


Head Coach: Ian Murray (Dynamo Swim Club)

Assistant Coach: Monique Shelton (Beach Cities Swimming)

Manager: Beau Caldwell

Team Physician: Dr. Adam Lewno


18 & Under International Team: Mare Nostrum Roster



Phoebe Bacon

Nation's Capital

Patrick Callan


Shaine Casas

Texas A&M

Adam Chaney

Mason Manta Rays

Madelyn Donohoe

The Fish

Carson Foster

Mason Manta Rays

Jake Foster

Mason Manta Rays

Ethan Harder

Billings Aquatic Club

Isabel Ivey

California Berkeley/Lakers

Van Mathias

Indiana University/Multnomah Athletic Club

Ella Nelson

Nashville Aquatics

Lillian Nordmann

Magnolia Aquatics

Kieran Smith

University of Florida/Ridgefield Aquatic Club

Kevin Vargas

La Mirada Armada

Alex Walsh

Nashville Aquatics

Gretchen Walsh

Nashville Aquatics

Emma Weyant

Sarasota Sharks

Reece Whitley

California Berkeley/Penn Charter


Head Coach: Ken Heis

Manager: Laura Ring

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