USA Swimming News

Sunday, September 3, 2023

USA Swimming Gears Up for World Aquatics Junior Swimming Championships


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Thirty-eight of America’s top junior swimmers are ready to compete in the World Aquatics Junior Swimming Championships September 4-9 in Netanya, Israel. More than 600 athletes and 100 national federations are expected to compete at this showcase of some of the best young swimming talent in the world. 

U.S. athletes were selected for this team based on results from the 2023 Phillips 66 National Championships. Athletes qualifying for World Juniors must be between the ages of 14 and 18 on December 31, 2023. The full roster can be viewed here.  

The only athlete on this year’s U.S. roster with world championships experience is National Team member Leah Hayes (Sugar Grove, Ill. Fox Valley Park District Riptides), who set a world junior record in a time of 2:08.91 when she won bronze at the 2022 FINA World Championships in the women’s 200m individual medley. Hayes will have a full schedule as she is slated to compete in three individual events. 

National Junior Team member Kayla Han (La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada Armada) has also been climbing the ranks as she won the 400m individual medley at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Mission Viejo, California at just 14 years old, making her the youngest champion across the entire series. She finished second in the 1500m freestyle at the same meet. Han will swim both events in Israel. 

Fellow National Junior Team member Maximus Williamson (Southlake, Texas/Lakeside Aquatic Club) left the Phillips 66 National Championships with 15-16 age group records in the 200m freestyle (1:47.62) and the 200m individual medley (1:58.65). He is slated to compete in the 200m individual medley. 

One of the busiest swimmers in Israel will be Daniel Diehl (Cumberland, Md./YMCA of Cumberland). Diehl is slated to compete in five individual events. He was also a part of the world junior record-setting men’s 4x100m freestyle relay team at the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships last year. 

In 2019, the U.S. squad received “Best Team” honors at the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships for leading the medal count with a total of 37 medals (18g, 10s, 9b). Current National Team athletes Gretchen Walsh, Torri Huske, Luca Urlando and Carson Foster all left Hungary with five or more medals.   

Following the initial cancellation of the 2022 FINA World Junior Swimming Championships, USA Swimming athletes competed in the rescheduled 2022 Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships and did not compete in the later rescheduled world championships in Lima, Peru. This year marks the first time Israel will host a World Aquatics Junior Championships. 

The complete competition schedule can be found here.  

Watch daily coverage from Netanya here. Daily prelims will begin at 2:30 a.m. ET, while daily finals and semifinal sessions begin at 11 a.m. ET. 

More information on the 2023 World Aquatics Junior Championships can be found here.  

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