2021 Spring Cup, Irvine starts with Claire Tuggle, who wins the 800 Free

2021 USA SWIMMING 18 & UNDER SPRING CUP – Irvine

  • April 29th – May 2nd
  • William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center
  • Irvine, California
  • Long Course Meter (LCM)
  • Results available on Meet Mobile under “CA ONLY USAS 18-Un Spring Cup at Irvine Nova”

The USA Swimming 2021 18 & Under Spring Cup started yesterday with a competition held in four different locations around the country. At the Irvine site, due to current state regulations regarding the pandemic, only California-based swimmers participated. There were only two races on the first day of competition, the women’s 800 race and the men’s 1500 race. Both events were swum as time finals.

In the women’s 800 free it was a member of the USA junior national team Claire Tuggle who got away with the fastest time. Tuggle led the field with almost 12 seconds and touched in 8: 43.97. Although she finished well ahead of her competitors, she was still way behind her personal best, an 8: 38.55 that won the event at the 2019 National Junior Championships.

The rest of the field behind Tuggle was much closer at times, with four seconds between the next two finishers. Mattea Sokolov and Abigail O’Sullivan. Sokolov touched in 8: 55.42 while O’Sullivan stopped the clock in 8: 59.88.

The youngest participant in the field, 12 years old, just landed on the podium in the race Kayla Han. Han shaved nearly 4 seconds from her best in the event and touched in 9: 02.82. Despite the loss of time, she is still the eleventh fastest performer in the 11-12 age group that has ever existed. Only four girls have fallen below the 9:00 mark in history, including in the 11-12 year old age group Claire Tuggle, which is in 3rd place.

It was free for men in 1500 Matthew Chai of the Fullerton Aquatic Sports Team who posted the fastest time. The 17-year-old won by over 18 seconds and touched in 15: 47.11. While Chai was the only participant to finish the race below 4pm, he was still way behind his best time of 15: 39.65 from the beginning of the year. At the time, Chai is currently among the top 20 American artists at this year’s event.

Parker Reynolds and Ethan Wang rounded out the top 3 of the event, with Reynolds finishing in 16: 05.39 and Wang in 16: 07.72.

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