Carmel’s Alex Shackell beat a woman more than twice her age to become the world’s fastest 14-year-old flyer, and Fishers’ JoJo Ramey affirmed her status among the world’s top backstrokers in the Speedo Summer 1 Championships at Greensboro, N.C.
Last week’s East and West meets replaced USA Swimming’s end-of-summer championships because they were so close to the Tokyo Olympics.
Shackell won the East’s 100-meter butterfly in 59.61 seconds. That tops the world for her age in 2021, according to a database of FINA, world governing body for aquatic sports. Her pre-meet best of 1:00.63 was already an Indiana record for girls 13-14.
Leah Gingrich, 31, an Olympic Trials semifinalist, finished second in 59.72.
Shackell will be a freshman at Carmel High School.
She became No. 3 on the all-time U.S. list in her age group behind Claire Curzan, 58.61 in 2019, and Kendyl Stewart, 59.51 in 2009. And Shackell moved ahead of “Madam Butterfly,” Mary T. Meagher, who set what was then an American record of 59.71 in 1979.
Meagher won three gold medals at the 1984 Olympics, and Curzan won a relay silver at Tokyo.
(It should be noted Shackell is more than two seconds behind a 15-year-old, Lana Pudar of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Pudar was 19th at Tokyo in 58.32 and has a best of 57.37.)
Shackell set an Indiana record of 2:14.46 in finishing fourth in the 200 butterfly. She swam fly on the Carmel Swim Club team that was second in the 400 medley relay in 4:09.02, near the 15-18 national record of 4:08.39. Madelyn Christman, Devon Kitchel and Gretchen Leucking were the three other swimmers.
Ramey, 16, won the 200 backstroke in 2:09.34, or faster than her time in finishing seventh at the Olympic Trials. Her best of 2:08.90 ranks 17th in the world, and first among 16-and-under.
There were five native Hoosiers on the U.S. Olympic team (second to California’s seven), and Indiana University swimmers collected 10 medals in Tokyo. Even without Olympians, there was a strong showing by Hoosiers in Greensboro.
IU’s Mackenzie Looze was a quadruple champion, sweeping the breaststrokes and individual medleys. She is the daughter of Hoosiers coach Ray Looze.
“It was amazing to watch my teammates in Tokyo,” she told USA Swimming. “I think I bawled my eyes out every single time they won a medal.”
IU’s Franzman, Burns are champions
>> IU’s Jack Franzman, of Zionsville, won the 50 freestyle in 22.29. That time would have qualified for semifinals at Olympic Trials. “This by no means has been a perfect meet or perfect season, but I got to cap it off in a fantastic way,” he said.
>> IU’s Brendan Burns won the 200 freestyle in 1:49.27 and was second in the 100 free in 49.86. “I’ve really focused on my freestyle this summer a lot more after trials,” he said. “I haven’t been training that much butterfly, which is my primary stroke, and I just wanted to branch out and do some other things.”
>> The Notre Dame-bound Christman was ninth in the 100 freestyle in 55.59, which would have been fourth in the “A” final. Her leadoff 1:00.82 in the medley relay ranks 14th among Americans in the 100 backstroke. She was third in the 200 backstroke and 200 IM.
>> Lexie Ward, another Carmel 14-year-old, was fourth in the 400 freestyle in 4:18.16 — .05 behind Gingrich. Ward broke a 37-year-old Indiana record and ranks No. 3 in that age group this year.
>> Ohio State was East champion with 808.5 points. SwimMAC Carolina was second with 565, Carmel third with 480 and Indiana Swim Club fourth with 411.5. In women’s scoring, Ohio State was first with 426 and Carmel second with 321.
Contact IndyStar reporter David Woods at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @DavidWoods007.