Manvel High School graduate Jack Armstrong was named to the U.S. team’s final roster for the 2019 FINA World Junior Championships, which will be held Aug. 20-25 in Budapest, Hungary. The event will feature the world’s best under-18 swimmers competing at the state-of-the-art Danube Arena.
The 45 talented swimmers hail from 39 clubs across 19 different states. Emerging talents such as U.S. National Team members Luca Urlando (Sacramento, California./DART Swimming) and Chase Travis (Warren, N.J./Somerset Valley YMCA) will look to showcase their talents on the world stage. Urlando and National Junior Team teammate Carson Foster (Montgomery, Ohio/Mason Manta Rays) will have the fullest slate of events in Budapest, competing in five races each.
Armstrong closed his high school career as the most decorated swim medalist in Manvel Maverick history. The Auburn University signee not only swam to victories in the both the 50-and 100-yard freestyles at the UIL state meet in Austin for the second straight year last spring, Armstrong delivered gold medal record-breaking efforts in both events.
Armstrong wasted little time making his presence felt in the 50-yard prelims, completing the race in a blistering 20.10 seconds to top Brooks Powell, of Kingwood Park’s old mark of 20.28 in 2012.
The Manvel senior then maintained his dominance over Powell’s record in the finals, finishing in 20.20 seconds to beat out silver medalist Alex Wallett, of Corpus Christi Flour Bluff (20.83) and co-bronze medalists Richmond Foster’s Trent Cook and Peter Palus (20.99), of Highland Park.
As impressive as his 50 free exploits were, though, Armstrong turned it up an even higher notch for his gold medal in the 100 free. He not only shattered his own 2018 state record of 44.57 seconds in the event, Armstrong’s 43.96 performance was over two seconds lower than silver medalist William Corona (46.05), of Georgetown. Aledo’s Elijah Sohn (46.22) finished with the bronze.
“As we look at the teams we put together, we see swimmers that are already close to or breaking world junior records,” Team USA men’s head coach Billy Doughty said. “The youth coming up through United States swimming is pretty exciting.”
Added Team USA women’s head coach Crystal Keelan: “There’s a lot of fast kids out there, but some of the swims [by junior athletes] have been a little bit shocking and pretty exciting. We’re looking forward to seeing what they can do in international competition against the world’s best.”