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UPDATE: Abbey Weitzeil wins junior championship in 50 free

Posted: August 9, 2013 11:02 p.m.
Updated: August 9, 2013 11:02 p.m.

Saugus swimmer Abbey Weitzeil, shown here in 2012, won the junior national championship in the 50-meter freestyle.

 

 

Abbey Weitzeil’s week didn’t get off to as great start as she would have wanted at the 2013 Speedo Junior National Championships in Irvine, held from Aug. 5 to 9 — but it certainly ended that way.

Weitzeil finished above her personal best time in the 100-meter freestyle and took home a fifth place finish in the event with a time of 56.22 seconds to open the week — which wasn’t good enough to make the junior national team for the upcoming world championships in Dubai.

She also qualified for the swimming World Cup series.

“The first day was really hard, just because I had lost my spot. It was a really disappointing day but then (coach Coley Stickels) kept telling me my meet’s not over and I have to move on and I did and my 50 came out great.”

Great is an understatement.

Weitzeil became the first Canyons Aquatic Club swimmer to win a junior title since Hart graduate and 2000 Olympic gold medalist Anthony Ervin.

Her winning time of 25.27 seconds on Friday was just .04 seconds off the meet record time set by another 2012 gold medalist, Missy Franklin, in 2009.

And with each crowning achievement, Weitzeil’s expectations for herself continue to grow.

“They do. Just to know I’m be able to do those things and it makes you think, Now I have to move on. What else can I do. It makes you wonder and believe that you can do more.”

The FINA World Junior Swimming Championships are scheduled to take place from Aug. 26-31 in Dubai — but uncertainty could prevent Weitzeil and her teammates from making the trip.

After the United States closed 19 embassies and consulates across the Middle East and Africa, including one in Dubai, USA Swimming announced it is monitoring the siutation in the country, according to Swimswam.com.

Eighteen of the 19 U.S. embassies and consulates that were closed because of a terrorist threat will reopen Sunday, the State Department said.

But Weitzeil said she hasn’t been given any indication whether the team will in fact make the trip.

“It would be pretty disappointing, but not too disappointing becasue I did make the world cup,” she said.

 

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