Thirty-eight swimmers will represent ‘Team USA’ at the World Aquatics Junior Swimming Championships in Netanya, with Daniel Diehl and Leah Hayes the two standout stars on an impressively strong roster.
Diehl was close to selection for the senior team for the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka after a strong showing in the 200m Backstroke at the U.S. National Championships.
His career-best time of 1:56.04 in the final put him just half a second outside qualification, with the 17-year-old also posting a career-best time in the 100m Freestyle earlier in the meet clocking a 49.23 in the heats.
Diehl has continued this form into his most recent outing, the YMCA National Championships in North Carolina last month, where he returned five gold medals and swum within a second of his all-time best in the 100m Freestyle, 100m Backstroke and 200m Individual Medley.
The Maryland-based swimmer will have a big program in Israel, swimming all three distances in his pet event the Backstroke, while also tackling the 100m Freestyle and 200m Individual Medley.
Diehl has been a promising prospect since emerging onto the scene in 2020, with many likening him to Ryan Murphy - who he has erased from the USA’s junior record books in the 100m Backstroke.
On the women's roster, all eyes will be on Leah Hayes who missed Fukuoka selection in the 200m Individual Medley to Kate Douglass and Alex Walsh despite winning Bronze in that event at the Budapest World Aquatics Championships in 2022.
In Netanya, Hayes will race the 100m Freestyle, 200m Individual Medley, and 400m Individual Medley, and should feature in at least two of the girls’ relays.
The United States of America has a strong female roster with Hayes one of six swimmers listed for three individual events, alongside Piper Enge, Bailey Hartman, Teagan O’Dell, Erika Pelaez and Molly Sweeney.
TOP JUNIOR PERFORMERS | Phillips 66 U.S. National Championships (27 June – 2 July 2023)
Daniel Diehl: 100m Freestyle (50.87), 100m Backstroke (54.02), 200m Backstroke (1:56.04), 200m Individual Medley (2:02.33)
Leah Hayes: 100m Freestyle (55.38), 200m Freestyle (1:58.86), 200m Individual Medley (2:10.42), 400m Individual Medley (4:38.45)
Can Daniel Diehl or Leah Hayes complete a clean sweep of individual events for Team USA? Stay tuned to worldaquatics.com from the 4th September for daily updates from the World Aquatics Junior Swimming Championships.