Patterned after the Pan Pacific Championships, the meet is an opportunity for younger swimmers to experience an international swimming competition.
Prelims begin each morning at 9 a.m., with finals contested at 5 p.m. Maui is five hours behind eastern standard time.
Since the inception of the program in 1989, the National Junior Team has produced a total of 47 Olympians, and at least one former National Junior Team member has qualified for every U.S. Olympic Team since 1989. In 2004, 23 members of the Olympic Team were Junior Team alumni, and five won individual medals, including: Natalie Coughlin, Ian Crocker, Brendan Hansen, Ryan Lochte and Erik Vendt.
Here are a few stories to follow next weekend in Maui:
The Junior Team Legacy - Members of the U.S. National Junior Team have routinely gone on to compete at high-level international competitions, including the Olympic Games. Since the first team in 1989, 47 Olympians (10 percent of the alumni) are Junior Team alumni. Of that number, 27 are Olympic medalists.
A Rising Star - Junior Teamer Scott Flowers (Riverside, Calif. / FAST) has already qualified for eight events for the 2008 Olympic Trials. And, as one of the more versatile athletes on the team, he has the potential to bring home a medal haul. A member of the 2007 Pan American Games team, he captured four medals at the 2006 FINA World Youth Championships in August, two of which were gold.
Cory Chitwood (Union, Ky. / Northern Kentucky Clippers) also has the potential to dominate in his signature events: the 100 and 200 backstroke. The 17-year-old won both events at the 2005 Speedo Junior National Championships, and captured gold this summer in the 200m back at the World Youth Championships.
Depth on the Womens Team - Two women on the 2007 National Junior Team will compete for Team USA at the 2007 Pan American Games in July in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Kirsten Groome (Baltimore, Md. / North Baltimore) will compete in the 400m freestyle in Rio, and Allison Schmitt (Canton, Mich. / Club Wolverine) will swim on the 4x200m free relay.
Groome, who trained alone in her backyard from age 8 until she was 15, got her first Olympic Trials cut just after she turned 13. Now, in addition to her pool accomplishments, the 16-year-old has also become adept in the open water. She took first in the 5K at the 2006 Open Water National Championships, and narrowly missed a medal in the 5K at the FINA Open Water World Championships, placing fourth.
North Baltimore teammate Felicia Lee (Towson, Md.) is also one to watch, particularly in the 100m butterfly. The 14-year-old, who is the youngest member of the 2007 Junior Team, won the 100m fly at the 2006 Spring Championships as a 13-year-old.
The Hometown Connection - Christel Simms will travel a much shorter distance than most of the athletes swimming at the meet a quick flight from the island of Honolulu to Maui. Simms currently lives in Ewa Beach and swims for Hawaii Swimming Club. With all of the water surrounding her home state, it comes as no surprise that one of her favorite hobbies outside of the pool is surfing.
The Captains - At the National Junior Team Camp in October, the mens team selected Flowers, Robert Looney (Shreveport, La. / City of Shreveport Swim Team) and Geoffrey Sanders (Raleigh, N.C. / New Wave Swim Team) to serve as team captains. Groome, Spindrift Beck (Dallas, Texas / Dallas Mustangs) and Mattea Perrotta (El Segundo, Calif. / Trojan) are the captains of the women's team.
They Come From Far And Wide - Eleven countries will be represented at the meet, including: United States, Australia, China, Japan, Canada, Bermuda, New Zealand, Mexico, Guam, El Salvador and Costa Rica.
A Look Back At 2005 - Team USA finished third in the medal count at the inaugural event in 2005 with 28 medals. Australia took first place in the team standings, and Japan was second. American Matt Patton (Charlotte, N.C.) was the Male High Point winner after collecting three medals in the distance freestyle events.