A month after we saw three 13 year-old swimmers earn Olympic Trials cuts, Abigail Arens of the Marlins of Raleigh has added her name to that impressive list. Arens earned her cut in the 200 breast this morning while swimming at the Greensboro Futures Championship meet. Her time of 2:34.15 was well under the Olympic Trials cut of 2:34.99. She knocked over six seconds off her previous best time, a 2:40.64, from just two months ago.
That time also places her 37th all time in 13-14 age group. The National Age Group record in this event is held by none other than Olympian Amanda Beard. The record, a 2:25.75, was Beard’s silver medal-winning time at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, where Beard garnered quite a bit attention not only for her accomplishments in the pool, but also for carrying her teddy bear with her on the pool deck. Only one swimmer, Allie Szekely, has come within a second of Beard’s record in the 19 years since those Games.
Yesterday, Arens swam a 1:11.89 in the 100 breast, only .4 off of the Olympic Trials cut for that event, as well as a time that puts her into the top 50 all-time in the age group. At only 13, she’ll have a whole more year, including next year’s Olympic Trials, to continue to improve her ranking in those events.