13-Year-Old Jason Zhao Hits 56.9/2:05.1 Breaststrokes At Ohio 18U Champs

2020 Ohio OSI 18U Winter Champs – Combined

  • December 11-13, 2020
  • Multi-site
    • Powel Crosley YMCA, Cincinnati, OH.
    • Miami University, Oxford, OH.
  • SCY (25y)
  • PDF Results

Blue Ash YMCA Swim Team’s Jason Zhao was among the major highlights of the Ohio 18 & Under Winter Championships over the weekend, as he produced the fastest time in the country for 13-year-olds across two events in 2020.

The meet was contested across two different sites — the Powel Crosley, Jr. YMCA in Cincinnati and Miami University in Oxford — with results combined at the end of the weekend.

Zhao, competing in Cincinnati, churned out a time of 56.93 in the boys’ 100 breaststroke, vaulting him into a tie for 24th all-time in the 13-14 age group. The swim took almost three full seconds off his previous best of 59.84, set in January, and marks the only 13-year-old to crack the 58-second barrier this calendar year — let alone 57 seconds.

Zhao, who will turn 14 on December 19, also dropped almost seven seconds in the 200 breast, clocking 2:05.11 to take over the top spot in the country and move into 65th all-time amongst 13-14s. He also moved to #2 in the U.S. among 13-year-olds in the 200 IM (1:54.96), trailing only Thomas Heilman (1:52.80), and also hit a best of 53.33 in the 100 fly.


Also having a notable performance in the boys’ breaststroke events was 15-year-old Grant Gooding of the Upper Arlington Swim Club, who won the event in 55.26. Not only does the swim mark Gooding’s first time under 56 seconds, but is also sneaks him into the top-100 all-time in the 15-16 age group (98th).

Greater Toledo Aquatic Club member Scotty Buff had a standout performance to win the boys’ 100 back, as the 16-year-old dropped a personal best time of 48.22 to move into 53rd all-time amongst 15-16s.

New Albany Aquatic Club’s Spencer Aurnou-Rhees, 16, picked up a pair of overall wins in the 200 free (1:38.44) and 200 IM (1:48.62), both best times. His 200 IM narrowly missed cracking the age group’s top-100. He also broke 4:00 for the first time in the 400 IM, registering a time of 3:53.50 to place second overall behind Buckeye Swim Club’s Zach Ward (3:51.61).

In addition tp Aurnou-Rhees, 17-year-olds Avery Voss of Upper Arlington and Carl Bloebaum of the Mason Manta Rays also picked up two wins apiece.

Voss topped the field in the 50 free (20.52) and 100 free (44.82), while Bloebaum led the way in the 100 fly (47.58) and 200 fly (1:47.43).


New Albany’s Martina Peroni was dominant in winning four events on the girls’ side, as the 17-year-old claimed the 100 fly (54.60), 200 fly (1:57.85), 200 IM (2:00.46) and 400 IM (4:14.48), all in personal best fashion.

Her teammate Nyah Funderburke, also 17, had the top female swim of the competition as far as power points go, delivering a 54.14 in the 100 backstroke to take half a second off her best time.

16-year-old Mason Manta Ray Jessey Li won the 100 breaststroke in a time of 1:01.34, just shy of her 1:00.85 best time set one week earlier at the Rays’ Start of Winter Slam. That performance ranks Li 43rd all-time in the girls’ 15-16 age group.

The only female swimmer other than Peroni to win multiple events was another New Albany swimmer, Carly Meeting, who put up the top time in both the 200 free (1:50.54) and 200 back (2:01.41). Her 200 back swim was notably a personal best time by over 11 seconds.

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PA swimmer
1 year ago

No mention of the number one 13-14 100 breaststroker in the nation, Jake Wang, who went a 56.77 at the MA 18u champs over the weekend?

IL Swim Mom
Reply to  PA swimmer
1 year ago

I think this article is about 13 year olds. Jake Wang is 14 and obviously an amazing swimmer but the 56 sec time is outstanding for a 13 year old!

1 year ago

Notably, 56.93 is the 3rd fastest time in history for 13 year old boys, ahead of Michael Andrew and just behind Reece Whitley and Ethan Dang. 2:05.11 is also 3rd all time for 13 year olds, again behind Whitley and Dang (though by almost 5 seconds.)

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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