16-Year Old Emma Wheal Swims 25.4 in 50 Free at Texas Senior Circuit

2018 Texas Senior Circuit Long Course Meet #1

  • June 1st-3rd, 2018
  • Dallas Mustangs hosted, SMU Robson-Lindley Aquatic Center and Bahr-McMillion Natatorium
  • Meet Results on Meet Mobile “2018 NT DM Senior Circuit #1 LC Meet”

The first of two Texas Senior Circuit meets for the 2018 season were hosted at SMU’s new aquatics facility last weekend. The series is designed to act as a meet for the state’s top club, college, and pro-aged swimmers that gives them a Sectionals-level of competition without leaving the state. Qualifying times for the meet are the same as Sectional standards.

Among the biggest revelations at the meet is 16-year old Emma Wheal from the Western Hills Athletic Club – a University of Virginia commit (high school class of 2019). Wheal won the 50 free by more than six-tenths of a second in a field where the 2nd-through-5th place finishers are all current swimmers at NCAA top 10 teams Texas and Texas A&M.

Wheal’s best time coming into the meet was 26.24, and she dropped that to a 25.48. That ranks her 13th all-time among American 15-16s, just behind Gretchen Walsh’s swim from Mel Zajac this weekend. Behind the 15-year old Walsh, she’s the second-fastest American junior in the event this season.

She also swam 58.00 in the 100 free and 1:02.84 in the 100 fly, though neither of those were best times.

Other Noteworthy Results:

  • 17-year old Texas A&M freshman Jing Quah, a Singapore native, won the 100 fly (1:01.72) and 200 fly (2:16.47).
  • 16-year old Jack Grieshop, younger brother of National Team swimmer Sean Grieshop, finished 3rd in the 400 free in 4:17.27, which dropped his lifetime best by more than 6 seconds.
  • Texas undergrad Jordan Wheeler took 3rd in the 50 free, swimming a lifetime best of 26.19.
  • Nitro 16-year old Dominic Toledo Sanchez won the men’s 200 free in 1:57.49, which knocked a second off his previous lifetime best. His 15-year old teammate Corby Furrer took 2nd in 1:58.08.

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Isn’t it Western Hills Aquatic Club and not West Houston?

Swimming Fan

Point of note – and I have no idea or opinion as to whether or not it had any impact on times – all 50 FR races in the meet were whistle starts from the official’s whistle due to a technical difficulty.


Not sure how the whistle start would affect things but it does seem like a bit of an aberration over her best SCY time conversion and LCM time. But maybe she had the swim of her life, and good on her. Could look to see how the rest of the heat did relative to their best times to get a sense. Was everyone dropping time like they did at Liberty U for ISCA?


Looking at meet mobile, 5 of top 8 and 12 of top 16 added time, and she had by far the biggest improvement, so it does not appear to be an LU/daktronics type situation.

Swimming Fan

There’s no doubt she was fast. She smoked the fastest seeded heat swimming out of Lane 2. However, for that heat only, the times did not post on the scoreboard. Interestingly, for the men’s races, the times for many of the heats were adjusted downward a while after they were first posted on Meet Mobile. I don’t know if this happened with women’s heats as well. A bit of a strange meet. In long course configuration, the new SMU pool has no warm down pool or lanes. So they built in 10 minute breaks. The other oddity was that a number of teams had their swimmers suited up for the meet (it was timed finals only) so swimmer to swimmer… Read more »

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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