2018 Swammy Awards: Age Group Swimmer of the Year – 13-14

To see all of our 2018 Swammy Awards presented by TYR, click here.

2018 Honorees: Charlotte Hook and Tona Zinn

13-14 Girls

Charlotte Hook – TAC Titans (Cary, North Carolina)

Hook left her mark on the 13-14 age group in indelible ink during 2018. Not only was she the sole individual National Age Group Record-breaker of the year (200-yard butterfly), but she also took down a relay NAG with TAC Titans teammates Brooke Zettel, Claire Curzan and Elena Dry. The quartet swam at the 2018 TYR ISCA Junior Championship Cup and broke the girls’ 13-14 200-yard medley relay National Age Group Record with a time of 1:42.25, erasing a previous record of 1:42.77 set by the Aquajets Swim Team in 2012. Hook won the 200 IM at that meet and was runner-up in the 200 fly. Showing off the breadth of her talent, she also made A finals in the 100 back and 200 breast and B finals in the 200 back, 100 breast, and 100 fly.

After winning nearly every back, breast, fly, and IM event at North Carolina Long Course Age Group Championships, Hook went on to compete at 2018 U.S. Nationals, one of only a handful of 14-year-olds at the meet. There, she placed 25th in the 100m back (1:02.12) and 17th in the 200m fly (2:11.09), earning PBs in both events.

Hook ended the year at 2018 Winter Nationals and Speedo Juniors East scoring PBs in the 100/200 back, 200 fly, and 200/400 IM and breaking the 13-14 National Age Group Record in the 200y fly. Swimming at Winter Nationals, she came in third in the 200m fly. The following weekend she took nearly a full second off her 200y fly PB to become the first 13-14 girl to break the 1:56 barrier. Her 1:55.67 in finals gave her the gold medal at the East meet, the third time overall in the combined East/West meets, and the NAG.

At year-end, Hook was the fastest 13-14 girl for 2018 in the 200y fly, 200/400y IM, and 100m back. She was 2nd in the 200m fly and 200m IM, 3rd in the 400m IM, and among the top-10 in the 100/200y back, 200m back, 200y breast, and 100y fly. She was the #1 13-year-old and the #3 14-year-old in IMX scores for the 2017-18 short-course season, and she finished 3rd in the 2018 IMX long course season.

200 fly SCY 1:55.67 12/7/2018

With a month left to go in the 13-14 girls’ age group, Hook ranks #14 all-time in SCY 100 back, #38 in the 200 back, #74 in the 100 breast, #36 in the 200 breast, #36 in the 100 fly, #1 in the 200 fly, #3 in the 200 IM, and #4 in the 400 IM. In LCM she is #16 in the 100 back, #41 in the 200 back, #7 in the 200 fly, #5 in the 200 IM, and #23 in the 400 IM.


Claire Tuggle – Clovis Swim Club (Clovis, California): Tuggle did everything *but* break a National Age Group Record in 2018. She continued to establish herself as one of the fastest freestylers in 13-14 history, finishing the year at the top of the 2018 list in the 200/500/1000y free, 100/200/400/800m free, and 200/400m IM. She was #2 in the 1500 free, #6 in the 200m breast, and #9 in the 100y free. Tuggle placed 15th in the 200m free and 11th in the 400m free at Phillips 66 Nationals this summer, thus earning a berth on the U.S. Team at 2018 Junior Pan Pacific Championships. There, she claimed gold in the 200m free and silver in the 400m free and was a member of the meet record-breaking 800 free relay. Between the two, she swam at Speedo Junior Nationals and won the 400 free, 200 IM, and 400 IM and was runner-up in the 200 free.

Tuggle ranked #1 in IMX scores for 14-year-old during the 2018 LCM season; she was the #2 13-year-old for the 2017-18 SCY season.

With another 6-and-a-half months to go before aging out of the 13/14s, Tuggle already appears 13 times on the all-time top-100 lists: SCY 100 free (52nd), 200 free (2nd), 500 free (5th), 1000 free (13th), and 400 IM (47th); and LCM 100 free (7th), 200 free (2nd), 400 free (4th), 800 free (10th), 1500 free (75th), 200 breast (46th), 200 IM (2nd), and 400 IM (4th).

Honorable Mention

In alphabetical order:

  • Claire Curzan – TAC Titans (Cary, North Carolina): Curzan showed how versatile she is finishing the year as the top-ranked 13/14 girl for 2018 in six free, back, and fly events: 50y free, 50m free, 100/200y back, 100y fly, and 100m fly. She won the 200 back and 100 fly at 2018 Winter Juniors East and was 3rd in the 50 free, 16th in the 100 free, and 6th in the 100 back. With another 7 months left in the age group, she is #2 all-time in the SCY 50 free, #47 in the 100 free, #4 in the 100 back, #5 in the 200 back, #2 in the 100 fly, and #22 in the 200 fly. She is also #4 in the LCM 50 free, #26 in the 100 back, and #5 in the 100 fly.
  • Justina Kozan – Brea Aquatics (Brea, California): Kozan is another young swimmer who excels in a variety of events: free, back, fly, and IM. She competed at Summer Nationals and Summer Juniors (where she won the 200m fly on Day 1), and more recently at Winter Juniors West, but her best times came from local meets. She produced a slew of best times at the Kevin Perry Invitational this fall, for example, including 50/100/200 free, 100/200 fly, and 200 IM, earning all national time standards. Kozan ranks #7 all-time in the SCY 100 free, #4 in the 200 free, #3 in the 100 fly, #4 in the 200 fly, #7 in the 200 IM, and #39 in the 400 IM. In LCM, she is #23 in the 100 free, #27 in the 200 free, #6 in the 100 fly, #5 in the 200 fly, #21 in the 200 IM, and #54 in the 400 IM. Kozan leads the nation in IMX scores for the 2018-19 season thus far.

13-14 Boys

Tona Zinn – SOCAL Aquatics Association (Tustin, California)

Zinn came a long way in 2018. While still 13 years of age in March, he competed at Carlsbad Sectionals and made the A finals of the 400 IM (7th) and the 200 IM and the B final of the 200 fly. He finished 71st in the high-point rankings with 43.5 points (and would have been higher if not for a DQ in the 200 IM final). From there he went on to Southern California Junior Olympics and improved on his 2-week-old PBs, winning the 100 breast, 200 IM, and 400 IM and coming in second in the 100 fly and 200 fly.

Zinn followed up with a very solid summer. He won the 200 IM and was runner-up in the 200 fly at Santa Clara Futures, and closed out the summer ranked #1 for the year in the 200 fly and 200 IM. He also demonstrated versatility by finishing 3rd among 14-year-olds in IMX scores for the 2018 LCM season. Over the course of the summer he improved in leaps and bounds and climbed the all-time ranking lists, as evidenced below:

Event All-time 13/14 ranking PB 2017 PB 2018
100m fly 38th 1:02.49 57.14
200m fly 13th 2:15.38 2:05.11
200m IM 3rd 2:15.86 2:06.46
400m IM 17th 4:57.85 4:33.70

This fall, Zinn has continued to improve. He competed at Winter Juniors West, making the B final in the 200 IM and the C final of the 400 IM. He finished the year with the top 200y IM time for his age group and was ranked #2 in the 400y IM, #3 in the 200y fly, #3 in the 400m IM, #5 in the 100y breast, and #5 in the 100m fly.

Zinn is within 0.99 of Tyler Lu’s National Age Group Record in the 400y IM, a mark set in January 2018 with 3:51.54. With another 3 months to improve his positioning before aging out of the 13/14s, Zinn is already on 5 all-time top-100 lists for SCY:

Event All-time 13/14 ranking PB 2017 PB 2018
100y breast 49th 59.88 57.58
100y fly 90th 52.42 50.68
200y fly 11th 1:53.61 1:49.84
200y IM 4th 1:55.55 1:49.32
400y IM 4th 4:10.67 3:52.53


Josh Zuchowski, Flood Aquatics Swim Team (Jupiter, Florida): Zuchowski is another 14-year-old with 3 months left in the age category with which he can still do some damage. He closed out 2018 with the #1 time in the 200y back, #2 in the 100y back and 200m back, #3 in the 200y IM and 400y IM, #5 in the 100m back, #6 in the 400m IM, and #7 in the 100m fly. He was ranked concurrently #1 for 13-year-olds and #3 for 14-year-olds in IMX scores during the 2017-18 SCY season. Of all the 13/14s who ranked in the top-10 of an event at year-end, Zuchowski was the only one to average over 1000 power points for his swims. At the Florida Gold Coast JOs this summer, he won every event he swam and took home new times in the LCM 50/100/200 free, 50/200 back, 100 fly, and 400 IM.

As a freshman at Kings Academy this fall, he won the 100 back (49.20) and was runner-up in the 200 IM (1:50.21) at Florida High School Class 1A Championships. Zuchowski capped off a stellar year with new PBs in the 100 breast, 100 back, and 200 back at 2018 Winter Juniors East.

Zuchowski currently sits at #6 all-time in the boys’ 13-14 100y back. He is #8 in the 200y back, #6 in the 200 IM, and #10 in the 400 IM. In LCM he ranks #36 in the 100m back, #9 in the 200m back, #47 in the 100m fly, and #46 in the 400m IM.

Honorable Mention

  • Lance Norris, Rocky Mount Family YMCA (Rocky Mount, North Carolina): Norris was one of the top distance swimmers in the age category this year. He swam at YMCA Short Course Nationals in April and placed 10th in the 1650 free, 14th in the 1000, and 21st in the 400 IM. At Cary Futures this summer, he finished 3rd in the 1500 free and finaled in the 100/200 back and 200/400 IM. Norris was ranked 2nd in IMX scores for 14-year-olds during the LCM season. He finished 2018 with the fastest 800m free time, the #2 1500m free, #3 400m free and 200m back, #4 500/1000y free and 200/400m IM, and #6 1650y free, 200m free, and 100m back. Norris’ name appears 12 times on the all-time top-100 lists, including #12 in the 200m back and #20 in the 400m IM.
  • Braeden Haughey, TAC Titans (Cary, North Carolina): Like Norris, Haughey stood out among his peers at the longer end of the event range. He notched the leading times for 2018 in the 500y free, 400m free, and 200m back and was 2nd in the 200y back and 800m free. He also had top-10 swims in the 200m free (#4), 1650 free (#5), 100m free (#5), 400m IM (#5), and 100m back (#8). Haughey wrapped up his year competing at Winter Juniors East in the 200/500/1650 free, 200 back, and 400 IM. He has 12 all-time top-100 swims to his name, including #5 200m back, #7 400m free, #13 200y back, and #25 400m IM.


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Queens Aquatic Club
4 years ago

Tona trained with our club while on vacation in NYC. He and his father are humble, kind and a joy to have. Never were Tona’s accomplishments mentioned in our discussions of dropping in over New Years week. When I looked him up in SWIMS I knew that we could probably squeeze him in. LOL. The one thing that stands out are his turns. The saying perfect practice makes perfect applies to his turns 100%. Not one from warm-up to warm-down was taken off. All crisp, fast and beautiful to watch. BEST OF LUCK TONA!! The added toughness you found while in Queens, NY will make all the difference!! 😀

bobo gigi
4 years ago

Happy New Year to swimswam!

And talking about Claire Tuggle, I see no trace of her name in the USA swimming database since the last junior pan pacs. She hasn’t raced since last summer.

4 years ago

Love to see some many great age groupers coming out of NC.

Reply to  Swammer
4 years ago

Especially if it means the comment section isn’t full of NC swimming parents and coaches arguing about nonsense and just appreciating the great swimming in the state!

4 years ago


About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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