2019 Swammy Awards: Age Group Swimmer of the Year – 10 & Under

To see all of our 2019 Swammy Awards, click here.

2019 Honorees: Kayla Han and Joey Campagnola

10 & Under Girls

Kayla Han – Brea Aquatics (Brea, California)

Han, who had ended 2018 with a 10-and-under National Age Group record in the 200 IM (2:13.33) at last December’s Southern California Swimming Winter Age Group Championships, continued apace for the first five months of 2019. While still 10 years old, she lowered her own NAG in the 200y IM three times, to settle at 2:11.99 in March. She also broke the NAG record in the 500y free with 5:13.45 in January. And she kicked off long course season with a NAG record in the 200m IM, going 2:28.70 at Speedo Grand Challenge.

500 free SCY 5:13.45 1/19/19
200 IM SCY 2:13.01 2/16/19
200 IM SCY 2:12.24 3/17/19 (p)
200 IM SCY 2:11.99 3/17/19 (f)
200 IM LCM 2:28.70 5/26/19

Although she aged into the 11/12s in June, Han managed to finish the year with 18 top-10 times for the 10-and-under age group. She was #1 in the SCY 200/500 free and 200 IM and the LCM 200/400 free and 200 IM. She ranked #2 in the 100y free, 100y IM, 50/100m free, 100m breast, and 100m fly; #3 in the 100y breast and 100y fly; #4 in the 50y free; #5 in the 50m fly; #9 in the 100y back; and #10 in the 50y fly.

Han had the top IMX scores among 10-year-olds for the 2018-19 SCY season and for the 2019 LCM season. She was also the #1 11-year-old in IMX rankings for 2019 LCM.

Han moved to La Mirada Armada in October. As an 11-year-old, she is so far ranked 3rd for the 2019-20 SCY season in the 400y IM, 8th in the 200y IM, and 9th in the 500y free. She cracked the top-100 list for 11-12 400y IM at CA-NV Sectionals in December, vaulting to #36 with 4:28.87. She finished 2019 with the #6 girls 11-12 400m IM time in the nation for the season.


Raquel Maldonado – Chicago Wolfpack Aquatic Club (Chicago, IL): Maldonado aged up before the summer but she still finished the year with 14 top-ten performances for 10-and-under girls. She was the 2nd-ranked 10-year-old for the 2018-19 SCY season in IMX scores.

Maldonado maintained the #1 rankings until the end of the year for 10-and-unders in the SCY 50/100 free, 50 back and 100 fly, and the LCM 50/100 free and 50/100 fly. She finished #2 in the 200y free and 100y back, #3 in the 50y fly and 100y IM, #5 in the 500y free, and #10 in the 100y breast.

Honorable Mention

In alphabetical order:

  • Victoria Mori – Beach Cities Swimming-CA: Mori put up 11 top-10 performances, including the #1 times for the year in the 100y breast and 100m breast. She was #2 in the 100y fly, 200y IM, and 400m free; #3 in the 500y free, 50m breast, and 200m IM; #5 in the 50y breast; #7 in the 200y free; and #9 in the 100m fly. She wrapped up the 2018-19 SCY season with the #3 IMX score for 10-year-old girls and the #3 IMX score for 11-year-olds in the LCM season.
  • Lexi Sereno – Pacific Swim-SI: Sereno was only 9 years old for the first eight months of the year, but she was nonetheless one of the top performers in the 10-and-under age group during 2019. In IMX rankings, Sereno was the #1 9-year-old for the 2018-19 SCY season and the #2 10-year-old for the LCM season. She finished 4th in the 200y IM; 6th in the 50/100y free, 100y fly, and 100m fly; 7th in the 100y IM; 8th in the 200y free and 100y back; and 9th in the 100m free.

10 & Under Boys

Joey Campagnola – West Florida Lightning Aquatic (Largo, FL)

Campagnola was the top performer in the 10-and-under age group throughout 2019, notching 18 top-10 times in 23 possible events. He was the #1 10-year-old in IMX rankings for the 2019 long-course season and finished the year with the fastest times in five events: the 100/200/400m free and 50/100m back. He was 2nd in the 500y free and 50m fly; 3rd in the 50m free and 200m IM; 4th in the 200y IM; 5th in the 200y free and 50y back; 6th in the 100y free; 7th in the 50y free and 100y back; and 8th in the 50y fly, 100y IM, and 100m fly.

Since turning 11 this fall, Campagnola has already improved his PBs in the 50/100/200y free, 100y back, and 100y fly.


Luka Mijatovic – Santa Clara Swim Club (Santa Clara, CA): Mijatovic didn’t swim his first race as a 10-year-old until the month of May but he was still one of the top performers in the 10-and-under age group throughout 2019. He had 17 top-10 performances, 7 of which were done as a 9-year-old. Mijatovic wrapped up 2019 with the top time in the 200m IM and was 2nd in the 100m back; 3rd in the 200y free, 50y back, 100y breast, 400m free, and 100m fly; 4th in the 500y free, 100y back, and 100/200m free; 5th in the 100y IM; 6th in the 200y IM and 50m back; 7th in the 100y free and 50y fly; and 8th in the 100y fly.

He ranked #1 in IMX for 9-year-old in the 2018-19 SCY season and was #2 among 10-year-olds in the LCM season.

Honorable Mention

In alphabetical order:

  • Parker Macho – Eastern Iowa Swim Federation-IA: Macho was the #1 10-year-old in IMX rankings for the 2018-19 SCY season and #3 for the LCM season. He closed out 2019 with 11 top-10 times, including the #2 200y free, 400m free and 200m IM; #3 100/500y free, 100y IM, and 100/200m free; #4 200y IM; #5 100y fly; and #7 100m fly.
  • Luke Vatev – Hornet Age Group Swim Club-IL: Vatev graced the top-10 lists 13 times in 2019. He was 4th in the 50y back, 50/100m back, and 100m fly; 5th in the 100y back and 50/100m free; 8th in the 200m free; 9th in the 100y free and 50m fly; and 10th in the 50y free and 100y fly. He ranked 2nd in IMX for 9-year-olds in 2018-19 SCY season.
  • Peter Vu – OC Riptide Aquatics-CA: Vu finished the year with 12 swims in the top-10. He was #2 in the 50/100y breast, 100y IM, and 50/100m breast; #5 in the 200m IM; #6 in the 50m fly; #7 in the 200y IM and 50m free; #8 in the 100m free and 50m back, and #9 in the 100y back.

Past Winners

Year 10-U Girl 10-U Boy
2018 Alexis Mesina Timothy Lee
2017 Erika Pelaez Kaii Winkler
2016 Leah Hayes Jaeddan Gamilla
2015 Miriam Sheehan Ronald Dalmacio
2014 Meghan Lynch Andrew Rogers
2013 Lillie Nordmann Winn Aung
2012 Regan Smith Destin Lasco


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1 year ago

For the sake of what this comment section has the potential to become, please reconsider 10-Under Swimmers of the Year for 2020…USA Swimming purposefully does not publish Top-10 rankings for 10-Under.

I am not trying to take away from the accomplishments of these hard working young athletes. My concern is in the future expectations and pressure to be the 11-12 Swimmer of the Year, then 13-14…Yes, the developmental model for athletes has improved and we are seeing programs guide swimmers from youth (10-Under) through senior level success, but is that the majority or the minority of Top 10 10-under athletes? (Actually a potential fun research project for Swimswam, rankings of top 10 10-Under athletes at 10 then again at… Read more »

Reply to  NobodyfromnowhereUSA
1 year ago

I’m just waiting for the grrr my kid wasn’t up there comments

Dem Boyzzz
Reply to  NobodyfromnowhereUSA
1 year ago

So your solution to save these kids from this ruining their lives is to turn the comments section into some massive debate about whether or not their futures are now ruined?

Sounds like someone just trying to cause problems, or prove how morally progressive they are.

In the words of the immortal Lil’ Jon: “Don’t start no **** won’t be no ****”

Lane 8
Reply to  NobodyfromnowhereUSA
1 year ago

Yeah, I agree. I had a feeling someone was going to say something like this. Really mixed results from the former honorees, some are still very good but some aren’t that good anymore. We don’t have any way of knowing if that affects them or not, but I do think that it makes sense how other countries don’t keep track of age group records until they’re 14 or something. Every time 10&U’s or 11-12’s are mentioned I think we get these kind of comments, so I know that plenty of commenters don’t think it’s a very good idea.

Reply to  NobodyfromnowhereUSA
1 year ago

Dealing with successes and failures is a big part of what youth sport is about. You cannot protect children from this no matter what you do. It is clear to all in every activity and at every age who is the best at the particular time. Let them enjoy it and then support them when their own individual challenges arrive.

Reply to  NobodyfromnowhereUSA
1 year ago

Someone has to say something every time a 10 year old gets mentioned on here. A young swimmer could possibly burn out but a small article on a swim site isn’t going to be the cause of it.

Let the girl enjoy her accomplishment

Reply to  NobodyfromnowhereUSA
1 year ago

At least your country is looking at young talent coming through. Australia doesn’t even look at kids until they are 14.

Paying Tin Quotes
1 year ago

Congrats to all the kids mentioned! They are probably physically gifted but to me what sets them apart is the hard work and dedication they show to their craft day in and day out. I feel it’s great to recognize achievement through hard work. Let’s not all panic and assume this sets them up for disappointment and burn out. Like with a lot of things kid related, it is up to the parents and coach to teach them to enjoy these accolades without going overboard with thoughts that this predestines them to greatness. It is a cool acknowledgment for sure, let’s not take that away from the kids. Should motivate all to work hard.

Bobo Gigi
1 year ago

Most of the boys very fast at an early age are physically gifted. And it’s hard for them to keep developing so many stall 3 or 4 years later while other boys start their progression.
It’s less the case with girls and we’ll see more girls fast at 10 still perform very well and even become stars as adults.

Congrats to Kayla and Joey.

Christine Pierre-Louis
1 year ago

How do you get dats and ranking information of all the swimmers by age group?

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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