Presenting the Weekly Wonders for the weekend of July 8-10, 2016:
Claire Tuggle, 11, Clovis Swim Club: 1500m free (17:50.10) – In her first-ever LCM 1500m freestyle, Tuggle rocketed to #31 on the all-time list for 11-12 girls, with a whole year left to improve her placement in the age group. Tuggle was swimming at the Arena Grand Challenge hosted by Clovis Swim Club, where she also went PBs in the 200/800 free, 200 back, and 100 fly.
Annabel Piel, 11, Diablo Aquatics: 100m back (1:10.83) – Piel went both a 1:10.84 in prelims of the individual event and a 1:10.83 leading off the Diablo medley relay at the Pacific Swimming Junior Olympics hosted by Orinda Aquatics. Both times mark a 3.5-second improvement in a month. Piel also notched new PBs in the 50/200 back, 50/100 fly, and 200 IM.
A.J. Popp, 13, Kalispell Aquatic Team: 200m back (2:25.33) – Popp dropped 2.3 seconds to finish 2nd in the girls’ 13-14 200 back at the 3rd Annual Mark Prothero LC Open hosted by King Aquatic Club at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center. Popp’s time was 8.3 seconds faster than last year at the same time. She won the 400 free with a new personal-best time of 4:43.93.
Luke Barr, 13, Sarpy County Swim Club: 200m breast (2:37.77) – Barr shaved nearly 5 seconds off a 2-week-old personal best time, en route to winning the boys’ 13-14 200 breast with a new meet record at the CIA Beat the Heat in Grinnell meet hosted by Central Iowa Aquatics. Barr, who also won the 100 back (with a PB) and the 100 breast, is now 17 seconds faster in the 200 breast than he was last July.
Ella Ogden, 12, Allegheny North Swim Club: 200m fly (2:28.50) – Swimming at the Allegheny Mountain Swimming Senior Circuit meet at the Chartiers Valley Swim Club, Ogden dropped 3.5 seconds off her PB, which was only a month old, and won the B final in the women’s open 200 fly. She was also a B-finalist in the 100 fly, and finished the weekend with new PBs in the 400 free, 200 fly, and 200 IM.
Dare Rose, 13, Scarlett Aquatics: 200m fly (2:08.73) – Rose took another 1.6 seconds off his best 200 fly time, which was already 1.5 seconds faster than last summer, in the C final of the men’s open event at the Southern Zone South Sectionals in Orlando. He was the only swimmer under 15 to get a second swim in the event, and his time drop secured him a spot on the top 100 list for 13-14 boys. (Rose is tied for 78th on the all-time list, just 25 spots below Gold Medal Mel Stewart, with a year left to improve his placement.) Rose also picked up new times in the 100 free and 200/400 IM.
Mollie Wright, 16, City Of Midland Swim Team: 200m fly (2:22.26) – Wright improved her entry time by 1.5 seconds, and is 5.1 seconds faster than she was a year ago, with her D-final win in the women’s 200 fly at Speedo Southern Sectionals in Austin. Wright also won the D final of the 200 free with a new PB, and finished in the top 16 of both the 100 fly and 800 free, picking up personal-best times in both events.
Joshua Harlan, 16, Vipers of Albuquerque Swim Team: 200m IM (2:10.02) – Harlan notched his first Winter Juniors cuts in both the 200 and 400 IMs, winning both events at the Arena Grand Challenge hosted by Clovis Swim Club. Harlan improved his 200 IM time by 2.2 seconds, and was 3.4 seconds ahead of where he was last year at this time. In the 400 IM, he knocked 5.8 seconds off his entry time. Harlan finished the weekend with new times in the 100 free, 100/200 back, 100 breast, and 200/400 IM.
Reminder: The Weekly Wonders column is a celebration of age-group swimming, where new champions are made every day. Anyone can look up the top swims of the week. That’s not what we’re doing here. If we were only reporting on the week’s top swims we would feature the same handful of athletes every Wednesday. Instead, this is an opportunity to introduce the swimming community to athletes who have made great strides in the context of their own particular swimming worlds. By association, it also celebrates their coaches and their teams. The Weekly Wonders column, therefore, amounts to a pat on the back for a job well done, and hopefully encourages swimmers of all levels to continue to reach from within to get to that next level.
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