Presenting the Weekly Wonders for the weekend of July 15-17, 2016:
JC Lovullo, 13, Anthem Dolphins: 50m free (25.40) – After dropping 1.3 seconds in prelims to qualify first for boys’ 13-14 50 free final at the Arizona LC Age Group Championships hosted by Flying Fish Arizona Swim Team, Lovullo came back and took another .15 off his time in finals for a bronze medal. Lovullo is now 2.1 seconds faster in the 50 free than he was a year ago. All told he picked up new times in the 50/100/200 free, 100 breast, and 100 fly. The previous weekend he had achieved PBs in the 400 free, 200 back, and 200 fly.
Sam Fitch, 13, Davis Arden Racing Team: 400m free (4:20.25) – Swimming at the Bill Rose Classic LC Junior Olympics hosted by Redding Swim Team, Fitch dropped 14 seconds to win the boys’ 13-14 400 free with the 12th-fastest time of the season for 13-year-old boys. Fitch left the meet with new times in the 50/100/200/400 free and 200 back, a week after notching PBs in the 100 back and 200 IM.
Elvis Kotikovski, 14, Pine Crest Swimming: 100m back (58.96) – Kotikovski broke the 1:00 barrier for the first time, crashing past the 59s and straight to 58.96, winning the boys’ 13-14 100 back at the 14 & Under Florida Gold Coast Jr. Olympics hosted by Martin County Swimming & North Palm Beach Swim Club. He broke the Florida Gulf Coast LSC record, earned his first Summer Juniors cut, and landed at #22 on the all-time list for 13-14 boys. Kotikovski also won the 50/200 back events and now holds the LSC records in all three distances. He finished the weekend with best times in the 50/200 free, 50/100 back, and 200 IM.
Kathryn Ackerman, 14, Shoreline Lightning Swimming: 100m back (1:05.35) – Ackerman posted several big time drops and won four of the five events she entered at the Michigan Swimming 13-14 & Open LC State Meet hosted by JAWS at Jenison High School Aquatic Center. Among those was the 100 back, in which she dropped 2.8 seconds and snagged her first invite to Winter Juniors in the event. Ackerman went best times in every event she swam: 100 free, 100 back, 200 breast, and 200/400 IM.
Michael Foley, 14, Franco’s Fins: 100m back (1:01.20) – Foley won the boys’ 13-14 100 back with a best-by-2.3-seconds 1:01.20 at the Louisiana Long Course State Championship Meet. He also won the 200 back, 100/200 fly, and 200 IM and was runner-up in the 200 free and 400 IM. Foley finished the weekend with new PBs in the 50/200 free, 100/200 back, 100/200 fly, and 200/400 IM.
Destin Lasco, 14, Pleasantville Aquatics: 200m back (2:03.28) – Swimming at the Middle Atlantic LC Senior Championship at Bucknell University, Lasco won the men’s open 200 back with the fastest time in the country for all 18-and-under boys. He dropped 2.2 seconds from his previous best, picked up his first 2016 Olympic Trials cut, and moved up a spot to #3 on the all-time top 100 list for 13-14 boys. Lasco also won the 200 IM with a personal-best 2:09.16, clearing a Winter Juniors cut for the first time.
Duke Becker, 11, Kona Aquatics: 200m breast (2:54.55) – Becker placed third in the boys’ 11-12 200 breast at the Hawaii Swimming Age Group LCM Championships, taking 5.7 seconds off his seed time for a total improvement of 11.3 seconds since the beginning of the summer. He finished the weekend with brand new times in the 400 free, 50/100/200 breast, and 200/400 IM.
Meghan Lynch, 12, Greenwich YWCA Dolphins: 200m IM (2:20.70) – Swimming at the Connecticut Swimming Senior Championships at Wesleyan University, Lynch won the women’s 200 IM and nabbed her first Summer Juniors cut in the event with a best-by-1.4 2:20.70. That represents a 4.5-second improvement since last year at this time, and moves her up to #3 on the all-time list for 11-12 girls. Lynch also won the 200 breast with a new personal best of 2:36.09. She wound up with new times in the 100/400 free, 100/200 breast, and 200 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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