Presenting the AgonSwim Weekly Wonders for the weekend of November 11-13, 2016.
Drew Kibler, 16, Carmel Swim Club: 200y free (1:35.33) – Representing Team USA against the Big Ten swimmers at the USA College Challenge, Kibler dropped 1.8 seconds in his 200 free to post the #1 18-and-under 200 free time in the country for the week. He was 6.1 seconds faster than he’d been at this time last year.
Autumn Haebig, 18, Ozaukee Aquatics: 500y free (4:47.79) – The Grafton High School senior dropped 4.4 seconds, picked up her first Summer Juniors time, and broke the Wisconsin state D2 record in the 500 free at the 2016 WIAA Girls Division 2 State Meet. She also won the 100 back and lowered her own D2 record, led off Grafton’s winning medley relay, and swam a leg on their second-place 200 free relay.
Briana Rittenbach, 15, AquaStorm: 100y back (55.67) – Representing Century High School at the North Dakota Girls’ State Swimming & Diving Championships, Rittenbach won the 100 back with a personal-best time of 55.67. She was 1/10 better than her previous PB and 1.8 seconds faster than at this time last year. Rittenbach was runner-up in the 100 free with 52.23.
Abby Kapeller, 13, Aquajets Swim Team: 100y back (55.11) – Still only an 8th grader, Kapeller swam for Minnetonka High School at the 2016 MSHSL Girls 2AA Swim & Dive Championships, where she went a best time by 2.8 seconds and finished third. Kapeller was 4 seconds faster than she had been a year ago. She also placed fourth in the 50 free, was the leadoff leg of Minnetonka second-place medley relay, and participated in the 400 free relay that took third.
Eva Merrell, 16, Aquazot Swim Club: 200y back (1:52.20) – Merrell dropped a whopping 5 seconds to win the women’s 200 back for Team USA at the 2016 College Challenge. It was only her third time under 2:00, and the #1 swim in the country for 18-and-under girls. She also posted the top 100 back and 100 fly times, earned a new PB in the 100 back, and narrowly missed a PB in the 100 fly.
Ema Rajic, 16, Champaign County YMCA Heat: 100y breast (1:01.26) – Swimming for Urbana Uni High School, Rajic dropped 1.3 seconds to win the 100 breast at the 2016 ILOB IHSA Girls Sectional Normal (Community West) Sectional meet. Hers was the #1 18-and-under swim of the week, and it was good enough to land Rajic her first Summer Nationals cut in the event.
Isabelle Dressel, 17, Velocity Swimming: 100y breast (1:02.56) – Wenatchee High School senior Dressel improved her 100 breast by nearly 2 seconds and picked up her first Summer Juniors cut, with her second-place finish at the 2016 WIAA 4A Girls State Swim & Dive Championships at King Aquatics Center. She was also runner-up in the 50 free, and she swam on both Wenatchee’s 200 relays.
Shane Blinkman, 15, St Croix Swim Club: 200y IM (1:48.22) – Blinkman dropped an unbelievable 4 seconds and won the 200 IM at the Minnesota Invitational, hosted by University of Minnesota. It was his first sub-1:50 and his first Summer Juniors cut in the event, and it put him at #3 in the U.S. among all 18-and-under boys for the week.
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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