Presenting the AgonSwim Weekly Wonders for the weekend of October 28-30, 2016.
Blaise Vera, 17, Mississippi Makos Swim Team: 100y free (44.74) – Swimming unattached for Clinton High School at the Class 2 MHSAA Swimming Championships, Vera won both the 50 free and 100 free, lowering his own state records in both events. In the 100 free he went a PB by .33, broke the 45-second barrier for the first time, and notched the #1 time in the U.S. for the week among 18-and-unders. Vera is now 1.1 seconds faster than he was at this time last year.
Kendall Shields, 16, Austin Swim Club: 200y back (1:57.58) – Shields had a superb meet at the ASC Bob Thompson Open. She was 6-for-6 with best times (50/100/200 free, 100/200 back, 400 IM), dropping 2.5 seconds in the 200 back and posting the #1 18-and-under time in the country. Not only did she break 2:00 for the first time, but she did so in spectacular fashion, skipping over the 1:59s and 1:58s to settle at 1:57-mid.
Taylor Williams, 14, Memphis Thunder Aquatic Club: 100y breast (58.46) – Also swimming at the Class 2 Mississippi High School Activities Association state meet, Williams gave Center Hill High School a gold medal in the 100 breast and a silver in the 200 IM. His 100 breast time was a PB by 2/10 and 2.4 seconds faster than at this time a year ago.
Harrison Wayner, 16, Georgia Coastal Aquatic Team: 100y breast (57.36) – Wayner dropped 1.6 seconds off his month-old PB in the 100 breast while swimming at the 19th Annual Carey Hilliard’s Invitational hosted by Savannah Swim Team at the Chatham County pool shared by GCAT and SST. Wayner has now improved 5.4 seconds in the 100 breast since last year, and his efforts were rewarded as he earned his first Winter Juniors cut.
Aiden Hayes, 13, Sooner Swim Club: 100y fly (53.32) – Hayes won the 50/100 free, 100 back, and 200 IM at the Halloween Meet hosted by American Energy Swim Club. He was runner-up in the 100 fly, going a best time by 1.7 seconds. Hayes has improved 4.3 seconds in the event from a year ago.
Abigail Gibbons, 14, Blue Dolfins: 100y fly (54.53) – A ninth-grader at Oviedo High School swimming unattached for USA Swimming, Gibbons turned in the #1 time in the country for 18-and-under girls in the 100 fly at the FHSAA 4A Region 1 Championships. She won the 100 fly by .13 and finished third in the 50 free. Her 100 fly time was a PB by 4/10 and 2.6 seconds faster than in the fall of 2015.
Francesca Criscione, 14, Corvallis Aquatic Team: 200y fly (2:07.44) – Criscione had a full schedule of events at the Fall Open hosted by Thunderbird Aquatic Club, competing in the 50/100 free, 100/200 back, 100 breast, 200 fly, and 200 IM. She dropped 3 in the 100 back; in the 200 fly she improved her PB by a half-second and was 6.2 seconds ahead of last year’s pace.
Bean Faunce, 18, T2 Aquatics: 200y IM (2:03.60) – Swimming unattached for Estero High School at the FHSAA 3A Region 3 Championships, Faunce won the 200 IM and 100 fly and was a member of two first-place relays. Her 200 IM time was a PB by 2.1 seconds and gave Faunce her first Winter Juniors cut in the event.
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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