Presenting the AgonSwim Weekly Wonders for the weekend of December 9-11, 2016.
Jack Walker, 15, SwimMAC Carolina: 200y free (1:33.73) – Walker astounded the WWAGS Committee with his mindblowing performance at Winter Junior Championships East. Just limiting ourselves to the 200 free, Walker improved 11 seconds over the last 12 months. He entered Juniors with a LCM time, dropped 4.1 seconds from his week-old PB of 1:40.0 in prelims to lead all qualifiers through to finals, then took another 2.2 seconds off that time to finish second behind Drew Kibler, who actually broke the meet record with his swim (1:33.40); Walker was .06 off the meet record. In the 100 free he took 4 seconds off last December’s time, and in the 50, 1.2 seconds. He also improved by 3.9 seconds in the 100 fly.
Gabrielle Kopenski, 16, Texas Ford Aquatics: 500y free (4:37.94) – Kopenski notched her first sub-4:40 in winning the 500 free at Winter Junior Championships West. She went a best time by 4.2 seconds and won the event by 3.9. Kopenski also won the 400 IM witha best time (4:11.50) and was runner-up in the 1650 free.
Brynne O’Shea, 16, Multnomah Athletic Club: 200y back (1:56.88) – Also swimming at Winter Juniors West, O’Shea improved her 200 back personal best by 2 seconds and rocketed to 10th place overall at the West meet. O’Shea scored her first U.S. Open invitation with the swim. She also competed in the 100 back and 200/400 IM, earning a new PB in the 200 IM.
Alec Filipovic, 12, St Charles Swim Team: 200y back (2:01.21) – At the 6th Annual Blizzard Blast hosted by Elgin Cyclones Swim Team, Filipovic took 3 seconds off his previous best time in the 200 back and was 13.5 seconds faster than he’d been a year ago. Filipovic also went PBs in the 500 free and 100 back, dropping 27 seconds in the former and 4.1 in the latter, over the last 12 months.
Ellie Andrews, 13, Dublin Community Swim Team: 200y breast (2:16.66) – Andrews won the girls’ 13-14 200 breast with a new meet record at the MAKOS Holiday Spirit Invitational at Miami University Aquatic Center. She dropped 6 seconds from her previous PB and notched her first Winter Juniors cut in the event. Andrews came home with new times in the 50/100 free, 100 back, 100/200 breast, 100 fly, and 200 IM.
Jack Dalmolin, 17, Chattahoochee Gold Swim Club: 200y breast (1:58.69) – Dalmolin won the men’s open 200 free, 100 breast, and 200 breast, and was runner-up in the 200 IM at the Georgia Senior Short Course State Championships hosted by Lanier Aquatics. Dalmolin improved his PB by 4.4 seconds and recorded his first sub-2:00 performance in the 200 breast. Dalmolin finished the weekend with new times in the 50/100 free, 100/200 breast, and 200 IM.
Mia Abruzzo, 13, Plymouth Whitemarsh Aquatics: 200y fly (2:01.72) – Abruzzo dropped gobs of time across the board while swimming at the 43rd Annual NBAC Christmas Invitational. She won the girls’ 13-14 500/1650 free and 200 IM, was runner-up in the 1000 free and 100 fly, and was 3rd or 4th in the 200 free, 200 fly and 400 IM. She went 8-for-8 with best times, and her 200 fly time was a PB by 4.4 seconds. Abruzzo scored her first-ever Winter Juniors invitations at the meet, in not one, but four, events: 100/200 fly and 200/400 IM.
Kieran Smith, 16, Ridgefield Aquatic Club: 200y IM (1:47.32) – Smith broke 1:50 in the 200 IM for the first time in prelims at Winter Juniors East, then dropped another 1.7 seconds for a total improvement of 2.7, while winning the B final with a U.S. Open cut. Smith also broke the 3:50 barrier in the 400 IM, touching third in the A final with 3:49.19. Smith left Columbus with new PBs in the 100/500 free and 100/200 back in addition to the IMs.
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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