Championship Season is in full swing, and we are seeing new names pop up all over the place. This weekend produced fast swimming throughout the country as age groupers competed in everything from Junior Nationals in San Antonio to USA Swimming Futures Championships to Far Westerns to Junior Olympics and State Championships to local meets. Here are the AgonSwim Weekly Wonders for the weekend of July 31-August 2, 2015.
Gretchen Walsh, 12, Nashville Aquatic Club: 50m free (26.96) – The only 12-year-old to make finals in the 50 free at the Futures Championships in West Lafayette, Indiana, Walsh earned her first invitation to a national meet (Winter Juniors) with her 26.96. With older sister Alex being one of only a handful of 13-year-olds to qualify for the 2016 US Olympic Trials, Gretchen is the next Walsh to keep an eye on.
Raena Eldridge, 18, Rockwall Aquatic Center of Excellence: 50m free (26.06) – A month before beginning her collegiate career at Texas A&M, Eldridge punched her first ticket to 2016 Olympic Trials. Swimming at Junior Nationals, Eldridge tied for 22nd in prelims with a personal-best 26.41, then came back to take another .35 off her time in finals to make the Trials standard by .13.
Drew Damich, 18, Mount Lebanon Aqua Club: 50m free (23.67) – Damich erased more than a half-second off his seed time and earned a bronze medal in the 50m free at the Greensboro Futures Championships. He also picked up new PBs in the 100/200 free, 100/200 fly, and 200/400 IM at the meet, all of which will put him in good stead as he heads off to swim at West Virginia in the fall.
Katie Portz, 17, Club Wolverine: 200m free (2:01.69) – Portz dropped an astounding 3.1 seconds between prelims and finals, winning a very tight 200 free final at NCSA Summer Swimming Championships at IUPUI, and earning her first invitation to 2016 Olympic Trials. Portz finished the meet with new times in the 100 free, 50/100 back, and 100 fly as well.
Jack McIntyre, 17, Eastern Express Swim Team: 400m free (3:57.93) – McIntyre picked up his first 2016 Olympic Trials qualification in the 400 free at Summer Juniors, where he lopped 5.4 seconds off his seed time between prelims and finals. Seeded 56th in the event, he dropped nearly 4 seconds to make the C final and another 1.4 in finals to finish 18th overall. McIntyre also got PBs in the 200 free and 800 free.
Haley Yelle, 16, Mansfield Aquatic Club: 400m free (4:17.82) – Yelle had been languishing around the 4:20 mark all season, but had a huge breakthrough at Mt. Hood Futures, popping a 4:17.89 in prelims -just .10 under the 2016 Olympic Trials standard. She bettered her time in finals, winning the event in 4:17.82. Yelle also won the 800 and 1500, picking up new times in those events and in the 200 free as well.
Shane Forker, 17, Mission Viejo Nadadores: 1500m free (15:44.65) – Forker opened Mt. Hood Futures with a 10.6-second drop in his 1500 to win the first event of the meet by more than 12 seconds. He cleared the 2016 Trials standard by 4.6 seconds in the process. Forker also took home new PBs in the 200 free, 400 free, and 400 IM.
Alessandro Boratto, 15, Upper Dublin Aquatic Club: 100m back (57.08) – Boratto dropped a full second and became one of only four 15-year-old boys to qualify for 2016 Olympic Trials in the 100m backstroke when he placed 19th in the event at Summer Juniors. He also went a best time competing in the 200 back, and picked up two more when he time-trialed the 50 free and 100 fly.
Trey Ike, 13, Horseheads Thrashers Aquatics: 100m back (1:04.11) – Ike notched a personal best by just a tad but was 5.3 seconds faster than he had been at the time meet last year when he won the boys 13-14 100 back with a new meet record at the AAU Junior Olympic Games in Newport News, Virginia. He also won the 50 free and the 400 free, and finished the weekend with new PBs in the 400 free, 100/200 back, and 400 IM.
Kate Janzen, 12, King Marlin Swim Club: 200m back (2:25.80) – Janzen swept all three girls 11-12 backstroke events at the Central Zone 14 & Under Championships hosted by Topeka Swim Association. Her 200 time was a PB by 2.6 seconds, and was 19 seconds faster than a year ago. Janzen also earned best times in the 200 free and 50 back.
Hank Rivers, 11, Long Beach Shore Aquatics: 100m breast (1:14.62) – At the SCS Summer Junior Olympics hosted by Mission Viejo, Rivers won the boys 11-12 100 breast with the second-fastest time in the country for an 11-year-old boy. He dropped 2.6 seconds from his seed time, and improved more than 15 seconds in a year. He also won the 50 free, 50 breast, 50 fly and took second in the 200 IM and third in the 100 free.
Jacob Montague, 17, Grosse Pointe Gators: 200m breast (2:14.37) – Montague dropped a whopping 5.8 seconds and came away with his first 2016 Trials cut in the 200m breast when he won the event, just edging Carsten Vissering, at the NCSA Summer Championships. Montague earned new times in the 50/100/200 breast, 50 fly, and 200 IM.
Zachary Poti, 16, Blue Dolfins: 100m fly (54.77) – Swimming at the Dolfin Summer Senior Beach Blast Championships, Poti nabbed his first 2016 Olympic Trials cut in the 100 fly with a drop of 3/10 off his seed time. He won the 50/200 free, 100/200 back, and 100/200 fly, going best times in all six events. He qualified for Trials in both backstroke and both butterfly distances.
Ethan Heasley, 13, Hillsboro Swim Team: 400m IM (4:40.16) – At the Western Zone Senior Championships hosted by Clovis Swim Club, Heasley dropped 17.8 seconds to finish ninth in the men 19-and-under 400 IM. He wrapped up the weekend with new PBs in the 100/200/400/800/1500 free, 100/200 back, 200 fly, and 200/400 IM.
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