It’s hard to believe we’re already in Season Four of The Weekly Wonders of Age Group Swimming. We are excited to be back and we look forward to seeing some fast swimming throughout the 2016-17 swim season. With many teams holding off until October for their first competitive outings, there were only a handful of meets to sort through on the first weekend of the new swim year. Here are the swims that stood out during the weekend of September 9-11, 2016.
Alex Wayner, 12, Georgia Coastal Aquatic Team: 50y free (25.52) – Competing at GCAT Pentathlon in her home pool, Wayner won the girls’ 11-12 50 free, 50 back, 50 breast, 50 fly, and 100 IM to sweep her pentathlon. Wayner dropped .21 in her 50 free and was exactly 1 second faster than last fall. She also earned new times in the 50 back, 50 fly, and 100 IM.
Rick Popper, 13, Phoenix Swim Club: 50y free (22.56) – Popper won the 50 back and 100 IM (the latter with an Arizona state record, 56.49), and time-trialed the 50 free at PSC’s September Sizzler. His 50 free was a PB by 1.6 seconds, and fully 2 seconds faster than last year at this time.
Allen Zachary, 15, Tidewater Aquatic Club: 100y free (47.73) – Zachary won the 50/100/200 free, 100 back, 100 breast, 100 fly and 200 IM, and was runner-up in the 200 breast at the TAC September Splash. He went his best time in the 100 free by 1.1 seconds, and was 2.2 seconds faster than a year ago.
Summer Cardwell, 11, Tampa Bay Aquatics: 200y free (2:01.58) – Cardwell dropped 5.4 seconds in the 200 free, and was 10.4 seconds ahead of her last-year’s pace when she won the girls’ 11-12 event at the TBAY 4th Kelley Allen KAH2O. She also won the 50/100/500 free, 50/100 back, 50/100 fly, and 200 IM, and was runner-up in the 100 breast. She earned new PBs in the 100/200/500 free, 100 breast, and 100 fly.
Logan Walker, 11, Nitro Swimming: 100y back (1:02.36) – Walker lopped 3.7 off his previous PB in the 100 back at the Nitro Swimming Red vs. Black Meet. He also went a best time in the 50 free (by 1/100) and the 100 free (by 1.2 seconds).
Kaylin Herbet, 11, Blue Dolfins: 100y breast (1:11.58) – Swimming at the Lochte Classic hosted by Daytona Beach Swimming, Herbet won the girls’ 11-12 50/500 free, 100 back, 50/100 breast, and 50 fly. She improved her 100 breast time by 1.6 seconds and was 5.5 seconds faster than she had been at the same meet last year. Herbet left the meet with new PBs in the 50/500 free, 100 back, 100 breast, and 50 fly.
Joseph Szul, 12, Stone Crabs Swim Team: 100y fly (1:02.12) – Also competing at the Lochte Classic, Szul destroyed his previous PB in the 100 fly, dropping 5.7 seconds to qualify second for finals in the boys’ 11-12 division. He is now 8 seconds faster than he’d been a year ago. Szul also finaled in the 50/100 free, 50/100 back, 50 fly, and went best times in the 100 free, 100 back and 50 fly.
Katrina Sommer, 16, Orange Regional Competitive Aquatics: 200y IM (2:12.25) – Sommer won the girls’ 15-and-over 100 breast and 200 IM and was runner-up in the 100 fly at the Southern California Swimming Orange Cup quad meet among COTO/DA/ORCA/SCAL. Sommer eked out a best time in the IM by .14, which was 6 full seconds faster than she’d been last year at this time. Her 100 breast was a best time by .6 seconds and 4.4 ahead of last year’s pace.
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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