Things are picking up a bit now that fall high school swimming has begun in several states. Here are the Weekly Wonders for the weekend of September 16-18, 2016.
Kristina Games, 11, Central Arkansas Swim Club: 50y free (26.58) – Games won the 50/100 free and 100 breast and was runner-up in the 100 fly and 200 IM at the Col. Robert Smothers Memorial Invite hosted by Central Arkansas Swim Club. She went a personal best in the 50 free by 1 second and was 2.3 faster than at the same time last year.
Kennedy Noble, 12, YMCA Westside Silver Fins: 100y free (55.96) – Noble had a couple of big swims in the first of a series of fall dual meets. In this one, against Scottsdale Aquatic Club, Noble dropped 3 seconds in the 100 free, and was 8.4 seconds faster than she’d been a year ago. She also earned PBs in the 50/500 free, 50/100 back, 50 fly, and 200 IM, and set the team record in the 100 back.
Gracie Williams, 15, Indian Wells Valley Swim Team: 100y free (53.62) – Williams won the girls’ 15-and-over 50/100/200 free, 100/200 back, 100 breast, 100 fly, and 200 IM at the September BRW Short Course Meet hosted by Redlands Swim Team. It was her third-best 100 free, and an improvement of 1.2 seconds form a year ago.
Julia Podkoscielny, 12, Pine Crest Swimming: 100y back (1:05.69) – Swimming unattached for Pine Crest School in her first high school season, Podkoscielny was the youngest finalist in the 100 back at the Bolles School Byron Plapp Invitational. She went her second-fastest time ever, and was 5.1 seconds faster than she’d been last year at this time.
Amber Smith, 12, SwimBAAC: 200y back (2:11.90) – Swimming at the Kick Off Classic hosted by BAAC, with FAST, and MSC participating, Smith dropped 1.9 seconds in her 200 back for a time that is 12.7 seconds ahead of her pace from a year ago. She also earned new PBs in the 500 free, 200 breast, and 200/400 IM.
Josh Lujan, 15, Hawaii Swimming Club: 100y breast (1:00.49) – Lujan dropped 4/10 in the 100 breast at the Oahu Age Group Meet, coming out 2.4 seconds ahead where he’d been at this time last year in the event. He won the 200 breast and was runner-up in the 200 free, 100 breast, and 200 IM.
Natalie Cox, 12, Sunkist Swim Team: 200y breast (2:33.42) – Cox was only off her PB by .03, en route to winning the girls’ 11-12 200 breast at the Sunkist Short Course Classic. She also won the 50/100 breast, 50/100 fly, and 100/400 IM, was runner-up in the 50 free, and third in the 50 back.
Kevin Geist, 15, Hilton Head Aquatics: 100y fly (53.20) – Swimming at the H2A Season Kick Off Meet, Geist squeaked out a lifetime best in the 100 fly by 0.1; he was fully 2 seconds faster than he’d been a year ago. He also notched new PBs in the 200/500/1000 free and 200 fly.
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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