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Disclaimer: Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The Swim of the Week is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.
Kayla Han, who was the youngest qualifier for the U.S. Olympic Trials last year, has started 2022 off on a good note.
Competing at her home club La Mirada Armada’s “Road to 2022” meet Jan. 14-18, Han registered best times in four different long course events, highlighted by her effort in the 1500 freestyle.
Han, 13, clocked a time of 16:37.59 in the event, improving on her previous best set at December’s US Open (16:43.02) to improve her all-time ranking in the girls’ 13-14 age group.
Han’s previous PB already had her ranked third all-time among 13-year-olds, where she remains, but she does move up from 40th to 22nd among 13-14s.
The only swimmers faster than Han at 13 in the 1500 free are Sandpipers of Nevada swimmer Katie Grimes (16:32.88, 2019) and Phoenix Swim Club’s Kalyn Keller (16:35.74, 1998).
Grimes was notably the youngest swimmer to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team last summer, and finished fourth at the Tokyo Games in the women’s 800 freestyle.
Han, who won’t turn 14 until June, also established new best times in the 800 free (8:43.88), 200 fly (2:16.68) and 200 IM (2:17.98) at the meet.
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