Hailey Galbraith, 16, Spartan Aquatic Club (SPAC-GA): 100 free, 54.61 – Hailey Galbraith ended 2018 with a best time of 50.78 in the 100-yard free, but did not break 51 seconds in 2019, through four swims. At the 2020 Ralph Crocker Classic last week, she dropped half a second, going 50.48. She also went best times in the 50 and 200 free (23.02 and 1:50.92, respectively), as well as the 100 back (56.03) and 100 fly (54.61).
Stephan Aguirre, 15, Denver Swim Academy (DSA-CO): 200 free, 1:41.53 – Fifteen-year-old Stephan Aguirre hit a new Futures cut last week in the 200 free, going 1:41.53 at the 2020 AP Washington Open. Entering the year, he had an altitude-adjusted best time of 1:41.32, but had otherwise not broken 1:42. At the same meet, he also went a best time in the 50 and 100 free, as well as the 100 back, 100 breast and 100 fly, and the 200 IM.
Yasemine Safargar, 15, Scarlet Aquatics (SCAR-NJ): 400 IM, 4:19.65 – Then 14, Yasemine Safargar ended 2018 with a best time of 4:30.80 in the 400-yard IM. She chipped away at that time in early 2019, going 4:30.62, 4:30.56, and 4:30.18 over the course of February and March. In November, she dropped to 4:23.42, foreshadowing things to come. In December, she was 4:30.57, then to open 2020, she went 4:19.65, a Winter Juniors cut.
Tyler Lu, 16, Seattle Metropolitan Aquatic Club (SMAC-PN): 200 breast, 1:59.05 – A then-14-year-old Tyler Lue entered 2019 with a best time of 2:06.48 in the 200-yard breast. In January of last year, he went 2:03.38, and by March, he was down to 2:01.39. He didn’t race the short course 200 breast for the rest of 2019. To open 2020 at the AP Washington Open, he went 2:01.50 in the morning, then broke 2:00 for the first time with a 1:59.05 later that day — a Summer Juniors cut.
Gabe Nickels, 18, Bellevue Club Swim Team (BC-PN): 500 free, 4:26.89 – Gabe Nickels closed 2018 with a best time of 4:27.53 in the 500-yard free. Through seven swims in 2019, he never went under 4:29.15. To open 2020, Nickels went a lifetime best of 4:26.89. At the same meet, he also went a best time in the 100 free (47.18) and 200 back (1:52.53).
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