William Raches, 14, Rivera Swim Club (RIV-IN): 100 free, 47.65 – Fourteen-year-old William Raches entered 2019 with a best time of 50.11 in the 100-yard free. Despite a few early-year swims, he didn’t drop time until October, when he went broke 50 for the first time, going 49.20. He broke then :49 a month later, going 48.83. At the 2020 IN Mid States All Star Championship last week, he dropped over another full second, going 47.65.
Ailyn Zurliene, 13, Newburgh Sea Creatures (NSC-IN): 400 free, 4:32.56 – A then-11-year-old Ailyn Zurliene ended 2017 with a best time of 4:57.54 in the 400-yard IM. She did not swim the race a single time in 2018. Zurliene’s first 400 IM of 2019 came in October, when she went a massive best time of 4:48.25. In November, she dropped that time further, going 4:42.64. Come December, she shaved off nine more seconds to go 4:33.36. Then last week, Zurliene went 4:32.56, improving on her quadruple-A cut.
Alex Fu, 13, First Colony Swim Team (FCST-GU): 200 fly, 1:52.20 – As of the end of 2018, 13-year-old Alex Fu had yet to crack 2:00 in the 200-yard fly. In January 2019, he went 1:57.54. Through the rest of the year, he didn’t go under 1:57. Last week, Fu went 1:52.32 and 1:52.20 on the same day. He went bests in the 200 free, 50 back, 50 fly, 100 fly, 100 IM and 200 IM at the same meet.
Thomas Heilman, 12, Piedmont Family Swim Team (CYAC-VA): 100 breast, 1:03.45 – In November 2019, Thomas Heilman went a then-best time of 1:08.14. In March, he advanced to 1:05.54 and 1:05.18 on the same day. In his next swim, in November, he dropped to 1:03.72. To open the new year, Heilman dropped to 1:03.45.
Sydney Rawie, 15, Nitro Swimming (NTRO-ST): 500 free, 4:57.07 – In December 2018, a then-14-year-old Sydney Rawie went a best time of 5:09.57 in the 500 free. In January 2019, she dropped to 5:05.85, and in March she went 5:04.78. Come December, Rawie hit a Futures cut of 5:01.17. She wasn’t done there: to open the year, Rawie dropped over four seconds, going 4:57.07.
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