Spencer Aurnou-Rhees, 15, Ohio State Swim Club (OSSC-OH): 200 IM, 2:06.25 – At the end of the 2018 long course season, then-14-year-old Spencer Aurnou-Rhees had a best time of 2:15.65 in the 200 IM. In his first swim of 2019, back in March, he dropped three seconds, and later the same day, four more, to close the spring with a 2:08.57. He was 2:08.11 at the end of August. At the 2019 U.S. Open in early December, Aurnou-Rhees dropped to 2:06.25, making him the fasted 15-year-old in the country so far this season by over two seconds.
Ella Bathurst, 16, Tampa Elite Aquatics (TEAM-FL): 200 free, 1:46.41 – Ella Bathurst entered 2019 with a best time of 1:46.82 in the short course 200 free. In her first four attempts of 2019, she never went under 1:47.29. But in her fifth try, at Winter Juniors – East, she went 1:46.41. At the same meet, she also went best times in the 100 free (49.47) and 200 IM (1:58.82).
Riccardo Osio, 12, Lakeside Aquatic Club (LAC-NT): 100 fly, 52.06 – A then-11-year-old Riccardo Osio entered 2019 will a best time of 56.88 in the 100-yard fly. By March, he had improved to 55.50, and in October he shaved off another second. Osio opened the 2019 COR Classic Invitational with a 54.41, then left that time in the dust, going 52.06. That time ranks him as the No. 2 12-year-old in the nation so far this season.
Sophie Phelps, 13, Nantucket Swimming (NANT-NE): 100 back, 57.45 – Sophie Phelps entered 2019 having never broken a minute in the short course 100 back, with a best time of 1:00.74. In January, she lowered that slightly to 1:00.64, and in March went 59.52. She didn’t go below that time again until December 19, when she dropped well over a second to go 58.17. Later the same day, she went 57.45, a new quadruple-A cut.
Trevan Valena, 12, Texas Ford Aquatics (TFA-NT): 500 free, 4:46.80 – Trevan Valena entered 2019 having broken 5:00 in the 500 just once in his life, when he went 4:59.07 in November 2018. In March of this year, he was 4:55.47, and in September and November went 4:57-mids. In early December at the 2019 COR Classic Invitational, he went 4:46.80, making him the fastest 12-year-old in the nation this season by nearly three seconds.
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