Julia Podkoscielny, 14, Pine Crest Swimming (PCS-FG): 400 IM, 4:50.42 – A then-13-year-old Julia Podkoscielny ended the 2018 long course season with a best time of 5:06.25 in the 400 IM. After a 5:07 season-opening swim in May of this year, she went 5:01.34 in mid-July. In her morning swim at USA Swimming’s 2019 Futures Championships, she absolutely obliterated that time, going 4:54.94– but she wasn’t done there. In finals, Podkoscielny went 4:50.42, hitting her first 2020 Olympic Trials cut. She also went a best time in the 200 IM at Futures (2:18.24), 100 back (1:03.46) and 200 back (2:15.07).
Tom House, 15, Dayton Raiders (DR-OH): 200 IM, 2:06.29 – Tom House, 15, entered 2019 having never broken 2:11 in the 200 IM. In his first swim of 2019, he went 2:15.66 (in early June), but then two weeks later, was down at 2:07.81. Last weekend at Futures, he went 2:07.74 in prelims, then dropped way past 2:07 to 2:06.29 in finals. House was the second-fastest 15-and-under boy in the nation last weekend, behind only Josh Zuchowski, who owns multiple national age group records in the 11-12 and 13-14 age groups.
Jake Mitchell, 17, Carmel Swim Club (CSC-IM): 800 free, 7:59.15 – Seventeen-year-old Michigan commit Jake Mitchell broke 8:00 for the first time at the 2019 U.S. National Championships last week; he entered the meet with a lifetime best of 8:08.87, from Junior Nationals a year earlier. Finishing eighth overall, Mitchell hit a 2020 Olympic Trials cut (his sixth overall and fourth of the meet. In Palo Alto, he also hit Trials cuts in the 200 free (1:48.92, 400 free (3:48.09, second overall) and 1500 (15:11.52).
Lockett Bowley, 15, Blue Dolphins (BD-FL): 200 fly, 2:16.18 – Lockett Bowley, then 14, ended the 2019 long course season with a best time of 2:24.28 in the 200 fly. She took off half a second to open this season in March, then another second in April, and another in May. In July, Bowley took off two more seconds, entering August with a 2:19.54. In her first swim at Futures last weekend, she went 2:18.64, and then in finals, 2:16.18. She also went a best time in the 100 free (58.95) and 200 free (2:05.23) at Futures.
Will Grant, 18, Heart of Texas Aquatics Team (HEAT-ST): 100 back, 54.57 – Eighteen-year-old Will Grant has never swam a 56-second 100 back in his career. In 2018, in just two attempts, he went from 57.10 to 55.78, and after opening 2019 with a 59.95 performance, has only improved on his PR. Grant went 55.33 and 55.03 in mid-July, then at U.S. Nationals, went 54.94 an 54.57. Both his swims at Stanford were good for 2020 Olympic Trials. He also hit the Trials cut in the 200 back, breaking 2:00 for the first time to go 1:59.92.
Katie Lawrence, 12, Wyckoff YMCA (WYF-NJ): 50 free, 27.61 – Twelve-year-old Katie Lawrence entered the 2019 long course season having never broken 30 seconds in a 50 free. In her first swim of the season, she went 28.74, and then just two weeks later, was 28.26. Then in her first swim at YMCA Nationals last week, Lawrence went 27.65, and in finals, 27.61. She was the fastest girl aged 12 and under in the country last weekend. Wyckoff also went a best time in the 100 back (1:01.42).
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