Brian Li, 17, Austin Swim Club (ASC-ST): 200 free, 1:42.63 – Twenty-three months ago, a then-16-year-old Brian Li was a 1:45.28 200 freestyler. Since then, he’s made steady progress in each of the three times he’s raced it. In December 2018, Li went 1:44.35; in March 2019, he went 1:43.64; and last weekend, he was 1:42.63 at his team’s September Splash meet. He also went a best time the 100 free, going 47.94.
Olivia Suarez, 13, Cypress Fairbanks Swim Club (CFSC-GU): 400 IM, 4:34.70 – Entering 2019, then-12-year-old Olivia Suarez had a lifetime best time of 4:47.45 in the 400 IM. By the end of January, after two swims, she was 4:39.78. In February, she lowered that to 4:37.87. In her first attempt in the new season, and as a 13-year-old, she went 4:34.70 last weekend at the 2019 Cypress Fairbanks Swim Club Invite.
Chris O’Grady, 15, Rose Bowl Aquatics (ROSE-CA): 200 IM, 1:56.95 – Chris O’Grady, then 15, entered 2018 haveing never been under 2:06 in the 200 IM. In March of that year, he went 2:02.60, and in December, was under 2:00 at 1:59.64. In February of this year, he went 1:57.83, and then last weekend, went 1:56.95.
Erika Palaez, 13, Eagle Aquatics (EA-FG): 200 fly, 2:10.55 – Thirteen-year-old Erika Paelez has only swum the 200 butterfly eight times in her career, and over the last 20 or so months, has shaved off 15 seconds. In December 2017, as an 11-year-old, she went 2:25.18. In September 2018, Palaez went 2:14.00. Then last weekend, she went 2:10.55. She also went best times in the 100 and 200 breast and 100 IM, going 1:08.49, 2:27.12 and 59.50, respectively.
Lia Wiyanto, 12, Irvine Novaquatics (NOVA-CA): 100 back, 1:01.69 – As an 11-year-old, Lia Wiyanto entered 2019 with a best time of 1:03.35 in the 100-yard backstroke. In February of this year, she lowered that to 1:03.15 and then 1:02.27. In her first attempt as a 12-year-old, last weekend, she dropped to 1:01.69, hitting a quadruple-A cut. She also went best times in the 50 breast, 50 fly and 100 fly.
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