Here are the Weekly Wonders for the weekends of December 22-24 and 29-31, 2017 and January 5-7, 2018:
Xavier Moore, 12, Bluegrass Marlins Swim Team: 50y free (23.95) – Representing Kentucky Swimming at the 2018 Mid States 14 & Under All-Star Championships, Moore broke 24 seconds for the first time with his runner-up finish in the 50 free. He lowered by 4/10 a month-old PB and was nearly 2 seconds faster than he’d been last January. Moore finished the meet with new times in the 50/200 free, 50 back, 50 breast, and 200 IM.
Hana Spaulding, 13, Skaneateles Lightning: 50y free (25.25) – Spaulding dropped 6/10 and finished second by .01 in the girls’ 13-14 50 free at the 2018 Bluefish Trials/Finals Meet at Boston University. That marked a huge improvement over last year, as she’d gone a best time of 26.96 at the same meet last January. Spaulding wrapped up the weekend with PBs in the 50/100/200/500 free, 100 fly, and 200 IM.
Emma Kern, 12, Velocity Aquatics: 100y free (53.27) – Kern swam for Team Minnesota at the Mid States 14 & Under All-Star Championships, where she took 3/10 off a month-old PB in the 100 free to finish second by .07. She was .10 under the meet record time and 3.5 seconds faster than she’d been last year at this time. Kern also notched PBs in the 100 back and 100 IM, the latter of which she won in meet-record time.
Nick Simons, 13, Lake Oswego Swim Club: 200y back (1:54.07) – Representing Team Oregon at the 2018 Pacific Coast All-Star Meet, Simons improved another 3.3 seconds from a PB that was only a month old, and was 14 seconds faster than he’d been a year ago, when he took second in the boys’ 13-14 200 back. He was runner-up in the 100 back, again with a PB, and also took home new times in the 100 free and 200 fly.
Madelyn Christman, 14, Fishers Area Swimming Tigers: 200y back (1:58.65) – Christman won the 200 back by nearly 6 seconds, broke the meet record, and registered her first sub-2:00 swim at the Mid States 14 & Under All-Star Championships. Representing Team Indiana, she also won the 200 IM and came away with new times in the 100/200 free and 100/200 back. Her 200 back was a PB by 2.1 seconds and 9.2 seconds faster than her time from a year ago.
Sam Brown, 13, Adirondack Bluefins: 200y back (1:59.79) – Swimming at the 2018 Starfish Trophy Invitational, Brown won the boys’ 13-14 200 back by over 10 seconds, breaking 2 minutes for the first time. He took a 3.1-chunk off a 1-month-old PB and was 16.9 seconds faster than he’d been last year at this time. Brown finished up with new times in the 50/100/500 free, 100/200 back, and 100 fly. He won all but the 100 free, where he was runner-up, and he added a title in the 200 fly, as well.
Chloe Myers, 13, Northland United Swim Team: 100y breast (1:06.86) – Myers won the girls’ 13-14 100 breast and crushed the meet record at the True Blue Igloo Invitational at the Capitol Federal Natatorium in Topeka. Slicing 7/10 off a 3-week-old PB in the event, she finished the meet 2.8 seconds faster than she’d been a year ago. Myers also picked up new times in the 200 free and 100 fly, and won the 200 IM crown.
Isaac Fleig, 12, Ozaukee Aquatics: 200y breast (2:25.43) – Swimming at the 2018 January Classic Invite hosted by Badger Aquatic Club, Fleig went 6-for-6 and won the boys’ 11-12 50 free, 200 back, 50/200 breast, and 100/200 fly. He went best times in the 200 back, 200 breast, and 200 fly. His 200 breast time was a PB by 9.4 seconds, and fully 15.2 seconds ahead of where he’d been at this same meet a year ago.
Alex Stone, 14, Lane Four Aquatics: 100y fly (53.61) – Stone won the boys’ 13-14 200 free and 200 IM, was runner-up in the 200 fly and 400 IM, and placed third in the 500 free and 100 fly, at the 2018 Time Welsh Invitational hosted by Irish Aquatics Swim Club. He went best times in the 100/200/500 free, 50 back, 100/200 fly, and 200/400 IM. His 100 fly was a PB by 1.7 seconds, and 5 seconds faster than what he swam at the 2017 version of the Tim Welsh Invitational.
Ella Ward-Zeller, 13, Pierre Swim Team: 100y fly (1:00.47) – Swimming at the 2018 Aberdeen Winter High Point Swim Meet, Ward-Zeller won the girls’ 13-14 100/200 back, 100 fly and 200 IM; she was runner-up in the 50/500 free and 100 breast. During the weekend she lowered her PBs in the 500 free, 200 back, 100 breast, and 100 fly. Her 100 fly was 9/10 better than her seed time, and 3.2 seconds faster than it had been a year ago.
Nell Chidley, 16, Connecticut Aquatic Club: 200y fly (2:02.47) – Chidley won the girls’ 15-and-over 200 fly by 6.4 seconds at the Bluefish Trials/Finals Meet at Boston University. While she was 1/10 off her PB, which she had just swum at 2017 Winter Juniors in December, it was her second sub-2:03 and represented an 8.1-second improvement from the same meet last year. Chidley also won the 200 IM, this time with a PB (2:10.34) and was runner-up in the 200 back.
Reminder: The Weekly Wonders column is a celebration of age-group swimming, where new champions are made every day. Anyone can look up the top swims of the week. That’s not what we’re doing here. If we were only reporting on the week’s top swims we would feature the same handful of athletes every Wednesday. Instead, this is an opportunity to introduce the swimming community to athletes who have made great strides in the context of their own particular swimming worlds. By association, it also celebrates their coaches and their teams. The Weekly Wonders column, therefore, amounts to a pat on the back for a job well done, and hopefully encourages swimmers of all levels to continue to reach from within to get to that next level.
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