Presenting the Weekly Wonders for the weekend of January 19-21, 2018:
Jake Magahey, 16, SwimAtlanta: 200y free (1:36.17) – Swimming for Mill Creek High School at the 2018 Gwinnett High School Swim & Dive Championship, Magahey won the 200 free and the 500 free with new PBs. Coming off a successful Winter Juniors, where he just gone best times in the 50/200/500/1650 free (and won a national title in the 1650), Magahey dropped another 1.3 in the 200 and 2.7 in the 500, making him 3.3 seconds and 8.5 seconds than he was in those events a year ago.
Clare Culver, 16, Dowling Catholic Riptide: 500y free (4:54.40) – Culver sliced another 2/10 off her best time, after having improved by 3.3 seconds at Winter Juniors, while winning the girls’ 15-and-over 500 free at the 2018 FOXJ Winter Classic. That makes her 4.6 faster than she was last year at this time. Culver also notched a PB in the 200 IM (2:08.04) at the meet.
Amanda Ulicny, 13, Greenwood Swimming: 1000y free (10:24.76) – Ulicny won the girls’ 13-14 1000 free at the 2018 CRIM-WCC Team Specialty Meet at WPI with a best time by 27.5 seconds. She also competed in the 100/200 free, 200 back, 100 breast, 100/200 fly, and 200 IM and went 8-for-8 with lifetime bests. Ulicny finished in the top-5 of the 100 free, 200 free, 100 fly, 200 fly, and 200 IM.
Hayley Kimmel, 13, Linn-Mar Swim Team: 100y back (56.15) – Kimmel scored her first Winter Juniors cut in the 100 back, dropping 3.8 seconds off a 5-week-old PB to win the girls’ 13-14 event at FOXJ Winter Classic. She also won the 100 breast with a first-time Winter Juniors cut (1:03.90, PB by 1.5 seconds). Kimmel finished the meet with new times in the 50/200/500 free, 100 back, 100 breast, and 100 fly, just a week after having earned new times at Midwest All-Stars in the 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, and 200/400 IM.
Nate Germonprez, 13, Greater Omaha Aquatics Leopardsharks: 100y back (56.85) – Swimming at the 2018 Millard Aquatic Club Mid-Winter Blast, Germonprez dropped 2.6 seconds to finish second in the boys’ 13-and-over 100 back. That puts him 6.5 seconds ahead of where he was at this point in the season last year. He was 5-for-5 for the weekend, also earning new PBs in the 50/100/200 free and 200 back, and finishing in the top 5 of all his events.
Gavin Fuchs, 15, Owensboro Marlin Swimming: 100y back (54.88) – Heritage Hills High School sophomore Fuchs won the 100 back at the Pocket Athletic Conference meet, breaking a meet record that had stood since 1995. It was a PB by 1.8, and was 4.4 seconds faster than his time from last January. He also won the 200 IM (2:01.83), dropping 3.9 from his previous best and breaking the school record; he is now 11.4 seconds faster than a year ago. Coach Phil Bradley and the Heritage Hills boys swim team (Lincoln City, Indiana) claimed their first PAC title in 11 years, with additional wins in the 200 free (Samuel Pinckert), 100 free (Samuel Martin), 500 free (Joshua Halvorson) and 200 free relay (Samuel Martin, Gavin Fuchs, Austin Schnuck and Samuel Pinckert).
Jackson Kennedy, 15, Alamo Area Aquatic Association: 200y back (1:53.69) – Kennedy dropped 4.1 seconds and finished 4th in the boys’ 15-and-over 200 back at the 2018 TXLA New Year’s Classic. He also earned new PBs in the 50 free, 100 breast, 200 fly, and 200 IM.
Mya Drost-Parra, 16, Flatiron Athletic Club: 200y back (2:03.54) – Also swimming at the TXLA New Year’s Classic, Drost-Parra took 6/10 off a 2-month-old PB to win the women’s 15-and-over 200 back. She won the 200 IM as well, and was runner-up in the 400 IM, 100 back, and 200 fly. Drost-Parra finished the meet with new times in the 200 free and 200 back.
Kayla Mendonca, 15, Soundview YMCA Stingrays: 200y back (2:03.15) – Mendonca destroyed the meet record en route to winning the 200 back at 2018 HAWKS Trials And Finals. She went a PB by 1.4 seconds, and took 2.4 off her time from this time last year. She also won the 500 free and 100 back, was runner-up in the 200 free, and placed fourth in the 50/100 free and 200 IM. Mendonca left the meet with new times in the 50/100/200/500 free and 200 back.
Jenna Gwinn, 16, Greater Baltimore Swim Association: 100y breast (1:05.53) – Gwinn, a junior at Mount de Sales Academy, took .01 off a 5-week-old PB to win the girls’ 100 breast at the 2018 National Catholic High School Championships, making her 1.9 seconds faster than she’d been a year ago. Gwinn also earned a new PB with her 6th-place finish in the 200 IM.
Tyler Hong, 14, Great Lakes Sailfish Swimming: 200y IM (1:51.16) – Also swimming at the National Catholic High School Championships, Cleveland St. Ignatius freshman Hong took .3 off his 6-week-old PB to win the boys’ 200 IM. That puts him 6.5 seconds ahead of last year’s pace. Hong doubled with a win in the 100 fly and another PB. This time he improved by .26, making him about 4 seconds faster than he’d been last year at this time.
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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