There were only a smattering of age group meets around the country this past weekend, and the big swims skewed younger. Take a look at our picks of MP Weekly Wonders for the weekend of January 20-22, 2017.
Alex Gallardo, 14, El Paso Aqua Posse: 50y free (22.94) – Swimming unattached for Franklin High School at the Texas UIL District 1-6A Championships, Gallardo led off the Franklin 200 free relay and dipped under 23 seconds for the first time. He improved his previous PB by 0.43, and was 9/10 faster than he’d been a year ago. Gallardo won the 200 IM and was fourth in the 100 breast; both were new personal bests for the 9th-grader.
Jade Hallum, 14, Austin Trinity Aquatic Club: 100y free (50.83) – Two weeks after going lifetime-bests in the 100/200 breast and 400 IM at the San Antonio Wave’s Wave into ’17, Hallum dropped time in the 50/100/200/500 free, 100 fly, and 200 IM at the New Year’s Classic hosted by Longhorn Aquatics. Her 100 free was a PB by 1.5 seconds and the #2 18-and-under swim in U.S. for the weekend. It also landed Hallum her first Winter Juniors cut.
Maggie Wyngowski, 17, Schenectady-Saratoga Sharks: 500 free (5:04.97) – Swimming at the Chris Goody IMX Challenge hosted by Schenectady-Saratoga Swim Club last weekend, Wyngowski dropped 8/10 to improve her 500 free time. She also put up a strong performance in the 400 IM on Saturday, and in the 200 back, 200 breast, 200 fly, and 200 IM on Sunday. The Bucknell-bound high school senior won the IMX title for 17-year-old girls with 4348 points.
Sophie Duncan, 12, Sea Devil Swimming: 200y back (2:07.04) – Duncan whacked 3 seconds off her seed time and was 8.3 seconds faster than she’d been last January when she won the girls’ 11-12 200 back at the January Open hosted by Fairland Aquatics Swim Team. Duncan also won the 100 breast and 100 IM, placed second in the 50 back and 200 breast, and was fifth in the 50 fly. She earned PBs in all but the 50 back.
Avery Spade, 12, Andover YMCA All Stars: 200y breast (2:26.60) – Spade went 8-for-8 at the Aqua Freeze meet hosted by Wichita Aqua Shocks, winning the girls’ 11-12 100/200 free, 50 back, 50/200 breast, 100 fly, and 100/400 IM. She picked up new times in the 50 breast, 50 fly, and 400 IM during the weekend, and was only off her best 200 breast time by 1 second.
David He, 16, Three Village Swim Club: 200y fly (1:52.36) – Swimming at the TVSC January Joust, He won the boys’ 15-18 200 fly with the #1 swim in the country for the weekend; it was his best effort by 1 second, and 7.3 ahead of where he’d been last year at this time. He also won the 200 back and 100/200 breast, and was runner-up in the 200 IM. He left the meet with new PBs in the 500 free, 100/200 back, 200 breast, 200 fly, and 200 IM.
Hannah Bellard, 11, Trenton Swim Club: 200y fly (2:15.02) – In only her second-ever 200 fly, Bellard blasted a best-by-9.2 seconds 2:15.02 to win the girls’ 11-12 event at the 6th Annual Arctic Blast hosted by South Lyon Aquatics. Bellard is now the fourth-fastest 11-year-old 200 butterflyer in the country for the 2016-17 season. She also won the 50/100/200 free and was runner-up in the 50/200 back. Bellard finished the weekend with new times in the 50/500 free, 50/200 back, 200 fly, and 200 IM.
Alexandria Cotter, 13, East Coast C-Cerpants: 200y IM (2:09.60) – Cotter dropped 1.2 seconds in the 200 IM and was 6.1 seconds faster than she’d been a year ago when she won the girls’ 13-14 event at the New Year’s A/BB/C hosted by Greater Philadelphia Aquatic Club. She also won the 200 free, 100/200 back, and 400 IM and was runner-up in the 50 free, 200 breast and 100 fly. Cotter took home new times in the 50/100/200 free, 100/200 breast, 100 fly, and 200/400 IM.
Will Daniel, 11, Wilton Y Wahoos Swim Club: 400y IM (4:50.75) – Competing in his first ever 400 IM, swimming in the Open Division at the Wahoo Winter Invitational, Daniel just missed the 12&Under 400 IM team record for the Wahoos, an impressive feat for a team with a long history in the event. The swim was Daniel’s first AAAA 11-year-old time this season and he went on to add two more during the weekend: 100 fly (1:03.69) and 100 free (56.80). Daniel finished the meet with 7 best times in his 7 races.
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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