Presenting the MP Weekly Wonders for the weekend of March 24-26, 2017.
Teresa Ivan, 13, Greenwood Swimming: 50y free (23.85) – Swimming at the Dolfin ISCA Junior National Championship Cup at the Long Center in Clearwater, Florida, Ivan swam her first sub-24 50 free, and she did it three times. On Tuesday she led off Greenwood’s 200 free relay in 23.91. Two days later she went 23.94 in the girls’ 16-and-under individual event to qualify 12th for finals, then swam 23.85 at night to finish 13th overall. Ivan went home with new PBs in the 200 free and 100 back, in addition to the 50.
Elsa Musselman, 12, Anchorage YMCA Swim Team: 100y free (53.95) – Musselman, whose PB last April was 1:03, dropped an incredible 3.1 seconds, breaking the 56-second barrier for the first time, at the Pacific Northwest Region Short Course Age Group Championships. Seeded with 56.08, a PB she had achieved last month at Alaska Age Group Championships, Musselman went 54.27 in prelims, then 53.95 in finals to place second in the girls 12 event. She was also runner-up in the 50/200 free, 7th in the 500, and 8th in the 100 fly. Musselman left the meet with new times in the 50/100/200/500 free, 50 back, 50 breast, 50/100 fly, and 400 IM.
Rylee O’Neil, 14, Billings Aquatic Club: 1650y free (17:31.49) – O’Neil won the girls’ 14 1650 by a 50 at the Pacific Northwest Region Age Group Championships, eclipsing her week-old best time by 1.5 seconds. At Federal Way Sectionals last weekend she had dropped 23.1 seconds in the mile. O’Neil is now 57 seconds faster than she was last year at this time. She left her second meet at Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center with new times in the 500/1650 free, 200 breast, 100/200 fly, and 400 IM.
Justin Heimes, 14, Upper Perk YMCA Gators: 100y back (52.83) – Heimes swam his second-best 100 back while winning the boys’ 13-14 event at the Pennsylvania YMCA State Swimming Championship. He was 3 seconds faster than he’d been at the same meet last year. Heimes also won the 200 back (1:56.15), again only a tick off his best time, improving 7.6 seconds in just over a year. He finished the meet with a 22.20 anchor on the UPY 200 free relay.
Isabelle Stadden, 14, FASTjets: 200y back (1:58.71) – Stadden finished sixth in the girls’ 16-and-under 200 back at the Dolfin ISCA Junior Championships, improving her PB by 1.1 seconds. She had dropped 1.1 seconds in the event the previous week, too; prior to March she had never broken 2:00. Last year at this time she went from 2:07.8 to 2:02.4 in the 200 back. Stadden finished the Dolfin ISCA meet with new times in the 50/100 free, 50/200 back, 50/100/200 breast, 100 fly, and 100/400 IM.
Jack Hamilton, 13, Atlantis Swimming: 200y back (1:53.18) – Swimming at the Michigan 13/14 & Open SCY State Meet hosted by Michigan Lakeshore Aquatics, Hamilton won the boys’ 13-14 500/1650 free, 200 back, 200 breast, and 200 IM; he was runner-up in the 400 IM. Hamilton’s 200 back time was a PB by 2.5 seconds, 6.3 faster than at this time last year. He went best times in the 500/1650 free, 200 breast, 200 back, and 400 IM, and in the 200 free and 100 back, leading off Atlantis’ relays.
Patrick Lacore, 16, Old Dominion Aquatic Club: 100y breast (54.54) – Lacore dropped 1.3 seconds in prelims of the boys’ 16-and-under 100 breast at Dolfin ISCA Junior Championships, uncorking his first US Open invitation and posting the top qualifying time for finals. His evening swim was 55.37, giving him a silver medal in the event. Lacore is nearly 2 seconds faster in the 100 breast than he’d been last year at this time. He left Florida with new times in the 50/100 free, 50/100/200 breast, and 100/200 IM.
Mary Smutny, 16, Aquakids Sharks Swim Team: 200y fly (1:56.58) – At the Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships sponsored by South Florida Aquatic Club, Comets Swim Team Booster Club and City of Pembroke Pines, Smutny dropped 4.2 seconds to win the 200 fly with a new LSC record. It was her first sub-2:00 200 fly, and it earned her a first invitation to Summer Nationals. She won the 100/200 free, 100 back, and 100/200 fly and was third in the 50 free and 100/200/400 IM. Smutny finished the weekend with new PBs in the 50/200 free, 100 back, 100/200 fly, and 100/200/400 IM.
Carl Bloebaum, 13, Mason Manta Rays: 200y fly (1:53.91) – Bloebaum sliced 4.7 seconds off his best time to place 14th in the boys’ 16-and-under 200 IM, just 2 weeks after going his first sub-2:00 in the event. Swimming at the Dolfin ISCA Junior Championships, Bloebaum came in with a PB of 1:58.61, which he had just picked up at the Ohio Junior Olympic Championships two weeks prior. He went 1:56.04 in prelims, then 1:53.91 in finals. Last November his best time was 2:04.97. He also dropped 1.6 seconds to pick up a new PB in the 200 IM.
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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