Read about our Weekly Wonders for the weekend of June 9-11, 2017:
Emma Wheal, 15, Western Hills Athletic Club: 50m free (26.41) – Wheal shaved 16/100 off her best time and landed a silver medal in the 50 free at the Texas Senior Circuit Long Course Meet #2 at Texas A&M University. She posted the top time in the country for 18-and-under girls and earned her first U.S. Open cut. Wheal also improved her PB in the 50 fly during the weekend.
Jill Berger, 13, Sea Devil Swimming: 400m free (4:30.88) – Swimming at the Fish June LC Invitational, Berger dropped 5.4 seconds and won the girls’ 13-and-over 400 free. She has now improved by 13 seconds over the last 12 months. Berger also scored new PBs in the 50 free, 100 free, and 200 free, and placed in the top four in all three events, as well as in the 100 back and 200 back.
Tori Culotta, 13, Lake Erie Silver Dolphins: 400m free (4:31.12) – Culotta won the 400 free at the 89th Ohio Valley Championships hosted by Lakeside Seahawks. It was her second-best lifetime swim, only 4/10 off her best, but a whopping 12.2 seconds ahead of last year’s pace. Culotta also won the 200 fly, and left the meet with new PBs in the 100 free, 100 back, and 200 fly.
Joe Hayburn, 13, Annapolis Swim Club: 100m back (1:01.60) – Hayburn dropped 1.2 seconds in prelims of the boys’ 13-14 100 back at the NBAC Long Course Championships in Baltimore. He won the event, although just a tad slower, but he is now 8.1 seconds faster than he’d been at this time last year. Hayburn took home new PBs in the 50 free, 100 free, and 400 free as well as the 100 back.
Abby Hala, 12, Ames Cyclone Aquatics Club: 100m back (1:11.01) – Swimming at the Rock the Blocks Jam hosted by Ames Cyclone Aquatics Club, Hala shaved 3/10 off her PB in the 100 back, going 2.7 seconds faster than she’d been this weekend a year ago. She also lowered her personal best times in the 100 free and 800 free.
Dylan McClain, 16, Trident Aquatics Club: 200m back (2:08.23) – McClain punched his first-ever ticket to Winter Juniors with an outstanding 200 back at Texas Senior Circuit Long Course Meet #2. McClain dropped 8.8 seconds to win the B final, posting a time that is 17.4 seconds faster than last year at this time. McClain also went best times in the 50 back and 100 back.
Ming Lo, 12, Los Alamos Aquatomics: 200m breast (2:45.32) – Swimming at the Lobo Summer Invite hosted by Lobo Aquatic Club, Lo dropped an improbable 12 seconds in the 200 breast. But that wasn’t all; he also earned new PBs in the 50/100/400 free, 100 back, 50/100 breast, 50 fly, and 200 IM.
Zac Zwijacz, 17, Schenectady-Saratoga Swim Club: 100m fly (57.48) – Zwijacz was just a tick off his best time but 2.4 seconds faster than he’d been this weekend last year when he finished second in the 13-and-older 100 fly at the PVA Invitational hosted by Purple Valley Aquatics at Williams College. He won the 200 IM, was runner-up in the 200 free, and placed third in the 50 free and fifth in the 400 free.
Sammie Eyolfson, 16, and Charity Pittard, 16, Boise YMCA Swim Team: 400m IM – Both Eyolfson and Pittard picked up their first Winter Juniors cuts in the 400 IM over the weekend while swimming at the 20th Annual Summer Sanders Long Course SR+ Swim Meet. Eyolfson, who already had the cut in SCY, dropped 5.2 to go 5:01.10, 8.4 seconds faster than last year at this time. Pittard smashed her previous PB with a best-by-14.7-seconds 5:01.25.
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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