MP Weekly Wonders of Age Group Swimming – 8/16/2017

Believe it or not, there were only four meets across the USA this week for which we could find results. But they were fast ones. Here are the MP Weekly Wonders for the weekend of August 11-13, 2017:

Samuel Empey, 11, Columbia River Swim Team: 50m free (27.88) – Empey took 0.7 off his two-week-old personal best and qualified for the A final in the boys’ 11-12 50 free at the Western Zone Age Group Championships hosted by Redding Aqua Ducks Swim Team. He finished the summer 2 seconds faster than he’d been in 2016. He was also an A finalist in the 100 free and 50/100 fly, and made consols in the 50/100 back. Empey took home new times in the 50/100 free, 50/100 back, and 50/100 fly

Jade Matthias, 12, Governor Mifflin Aquatic Club: 50m free (27.13) – Matthias won the girls’ 11-12 50 free at the Eastern Zone Long Course Age Group Championship hosted by Poseidon Swimming. She dropped .7 and set a new meet record, going 2 seconds faster than she’d been at this time last year. Matthias wound up the meet with PBs in the 50/100 free and 50/100 back.

Megan Dunnigan, 12, Farmington Valley YMCA Tsunamis: 100m back (1:07.57) – Also swimming at the Eastern Zone Age Group Champs, Dunnigan won the girls’ 11-12 50 back, 100 back, and 200 back. In the 100, she took a full second off a time that was only a week old. Dunnigan has now improved by 7 full seconds over where she was a year ago. She finished the weekend with PBs in the 50/100 free, 50/100/200 back, and 50/100 fly.

Rian Herrmann, 12, Swim Seventy: 200m back (2:18.25) – Herrmann dropped 1.5 seconds to qualify second for the final of the boys’ 11-12 200 back at Eastern Zone Age Group Champs, then came back at night and destroyed his PB by another 4.2 seconds to win the event with a time that is 14.9 seconds faster than a year ago. He was runner-up in the 50/100 back and made A finals in the 100/200 free and went home with new PBs in the 50/100/200 free and 50/100/200 back.

Will Grant, 16, Heart of Texas Aquatics Team: 200m back (2:01.95) – Grant won the consolation final of the 200 back at Speedo Junior National Championships with the sixth-fastest time in the meet. He dropped about a second off his month-old PB, and finished 6.7 seconds ahead of his PB coming into the 2016-17 season. Grant also competed in the 100 back (he finished 10th with a PBx0.55, picking up his first U.S. Open cut) and the 200/400 IM.

Matt Fallon, 14, Somerset Valley YMCA: 200m breast (2:19.73) – Also swimming at Speedo Junior Nationals, Fallon was the only 14-year-old to final in the 200 breast. He dropped just over a half-second from his week-old PB and placed 19th. He has now improved by 5.2 seconds since last summer. The previous weekend at YMCA Nationals he had achieved PBs in the 400/800 free and 200/400 IM, in addition to the 200 breast.

Ashley Rowe, 12, Pacific Swim: 200m breast (2:39.09) – Rowe made her first-ever Winter Juniors cut winning the girls’ 11-12 200 breast at Western Zone Age Group Championships. She dropped 2.8 seconds and set the meet record, and wound up with a time that is fully 16.8 seconds ahead of last year’s pace. Rowe also won the 100 breast and 200/400 IM, tied for first in the 50 back, and finished fifth in the 50 breast. She left the meet with PBs in all six events, plus the 100 free.

Dominic Debernardi, 11, Yosemite Marlins Swim Club: 200m fly (2:34.59) – Also swimming at Western Zone AG Champs, Debernardi dropped 6.8 seconds and finished tenth in the boys’ 11-12 200 fly. He also dropped 1.8 in the 100 fly to make the B final, then took another .3 off at night. Debernardi finished the weekend with new times in the 100/400 free, 50/100/200 fly, and 200/400 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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Established in Genoa, Italy, in 1998, Aqua Sphere is the premier swimming equipment manufacturer for fitness and recreational swimming, aquatic exercise and triathlons. With the launch of its cutting-edge Seal Mask—the world’s first swim mask, the company set the industry standard and today continues to innovate with a complete range of premium products, including eye protection, swimwear, triathlon wetsuits, footwear, and swim fitness and training accessories. The designs have gained the respect and loyal following of many celebrities and notable athletes, including the world’s most decorated Olympian Michael Phelps, with whom Aqua Sphere is partnering to develop a global brand partnership. Alongside its parent company Aqua Lung and supported by an international distribution network, Aqua Sphere has grown into a worldwide enterprise representing unparalleled design, development and manufacturing expertise, with a global footprint in more than 90 countries. For more information, visit or


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About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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