Welcome to Season 5 of the Weekly Wonders of Age Group Swimming. The first three weekends of September gave us only a handful of meets, but there were plenty of strong early-season performances worth noting. Here are our Weekly Wonders for the weekends of September 1-3, 8-10, and 15-17, 2017:
Sam Hoover, 13, North Carolina Aquatic Club: 100y free (49.65) – Hoover dropped 2.2 seconds off his previous lifetime best and was 5.2 seconds faster than he’d been a year ago when he won the boys’ 13-14 100 free at the NCAC Blue/White Intrasquad Meet. He also won the 100 back (with a best time), the 100 breast, and the 200 IM, and took third in the 100 fly.
Ana Eyre, 16, Maui Dolphins Swim Club: 100y free (53.10) – Eyre was just a half-second off her PB in the 100 free, but 2.2 seconds ahead of last year’s pace, at the Maui Summer FUN Pentathlon at Kihei Aquatic Center. She won the 100 free with her third-best time ever, and earned new PBs in the 100 breast, 100 fly, and 100 IM.
Kristina Games, 12, Central Arkansas Swim Club: 100y free (56.48) – Swimming at the Colonel Robert Smothers Memorial Invite hosted by Central Arkansas Swim Club at Bryant Aquatic Center, Games took 2/10 off her best 100 free time, winning the girls’ 11-12 event 3.7 seconds faster than she’d been a year ago. She also won the 50 free, 100 breast, and 50/100 fly, going best times in all but the breast.
Allen Cai, 12, Irvine Novaquatics: 200y free (1:49.76) – Cai dipped under the 1:50 barrier in the 200 free for the first time at the NOVA Back to School Meet. He dropped 1.8 seconds and was 7.8 faster than he’d been at this time last year. Swimming in the Mixed 11-99 category, Cai won the 50/100/200 free, 100/200 back, and 200 IM. He was runner-up in the 100 fly and 10th in the 200 breast. He time-trialed the 50/100 breast and 50 fly, and finished the weekend with new times in the 50/100/200 free, 100/200 back, 50/100/200 breast, 50/100 fly, and 200 IM.
Tom Caps, 13, Aulea Swim Club: 100y breast (1:03.78) – Caps won the boys’ 13-14 100 breast at the Hawaii Swimming Oahu All-Isle Pentathlon, touching in his third-best time ever. He was 1.1 seconds of his PB but a hefty 7.5 seconds faster than he’d been last fall. Caps took home new times in the other four events he swam: 100 free, 100 back, 100 fly, and 100 IM.
Nathan Rogers, 12, The Hills Hurricane Swimming: 100y breast (1:09.40) – Rogers won the boys’ 11-12 100 breast at the C/B/A+ Meet hosted by the East Bay Silver Dolphins. He went a best time by 3.1 seconds, breaking 1:10 for the first time. Rogers is now 12.2 seconds faster than he’d been a year ago. He also went best times in the 100/200 free, 50 back, 50 breast, and 50 fly.
Kyle Samson, 14, Tiger Aquatics: 100y breast (1:02.96) – Swimming in the boys’ 13-14 100 breast at the California Gold/Lodi Swim Club Hot Dog Meet, Samson dropped 2/10 and cracked the 1:03 barrier for the first time. He won the 100 breast with a time that is 3.9 seconds ahead of last year’s pace. Samson also won the 100 back and was runner-up in the 100 free and 100 fly. He earned new PBs in the 100 back and 100 fly in addition to the breast.
Caitlin Smith, 14, Sparks Piranhas Swim Team: 100y fly (1:00.58) – Competing at the Molly Lahlum Memorial Autumn Freeze Swim Meet hosted by Douglas Dolfins Swim Team, Smith improved her seed time by 6/10 and won the 100 fly. She also won the 200 fly and 1000 free with new PBs, and picked up new times in the 100/200 breast 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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