Presenting our Weekly Wonders from the weekend of January 25-27th, 2019:
Amelia Hayes, 14, Saline Swim Team (SST-MI): 200 IM, 2:06.32 – Since March os 2018, Hayes has dropped almost 7 second in the 200 IM. She entered 2019 with a best time of 2:08.52, then went 2:08.49 in her first swim last weekend. Later the same day, she took over a full two seconds, going 2:06.32 and hitting a 2019 Futures cut. She went additional lifetime bests in the 200 free (1:56.02), 500 free (5:09.95), and 200 back (2:00.47).
Alex Yun, 12, South Shore YMCA (SSYS-NE): 50 breast, 28.84 –After dropping two seconds over the course of 2018, closing out the year at an even 30.15, Yun went an even 30.00 in prelims at the SPY Winterfest Championship last weekend. In finals, he not only broke 30 for the first time, but went 28.84 to break the YMCA national record in a close race. He provided SwimSwam with a video:
Caitlin Horning, 12, Delaware Swim Team (DST-MA): 100 back, 56.66 – After sitting in the :58-mid-to-high range for over a year, Horning went 58.31 leading off a relay in October 2018. Three months later, to the day, she obliterated that time, going 56.66 (a 2019 Futures cut). At the same meet, the 2019 PV USA Swimming IM Xtreme Games, she also dropped just shy of four seconds in her 100 breast, going 1:09.93 down from 1:13.85.
Max Myers, 15, American Energy Swim Cub (AESC-OK): 50 free, 21.23 – On February 1st, 2018, Myers went a then-best time of 22.86. He shaved off a few more tenths just two weeks later, and then in December, he broke 22 for the first time (21.62). A month later at the 2019 OK AESC Winter Ice Breaker meet, he dropped it all the way down to 21.23. He also went best times in his 100 free (46.70) and 200 IM (2:01.71).
Tatum Wall, 14, Nation’s Capital Swim Club (NCAP-PV): 500 free, 4:58.34 – Exactly a year after her last best time in the 500 free (5:07.59), Wall dropped over nine seconds. Over the past two years, she’s dropped nearly 30 seconds. In the 200 back at the 2019 PV USA Swimming IM Xtreme Games, she also dropped from 2:01.70 to sneak under 2:00 for the first time at 1:59.97. Wall went additional bests in the 200 breast (2:41.38), 200 fly (2:05.44), and 400 IM (4:31.85).
Adam Milling, 16, Springfield YMCA (SPY-IL): 400 IM, 4:01.30 – In January 2018, Milling was 4:10.92 in the 400 IM, then dropped it down to 4:06.04 in March. He further slashed off time to go 4:02.28 last October. Last weekend, Milling took off another second to go 4:01.30. At the same meet, the 2019 IN BBSC Circle City Classic, he also went a best time of 52.95 (first time under :53) in the 100 back.
Kledi Kadiu, 15, CSP Tideriders (CSP-OZ): 100 free, 45.58 – As of November 2017, Kadiu had never been under :47 in his 100 free. Come January 2018, he went 46.93 (leading off a relay), and in March, he was 46.13. At Winter Juniors in December, he broke :46 for the first time, doing it by a wide margin in 45.61. But less than two months later, he improved on that time, albeit just slightly, going 45.58 at the 2019 OZ Ozark Senior Champs.
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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