Presenting our Weekly Wonders from the weekend of January 4th-6th, 2019:
Connor Carlile, 13, Fishers Area Swimming Tigers: 400 IM, 4:25.82 – In January 2018, Carlile was 4:41.98 in the 400 IM. By October, he was 4:37.90, then in November, was 4:33.47. Then, at the 2019 IN Indiana Mid States All Star Championships last weekend, he dropped it all the way down to 4:25.82. At the same meet, he also went bests in the 500 free (4:56.80 down from 5:04.17), 1650 (17:11.96 down from 17:32.31).
Lily Struempf, 12, Terrapins Swim Team: 200 free, 1:54.05 – As of the end of 2017, Struempf had yet to break 2:00 in the 200 free. Come March 2018, she was 1:58.49, and then over the first two weeks of December, went from 1:56.55 to 1:54.16. Struempf kept the time-shaving streak alive in the new year, taking second at the 2019 Pacific Coast All-Stars meet in 1:54.16.
Angela Quan, 14, Santa Clara Swim Club: 100 fly, 55.25 – In her first swim of 2019, Quan took over a second off her 100 fly time at the 2019 Pacific Coast All-Stars meet. She posted the fastest time of the meet, completing an over 2.5-second drop since March of 2018. At All-Stars, Quan also went a best time in the 100 free, shaving her time from 54.75 to 54.39.
Nathan Deslisle, 13, Bluefish Swim Club: 200 back, 1:55.44 – Just three weeks ago, Deslisle was 1:57.28 in the 200 back. But the turn of the year brought a near-immediate two-second drop down to 1:55.44. What’s more impressive? His first swim of the day was 1:58.67, so the 13-year-old prepared himself well for finals. Other best times at the meet came in the 50, 100 free, 200, and 500 free, as well as the 100 back and 200 IM.
Andy Dobrzanski, 14, Milan Swim Club: 100 breast, 59.12 – Exactly a year before this swim, Dobrzanski was 1:04.94 in the 100 breast. He dropped over a second in his first few swims of 2018, then another second in November, when he was 1:02.22. But the 14-year-old wasted no time breaking 1:00 in 2019, dropping over three seconds to go 59.12 last weekend. Dobrzanski also went best times in the 50 and 100 free as well as the 200 breast and 200 IM at the same meet.
Rachel Stege, 15, Fox Valley Swim Team: 1650 free, 17:08.21 – Stege, a Winter Junior qualifier in the 200 (1:49.53) and 500 free (4:44.52), swam the first 1650 of her career last weekend. Her first effort was fruitful, earning a 2019 Futures cut and the fastest time at the 2019 ILOP ACAD Speedo Invitational. The 15-year-old also went a lifetime best in the 200 back (2:20.33).
Bryce Henkel, 16, Albany Starfish: 200 fly, 1:52.38 – Henkel broke 2:00 for the first time in February 2018, going 1:59.55, then later that same day, 1:57.97. A month after that, he was 1:57.09 After logging zero 200 fly races in the remainder of 2018, the 16-year-old dropped nearly five seconds last weekend, going 1:52.38. He also went bests in the 100 free (a full-second drop to 48.09) and 400 IM (4:08.50, down from 4:15.53) at the 2019 AD Starfish Trophy Invite.
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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