Read about the Weekly Wonders from the weekend of October 19-21, 2018:
Allen Cai, 13, Irvine Novaquatics (NOVA-CA): 500y free (4:40.81) – Cai went 6-for-6, earning new lifetime bests in all his events at the NOVA IMX Meet at the William Woollett Aquatic Center. In the 500 free, he finished 4th in the boys’ 13&O event, dropping 8.1 seconds and going 8.8 faster than at the same meet last year. In all, he improved his PBs in the 500 free, 200 back, 200 breast, 200 fly, 200, and 400 IM, and kicks off the 2018-19 short course season with the #1 IMX score for 13-year-old boys with 5225 points.
Nicholas Kalenik, 16, SwimAtlanta (SA-GA): 500y free (4:35.19) – Kalenik improved his entry time by 8/10 and was 12.2 seconds faster than he’d been in mid-October 2017 (when he went a PB of 4:47.40) with his runner-up finish in the boys’ 13&O 500 free at the War Eagle Invitational at Auburn University. He was also runner-up in the 100 IM and finished top-8 in the 50/100/200 free and 200 IM.
Cassie Howell, 14, Performance Elite Aquatics (PEAQ-MS): 100y back (55.90) – Swimming for Madison Central High School, Howell achieved her first Winter Juniors cut at Mississippi’s MHSAA North Half Championships, dropping 1.5 seconds to win the 100 back in 55.90. Howell broke the Mississippi 13-14 State Record and Open State Record with her swim. She was 2.3 seconds faster than she’d been at the same meet a year ago. She also improved her PBs in the 100 free (51.88) and 50 back (25.91).
Alana Barthel, 15, Aulea Swim Club (AUL-HI): 100y back (56.99) – Barthel dropped half a second to win the women’s open 100 back at the Oahu Senior Meet at the University of Hawai’i pool. She is now 3.2 seconds faster than she was at the beginning of October 2017 (1:00.11) in the event. Barthel also dropped time in the 1650 free and 200 IM.
Aaron Baltaytis, 13, Jersey Flyers Aquatic Club (JFAC-NJ): 100y fly (55.26) – Baltaytis took 1 second off his seed time and was 8.5 seconds faster than he’d been at the same meet last year (1:03.71), when he won the boys’ 13-14 100 fly at New Jersey Swimming’s Fall Festival of X-Cellence. Baltaytis also won the 100 back and left the meet with new PBs in the 50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 50 back, 100 back, 50 breast, 100 fly, and 200 IM.
Lucy Bell, 14, Fort Collins Area Swim Team (FAST-CO): 200y IM (2:04.43) – Competing at the Scary FAST Invite hosted by Fort Collins Area Swim Team, Bell dropped 2 seconds to go 2:05.63 (altitude-adjusted to 2:04.43) to finish second in the girls’ 13-14 200 IM, making her 10.3 seconds faster than she was at the same meet a year ago (2:15.93, or 2:14.73 adjusted). Bell finished the weekend with new PBs in the 50/200/500 free, 50/100 back, 50 fly, and 200 IM.
Bridget McGann, 12, Delta Aquatics (DLTA-IL): 200y IM (2:11.96) – McGann won all 8 of the events she swam at the Oktober Swim Fest hosted by Lockport Homer Swim Club. In the 200 IM, she dropped 1.7 seconds and was 5.9 seconds faster than she’d been at the same meet last year. McGann wont the 50/100/200 free, 50/100 back, 50 breast, 50 fly, and 200 IM and left the meet with new PBs in the 50 free, 50 back, 50 breast, and 200 IM.
Alexa Van Holtz, 13, Mexico Tiger Sharks (METS-NI): 200y IM (2:12.94) – Swimming for Mexico High School, Van Holtz improved her seed time by 3.7 seconds, going 11.2 seconds faster than she’d been on the same weekend last year, at the OHSL Championships in New Hartford, New York. She also won the 100 fly (59.21).
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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