Presenting our Weekly Wonders from the weekend of November 16-18, 2018:
Ashley Turak, 17, dROP Aquatics (DROP-MI): 50y free (22.10) – Turak swam the country’s #1 time of the weekend for 18-and-under girls, and that includes all swims at college invitationals. Swimming for Harrison-Farmington at the Michigan MHSAA Girls’ D1 Swim & Dive Championships, she won the 50 free with a new D1 record, taking .28 off the mark she had set last year. The Indiana commit also won the 100 free, lowering her own D1 record to 48.72.
Micah Chambers, 16, Aquatic Club of Enid (ACE-OK): 50 free (20.21) – Chambers knocked nearly 1 second off his previous best time in the 50 free at the WSC Legends Invitational. Competing in the 100 free, he went for his 50 leadoff split and finished the race in 58.21. Chambers earned his first U.S. Open cut and is now 1.3 seconds faster than he was last December (21.51). He also dropped 12.2 seconds in the 500 free and 2.7 in the 100 back.
Carly Novelline, 14, NASA Wildcat Aquatics (WILD-IL): 100y free (49.86) – At the Illinois IHSA Girls State Championships, New Trier High School freshman Novelline earned her first Winter Nationals cut in the 100 free, posting a 49.86 in prelims. She erased 3/10 from her previous PB and was 2.3 seconds faster than she’d been last year at this time. She finished 3rd in the100 free and 5th in the 50 free, the only freshman in both A finals.
Reese Branzell, 15, Lake Lytal Lightning (LLL-FG): 100y free (45.53) – Representing Dreyfoos School Of The Arts at the Florida FHSAA 2A State Meet, Branzell dropped a huge 1.7 seconds to win the 100 free. He is now 3.7 seconds faster than he was a year ago. In the 200 free, in which he won the consolation, his time of 1:41.16 was a PB by 3.9 and 7.2 seconds ahead of last year’s pace.
Ben Borvendeg, 14, Butler Y Aquatic Club (BYAC-AM): 100y free (48.43) – Borvendeg won the boys’ 13-14 100 free at the Mark J. Braun Fall Classic hosted by Lake Erie Silver Dolphins. He took 9/10 off his seed time, going 2.4 seconds faster than he’d been at the same meet last year. He also won the 50 free and 100 fly and was 4th in the 100 back and 200 back. Borvendeg finished the weekend with PBs in the 100 free, 100/200 back, and 100 fly.
Michael Bonson, 16, Hurricane Swim Club (HSC-LA): 500y free (4:28.18) – Northshore High School junior Bonson won the 500 free at the Louisiana LHSAA Division 1 Championships, dropping 14.1 seconds off his previous PB and picking up his first Summer Juniors cut. He was 19.3 seconds faster than he’d been at the same meet a year ago. He also won the 200 free with a PB of 1:39.17, a Winter Juniors cut and a 6.7-second improvement over last year.
Hannah Bach, 17, Cleveland Swim Institute (CSI-LE): 100y breast (1:01.16) – Bach won the 100 breast at the Mark J. Braun Fall Classic with a new meet record. It was the 4th-fastest 18-and-under 100 breast in the country for the weekend, including the college meets. It was Bach’s second-best time ever, 4/10 off her PB, and 9/10 better than her time from the same meet last year. She also won the 200 breast and finished the weekend with PBs in the 100 free and 100 fly.
Hailey Uhrig, 14, Sweetwater Aquatics Team (SWAT-WY): 100y breast (1:05.51) – Swimming at the SWAT Turkey Open, Uhrig went her second-best time in the 100 breast, only 1/100 off the PB she had swum at the Wyoming High School State Championships in October. There, she had dropped 2.3 seconds in the 100 breast (1:05.40) and 3.9 seconds in the 200 IM (2:22.30). Uhrig is now 7.1 seconds faster in the 100 breast than she was in November 2017 (1:12.61).
Lauren Kilgore, 17, Irish Aquatics (IA-IN): 200y IM (2:02.93) – Kilgore, a Toledo commit, represented Bridgman Co-op at the Michigan MHSAA Girls’ D1 Swim & Dive Championships. She earned her first Winter Juniors cut in the 200 IM in prelims, going 2.8 seconds faster than she’d been at the same meet last year. Kilgore placed 2nd in the IM in finals and 6th in the 100 fly.
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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