Presenting our Weekly Wonders from the weekend of December 14th-16th, 2018:
Summer Smith, 15, Bluefish Swim Club (ABF-PV): 1000 free, 9:54.56 – Smith dropped over 16 seconds to break 10:00 for the first time in the 1000 free, and did it by a large margin. Her previous best was 10:10.87 and she won the race at the 2018 SSA NE Senior meet by over six seconds. In fact, Smith went a best time in every freestyle event she raced at the meet: 24.20 in the 50, 52.03 in the 100, 1:50.28 in the 200, 4:51.92 in the 500, and 16:21.49 in the 1650 (a 40-plus second drop). She swam additional bests in the 200 fly (2:01.49) and 400 IM (4:13.66).
Joshua Matheny, 16, Team Pittsburgh Elite Aquatics (PEAQ-AM): 400 IM, 3:53.87 – Heading into the 2018 AM 57th Annual Christmas Meet, Matheny had never broken 4:00 in the 400 IM. However, in prelims, he went 3:59.65, then slashed off nearly six more seconds for finals to win the race by less than a second. At the same meet, he went additional best times in the 100 free (47.60), 200 free (1:43.03), 100 back (53.96) and 200 back 1:54.02).
Kalle Rendon, 10, Raleigh Swimming Assocation (RSA-NC): 50 free, 26.09 – At the 2018 NC STAR Triad Tropic meet, Rendon dropped over a second in her 50 free (down from 27.20) to break one of three state records she took down over the weekend. Her other records came in the 200 free – where she completed a 16-second drop in time over the last 11 months to go 2:04.14 – and the 500 free, where she dropped 11-plus seconds from her previous best, going 5:35.91. She broke the previous 50 record by .41, the 200 record by .35, and the 500 record by 1.56 seconds.
Sophie Shao, 13, Fox Chapel Killer Whales (KW-AM): 200 breast, 2:19.32 – Also swimming at the 2018 AM 57th Annual Christmas Meet, Shao completed a ten second time drop over the course of day. Shao’s best time prior to the meet was 2:29.95, from June of this year (and exactly a year ago she was 2:31.43), which she dropped to 2:21.91 in prelims. In finals, she shaved off over two seconds more for her 2:19.32. She also took two seconds off her 100 breast time (1:05.95).
Benjamin Crone, 18, Retriever Aquatic Club (RAC-MD): 100 fly, 50.01 – At the 2018 NBAC 45th Annual Christmas Invite, Crone came oh-so-close to breaking :50 in the 100 fly. He nonetheless took over two seconds off his previous best time of 52.41 over the course of prelims and finals – and over the last year, he’s dropped over three. Crone also dropped best times in his 50 through 200 free as well as his 200 back, 200 fly, and 400 IM.
Hayden Miller, 14, Cypress Fairbanks Swim Club (CFSC-GU): 200 free, 1:50.38 – As of December 2017, Miller’s best time in the 200 free was 2:05.88. She swam the race 11 times in 2018, dropping in 10 of those times, for grand total of over 15 seconds dropped on the year. She dropped two seconds from her previous best of 1:53.28 in prelims at the 2018 AGS Age Group Champs (1:51.63), then took another 1.5 off in finals. At the same meet, she went best times in five additional events: the 50 free (24.50), 500 free (4:52.73), 1650 (17:08.10), 200 breast (2:32.30), and 200 IM (2:08.07).
Devin Naoroz, 13, NOVA of Virginia (NOVA-VA): 200 back, 1:56.66 – At the end of 2017, the fastest Naoroz had swum the 200 back was 2:13.95. He dropped to 2:05 in January of 2018, then 2:00 in October, and continued the trajectory into the end of the year. In November, he went 1:57.50, and then last weekend at the 2018 NC STAR Triad Tropic meet, he went his sub-1:57 time. The same weekend, he took over half a second off his 50 free (23.42) and 2.5 seconds off his 200 IM (2:03.99).
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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