Presenting our Weekly Wonders from the weekend of November 30-December 2, 2018:
Peter Horton, 14, Bridge Bats (BATS-GU): 50 free, 21.15 – Horton dropped .14 off his PR to take second place in the 50 free at the 2018 TWST Southern Senior Champs and score his first 2019 Futures cut. His previous PR was from his prelims swim (21.29), which in and of itself was .14 faster than his previous best time, set just 2 weeks earlier. In fact, as of November 2nd, Horton had never broken 22, but is now almost under 21.
Baylor Nelson, 15, SwimMAC (MAC-NC): 100 back, 51.39 – Nelson took a second-and-a-half off his previous PR (52.83), set in February, to win the 100 back at the 2018 ATOM Winter Invite. Even more impressive? Exactly 365 days prior, he was 54.41. Nelson also dropped five seconds in his 500 free (4:42.61), three tenths in his 100 fly (51.17), and took .8 off his 50 free (21.78) over the course of the meet.
Lainy Kruger, 13, Northern Kentucky Clippers (CLPR-OH): 200 breast, 2:21.53 – Over the course of prelims and finals at the 2018 OLY Winter invite, Kruger took just shy of seven seconds off of her 200 breast time, going from 2:28.49 to 2:21.53. She also won the 100 breast by over a second, taking over three seconds off her best time over the course of the day. She went 1:03.44 after going 1:05.21 in prelims, and came into the meet with a best of 1:06.98. Kruger’s winning time was good for her first-ever Winter Junior cut.
Isabella Abrajan, 14, Clovis Swim Club (CLOV-CC): 200 fly, 1:57.88 – Abrajan was the only swimmer under 2:00 in the race at 2018 Husky Invite dropping 1.24 seconds off her best time from before the meet began. Abrajan also swept the backstroke races –she won the 50 in 26.18, 100 back in 53.98, and 200 in 2:00.25 – and took second in the 200 IM in 2:00.72 and won the 400 IM in 4:16.91.
Bailey Hartman, 12, Crow Canyon (CROW-PC): 400 IM, 4:34.5 – Hartman dropped 14 seconds off the last time – and only other time – she swam a 400 IM (4:48.48, earlier in November). She went the fastest time of the ages 14-and-under winter JOs meet, and also picked up overall wins in the 100 free (52.37) and 100 IM (1:00.09). Additionally, Hartman took second in 200 free (1:54.00) and 3rd in 100 fly (57.80), and 6th in the 200 IM (2:11.32). Overall, she’s on a soaring trajectory: In November of last year, she was 2:21.54 in the 200 IM and had yet to break 2:03 in the 200 free.
Cameron Speed, 17, York YMCA (YY-MA): 1650 free, 15:56.26 – In the exactly 365 days between since swimming his previous best time, Speed took 30 seconds off his 1650 time, dropping from 16:26.06 to 15:56.26. Speed also took fourth place in the 500 free, going a best time of 4:37.09 – over seven seconds faster than he was a year ago. In both races, speed nabbed his first 2019 Futures cuts.
Ben Stankovich, 15, Nation’s Capital Swim Club (NCAP-PV): 200 free, 1:42.75 – With his win at the 2018 VSTP Ice Breaker Invite, Stankovich completed a nearly 6-second drop in his 200 free since this time last year. His prelims time (1:43.51) was a lifetime best by over five seconds, and then Stankovich shaved another three-quarters of a second off to hit his finals time of 1:42.75. He also threw down best times in the the 50 free (22.21), 100 free (47.72), 500 free (4:34.39), 100 back (52.55), 200 back (1:51.57), and broke 2:00 for the first time in the 200 IM (1:59.65).
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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