Here are the Weekly Wonders for the weekend of March 16-18, 2018:
Elsa Musselman, 13, Red River Valley: 50y free (23.93) – Musselman dropped a full 7/10 in the 50 free, dipping under 24 seconds for the first time and going 1.2 faster than a year ago at this time, at the 2018 North Dakota Swimming Short Course Championships. She left the meet with new times in the 100/200/500 free, 50 fly, and 100/200 IM as well.
Natalya Woods, 12, Nebraska Aquatics: 200y free (1:56.68) – Woods took 5.4 seconds off a 2-month-old PB to crack the 2:00 barrier for the first time at the Midwestern LSC Short Course Championships. Her swim broke the LSC record and marked an improvement of 12.3 seconds in a year. Woods won the girls 11-12 50/100/200/500 free and 100 fly, and was third in the 50 fly and fourth in the 100 IM. She finished the weekend with new PBs in the 50/100/200 free, 50/100 fly, and 100 IM.
Ethan Schulz, 13, Westbrook Seals: 200y free (1:48.83) – Swimming at Maine Swimming Junior Olympics, Schulz improved his PB by 2.9 seconds to finish second in the boys 13-14 200 free by .46. Schulz broke 1:52 for the first time in prelims, then crashed through the 1:50 barrier in finals. A year ago he was a 1:56.7 200 freestyler. Schulz won the 50/100 free, was runner-up in the 100 back and 200 IM, and placed 4th in the 100 fly. He notched new best times in the 50/100/200 free, 50/100 back, 100 fly, and 200 IM.
Keegan McKenney, 14, Southern Maine Aquatic Club: 1000y free (10:00.09) – McKenney, who was also competing at Maine JOs, took 16.2 seconds off a 6-week-old PB to win the boys 13-14 1000 free by a minute. That’s a 39.4-second improvement in a year. McKenney also won the 1650 free, 200 fly, and 400 IM, and was runner-up in the 500 free. He left the meet with new PBs in the 100/500/1000/1650 free, 100 back, 200 fly, and 400 IM.
Mia Saenger, 15, Team Eugene Aquatics-YMCA: 100y back (55.51) – Saenger improved on a month-old PB that she’d swum in her third-place finish in the 100 back at 2018 OSAA 6A Swimming State Championships, while competing at Speedo Sectionals at Federal Way. Saenger went 55.51 to lower her time by 3/10 and go 2.7 seconds faster than at this time last year. She also improved her times in the 50/100/200 free, 200 back, and 100 fly during the weekend.
Ian Shahan, 15, Belle Vernon Swim Club: 100y back (50.55) – Representing Belle Vernon Area High School at the 2018 PIAA States AA Boys Championships, Shahan took a half-second off a 2-week-old PB to qualify for the final, then dropped another 9/10 to finish second in the 100 back with his first Winter Juniors cut ever. That makes a 4-second from a year ago at this time. Shahan also dropped 1 second in the fly and was runner-up, as well. These swims came two weeks after he had earned new PBs in the 200 free and 50/200 back.
Leah Baker, 16, Moon Aqua Club: 100y breast (1:02.90) – Taking a half-second off a 2-week-old PB, Baker broke the 1:03 barrier for the first time while finishing fourth at the PIAA States AAA Girls Championships. The Moon High School junior also swam breast on the 9th-place medley relay. Since the beginning of 2018, she has improved her PBs in the 100 back, 100 breast, 100/200 fly, and 200 IM.
John Heaphy, 17, Chugiak Aquatic Club: 200y breast (2:06.57) – Swimming at Federal Way Sectionals, Heaphy took 7.3 seconds off a 2-week-old PB, which was already 3 seconds faster than his PB from December 2017. The 2:05.57 launched him into the D final of the men’s 200 breast, and he wound up 28th with 2:06.67 in finals. This is the same swimmer whose best 200 breast time was 2:17.50 last spring. Heaphy left Federal Way with new PBs in the 50/100 free, 100 back, and 100/200 breast.
Michael Cowenhoven (14), Sean Rogers (14), Marcelo Leite (14), and Rian Herrmann (13), all of Swim Seventy: Cowenhoven, Rogers, Leite, and Herrmann won all 5 of the boys 13-14 relays at Connecticut Age Group Championships, and set 3 new state records along the way. They are pictured here with their coach. From left: Coach Mark Sedlak, Michael Cowenhoven, Sean Rogers, Marcelo Leite, Rian Herrmann.
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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