Here are the Weekly Wonders for the weekends of February 23-25 and March 2-4, 2018:
Maxwell DeYoung, 15, Laramie Swim Club: 100y free (47.08) – Swimming at the Wyoming Swimming Winter Short Course Championships, DeYoung dropped 2 seconds off his previous PB in the 100 free. He also improved his 50 free time by 6/10 and swam his second-best 100 back. DeYoung notched PBs in the 50/100/200 free, 50/200 back, 200 breast, and 100 fly during the weekend. This was just 3 weeks after Wyoming High School Championships, where he’d gone best times in the 100 back and 200 IM.
Josh Cobia, 14, Crimson Tide Aquatics: 200y free (1:41.04) – Cobia chopped a jaw-dropping 6.7 seconds off his best time in the 200 free, improving 9.3 seconds from this time last year and winning the boys’ 13-14 200 free by 3.4 seconds at the Southeastern Short Course Championships. Cobia left the meet with new times in the 200/200/500 free, 50/100/200 back, and 200 IM. Two weeks ago he notched PBs in the 50 breast and 50/100 fly, and a month ago he went a best time in the 50 free.
Mariah Denigan, 14, Northern KY Clippers Swimming: 400m free (4:14.55) – Denigan dropped 5.8 seconds to place 10th in the 400 free at TYR Pro Swim Series Atlanta. She broke a 40-year-old Ohio LSC record in the process, one that was set by Karen Diblasio at the 1977 National AAU Senior LC Championships with 4:19.82. Denigan also took home new times in the 800 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, and 400 IM.
Kaleb Brannock, 15, Lexington Dolphins: 100y back (49.88) – Representing Scott County High School at the 2018 KHSAA Championships, Brannock broke 50 seconds for the first time to place third in the 100 back as a 10th grader at the state meet. He earned his first Winter Nationals cut (his first national cut of any kind), taking 1.4 seconds off a PB that was only 2 weeks old. Brannock has improved 2.8 seconds since this time last year. He also went a best time in the 50 back (23.97) leading off the relay.
Faith Johnson, 13, Menomonee Falls Swim Club: 100y back (56.93) – Johnson took another 6/10 off a 1-month-old PB in the 100 back to finish fourth in the girls’ 13-14 event at the Wisconsin 13&Over State Championships. She was the only 13-year-old in the A final. At the same meet a year ago, she was a 1:00.5 backstroker. Johnson also picked up new times in the 200 back and 200 fly at the meet.
Liam Picozzi, 18, Adirondack Bluefins: 100y back (49.83) – Picozzi, a Denison University commit, improved his 100 back time by 1.1 seconds to go under 50 for the first time and nab an invite to Winter Nationals. He achieved this at the 2018 NYSPHSAA Public Championships, where representing Burnt Hills-Balston Lake High School he was runner-up in both the 100 back and 100 free. Picozzi also improved 1 second in his 100 free (45.47).
Gianluca Urlando, 15, DART Swimming: 100y fly (46.93) – Urlando improved his 100 fly time by 4/10, earning his first Summer Nationals cut, with a second-place finish at the 2018 Speedo Sectionals Championship Series hosted by Aggie Swim Club. Urlando has improved 2.1 seconds in a year in the event, and now ranks 4th all-time for 15-16 boys with a year left in the age group. He won High Point Award at the meet, and left with new times in the 200 free, 100/200 back, 200/200 fly, and 200/400 IM.
Ian Grum, 16, Dynamo Swim Club: 400m IM (4:26.77) – The only 16yo in A-final of the 400 IM at TYR Pro Swim Series Atlanta, Grum improved his time by 1.5 seconds and finished 6th. He is now 7.4 seconds faster than he was at this time last year. Grum also went PBs in the 100 free, 200 free and 200 back.
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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