Other than the handful of states that are still in high school season, this weekend marked the last of big SCY meets. For the most part, two meets produced most of the top times for the weekend: YMCA Nationals and Far Westerns. Here are the Weekly Wonders for the weekend of April 6-April 8, 2018:
Sarah Grinalds, 17, Westport/Weston Family Y Water Rat Swim Team: 50y free (22.52) – Grinalds eked out PBs in both the 50 free and 100 free (48.76), winning both events at 2018 Short Course YMCA Nationals with the top 18-and-under times in the nation for the weekend. She was runner-up in the 200 free and 8th in the 500 free. She also anchored the 200 medley relay in 22.23 (although it was DQd), contributed a 22.5 leg to the winning 200 free relay and a 48.9 leg to the winning 400 free relay.
Rob Carpenter, 12, Merced Skimmers Swim Team: 50y free (23.17) – Carpenter dropped a giant 8/10 in the 50 free to finish second in the boys’ 11-12 final, going 3 seconds faster than he had been a year ago, at the 2018 Far Western Short Course Championship in Santa Clara. He took home a bonanza of PBs: 50/100/200 free, 100 breast, and 200 IM, and was an A-finalist in all five events, as well as in the 50 breast.
Ella Mazurek, 14, Quicksilver Swimming: 100y free (50.38) – Ella Mazurek won the girls’ 13-14 100 freestyle at Far Westerns. She dropped over a second to get her first Junior National cut going a 50.38. She also won the 200 free by over 2.2 seconds in 1:50.23. Mazurek finished the weekend with new PBs in the 50/100/200 free and 100 fly.
Maddie Hartigan, 18, Empire Swimming: 100y free (9:56.85) – Hartigan dropped 4.7 seconds to score her first Winter Nationals cut in the 1000 free with her winning time of 9:56.85 at the SunKissed Invitational Junior/Senior Swimming Championships hosted by Team Charlotte Swimming. She also went best times in the 500 free (4:50.77) and 100 free (50.68) and earned her first Winter Juniors cut with a 0.5-second drop in the latter.
Gabby Low, 17, Kennebec Valley YMCA: 100y back (53.87) – Low earned her first-ever national cut in the 100 back with a third-place finish at YMCA Nationals. She shot straight past the Winter Juniors mark and landed at U.S. Open for her first sub-55 100 back. It was a PB by 1.5 seconds and 4.1 better than a year ago. She took 14th in the 100 fly and 17th in the 200 fly, earning a new PB in the latter; she also went a best time in the 200 IM in time trials.
Delaney Alonso, 12, Pacific Swim: 100y back (59.72) – Alonso cracked the 1:00 barrier for the first time with a best-by-1.9-seconds 100 back at Far Westerns. She tied for second place in the girls’ 11-12 100 back, going 5.3 seconds faster than she’d been at this time last year. She also won the 50 back, was 3rd in the 200 back, and placed 10th in the 50 fly, 8th in the 100 fly, and 10th in the 200 fly. She finished the weekend with new PBs in all six events plus the 100 IM.
Megan Van Berkom, 16, Springfield YMCA Swim Team: 200y IM (2:01.69) – Swimming at YMCA Nationals, Van Berkom notched her first Winter Juniors cut in the 200 IM. She took 3.4 seconds off her seed time to win the consolation final, swimming a time that was 4.3 seconds faster than she’d been 5 months ago. She also improved her 400 IM and 200 breast times and placed 17th and 10th in those respective events.
Anderson Brown, 12, Hays Swim Club: 200m IM (2:27.35) – Brown erased 9.3 off his seed time to win the boys’ 11-12 200 meter IM at the ASC Spring Slam. He also won the 50 free, 200 free, 400 free, 100 back, 100 fly, and 200 fly, and was 2nd in the 200 back. The first LCM meet of the season produced new PBs in the 50/200/400 free, 100/200 back, 100 fly, and 200 IM for Brown.
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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