Presenting the Weekly Wonders for the weekends of June 15-17 and June 22-24, 2018:
Andrew Benson, 15, SOLO Aquatics (SOLO-NE): 50m free (23.57) – Benson scored his first Winter Nationals cut while dropping 7/10 to win the boys’ 15&Older 50 free at the BlueDevil Summer Invite by over 1.5 seconds. That puts him 1.2 seconds ahead of where he was in the 50 at this time last year. Benson also won the 100/200 free, 100 breast, 100 fly, and 200 IM, and was runner-up in the 200 fly. He finished the meet with new PBs in all 7 events.
Mikayla Moore, 13, Rapid City Racers (RCR-SD): 50m free (28.07) – Moore was only off her best time by .03 when she won the girls’ 13-14 50 free at the Mt. Rushmore Classic. She did, however, notch PBs in the 400 free, 200 back, and 100 fly, just a week after going lifetime bests in the 1500 free and 200/400 IM. Moore was runner-up in the 200/400 free, 200 back, and 200 IM, and 4th in the 100 fly.
Elizabeth Richardson, 17, Greater Omaha Aquatics Leopardsharks (GOAL-MW): 100m back (1:05.38) – At the Rochester Open hosted by Rochester Swim Club, Richardson dropped 1.8 seconds and got her first-ever Winter Juniors cut, swimming in prelims of the 100 back. She is now 4.7 seconds faster than she was last year at this time. Richardson also went best times in the 200 free, 200 back, 200 fly, and 200 IM.
Eleni Kotzamanis, 15, Flyers Aquatic Swim Team (FAST-OZ): 200m back (2:21.37) – Kotzamanis improved her seed time by .6 to finish 5th in the 200 back at Columbia Swim Club’s Summer Invitational Swim Meet. She was the only non-Mizzou swimmer in the top-7 in the 200 back and in the top-9 in the 100 back. Kotzamanis left the meet with new PBs in the 200/400 free, 50/200 back, 200 fly, and 400 IM.
Mario Sumali, 13, ABQ Dolphins Swim Team (ABQ-NM): 100m breast (1:11.85) – Sumali dropped 1.5 seconds to win the boys’ 13-up 100 breast at the Valley Splash Race to JOs in San José, California. He also won the 100 back and 200 breast and finished the weekend with best times in the 200 free, 100/200 back, 100/200 breast, and 200 IM.
Brynn Curtis, 16, York Swim Club (YORK-PV): 200m breast (2:36.67) – Curtis picked up her first U.S. Open qualification in the 200m breast while competing at the SNOW Long Course Invitational hosted by SNOW Swimming. She dropped 3.8 seconds off her seed time and was 4.5 seconds faster than she’d been at this point in the season last year. Curtis wrapped up the weekend with new PBs in the 100/200 free and 100/200 breast.
Zhenya Ingram, 16, American Energy Swim Club (AESC-OK): 100m fly (55.65) – Ingram earned his first-ever U.S. Open cut at the AAAA-NS George Block Invitational at Round Rock High School in Texas. He dropped .5 in the 100 fly to go 1.9 seconds faster than he’d been a year ago, and finished the meet with new PBs in the 50/100/200 free, 50 back, and 100/200 fly.
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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Launched in the spring of 2015, MP designed by Aqua Sphere is a shared vision to develop innovative products that are inclusive and accessible to a broader range of swimmers across the full swimming lifecycle. Combining Aqua Sphere’s global product design expertise and distribution with Michael Phelps’ and Bob Bowman’s experiences at the highest levels of swim performance, the MP brand features technical swim products leveraging proprietary technologies and performance enhancing designs.
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Established in Genoa, Italy, in 1998, Aqua Sphere is the premier swimming equipment manufacturer for fitness and recreational swimming, aquatic exercise and triathlons. With the launch of its cutting-edge Seal Mask—the world’s first swim mask, the company set the industry standard and today continues to innovate with a complete range of premium products, including eye protection, swimwear, triathlon wetsuits, footwear, and swim fitness and training accessories. The designs have gained the respect and loyal following of many celebrities and notable athletes, including the world’s most decorated Olympian Michael Phelps, with whom Aqua Sphere is partnering to develop a global brand partnership. Alongside its parent company Aqua Lung and supported by an international distribution network, Aqua Sphere has grown into a worldwide enterprise representing unparalleled design, development and manufacturing expertise, with a global footprint in more than 90 countries. For more information, visit www.AquaSphereSwim.com orhttp://www.Facebook.com/AquaSphereSwim.
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Aqua Lung pioneered the creation of modern diving equipment in 1943 when Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau teamed with Emile Gagnan to develop the first “aqua-lung” that made underwater exploration possible. Today, the brand continues to be the leading global designer and manufacturer of dive and water sports gear. With a deep commitment to quality, research and testing, Aqua Lung has revolutionized the scuba diving experience by setting industry standards for scuba equipment in technology, comfort, safety and design. The company’s rich history as an expert in the dive and water sports industry has led to the demand of Aqua Lung equipment for recreational, technical and military applications in more than 90 countries around the world, under the brand names of Aqua Lung, Aqua Sphere, Apeks, U.S. Divers, and Stohlquist. For more information, visit www.AquaLung.com or http://www.Facebook.com/AquaLungDivers.