MP Weekly Wonders of Age Group Swimming – 7/25/2018

Presenting the Weekly Wonders for the weekend of July 20-22, 2018:

Natalie Killion, 13, Clarence Swim Club (CLSC-NI): 50m free (27.45) – Killion dropped 8/10 to win the girls’ 13-14 50 free at the Niagara Long Course Championships hosted by STAR Swimming. She was 1.6 seconds faster than she’d been at the same time a year ago. Killion also won the 200/400/800/1500 free and 200 back and was runner-up in the 100 fly. She went 7-for-7 with best times.

Kham Glass, 18, Sunkist Swim Team (SUNS-MS): 50m free (24.15) – Glass, a Drury University commit, scored his first Winter Juniors cut in the 50 free with a PBx0.27 at the Mississippi Swimming Long Course State Championship. He was half a second ahead of last year’s pace. Glass also won the 100 free, was runner-up in the 50/200 back and 400 IM, and was a finalist in the 100 fly and 200 IM. He left the meet with new times in the 50/100 free, 100/200 back, and 200 IM.

Jonny Kulow, 13, Lander Swim Club (LAN-WY): 100m free (54.79) – Kulow won all 9 individual events he entered at the Wyoming Summer Long Course State Championships, and by a significant order of magnitude. He also dropped time in each event: 50 free (PBx0.01), 100 free (PBx1.5), 400 free (PBx0.3), 100 back (PBx1.9), 200 back (PBx5), 100 breast (PBx2.1), 100 fly (PBx3.4), 200 fly (PBx13.5), and 400 IM (PBx27.6).

Aspen Gersper, 12, Saint Andrew’s Aquatics (SAS-FG): 100m free (59.05) – Gersper dropped 4.2 seconds to win the girls’ 11-12 100 free at Florida Gulf Coast Long Course Junior Olympics hosted by Martin County Swimming and North Palm Beach Swim Club. That puts her 8.2 seconds ahead of her best time prior to this season, which dated back to 2016. She also won the 50/200 free and 50 back and was runner-up in the 100/200 back and 50 fly. She scored PBs in all 7 events.

Ashley Gill, 15, City of Lafayette Aquatics (COLA-LA): 100m back (1:05.47) – Gill picked up her first Winter Juniors cut when she dropped 3.1 seconds and came in 2nd in the girls’ 15-16 100 back at the Louisiana Swimming 13 and Over State Meet. She won the 200 back (PBx8.2) and 100 fly (PBx2.7), and also took home new PBs in the 50/100/200 free.

Christian Simpson, 14, Shock Wave (SWAT-MS): 200m back (2:12.92) – Simpson dropped an improbable 8 seconds, putting himself 12.1 seconds ahead of where he was this time last year, while winning the boys’ 13-14 200 back at Mississippi Swimming Long Course State Championship. He added victories in the 800 free 100 back, and 200 IM and was runner-up in the 50/200/1500 free. Simpson went 8-for-8 in best times for the weekend.

Alayna Gray, 14, Schenectady-Saratoga Swim Club (SCHE-AD): 200m back (2:25.71) – Gray won the girls’ 13-14 200 back at the Adirondack Long Course Championships, improving her seed time by 3.6 seconds and beating last year’s time by 6.4 seconds. She won the 50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 400 free, 100 back, 200 IM, was runner-up in the 100 breast, and placed 3th in the 100 fly. Gray finished the weekend with new times in all 8 events.

Vanessa Herrmann, 18, AquaStorm (AQST-ND): 400m IM (5:03.37) – Herrmann dropped 1.8 seconds in prelims to squeeze into the A final, then another 2.4 in finals to finish 6th in the 400 IM at Speedo Sectionals at Iowa City. She also swam the 400 free and 100 breast, notching a PB in the former and winning the bonus final in the latter. So far this summer Herrmann has bested her previous PBs in the 400/800 free, 100 fly, and 400 IM.


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.



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.


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 or


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About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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