MP Weekly Wonders of Age Group Swimming – 8/1/2018

Presenting the Weekly Wonders for the weekend of July 27-29, 2018:

Ana Herceg, 14, Nitro Swimming (NTRO-ST): 200m free (2:03.19) – Herceg scored a pair of U.S. Open cuts at the Texas Long Course Age Group Championships hosted by Longhorn Aquatics. She won the girls’ 13-14 free with a PBx1.65 seconds, only 1 month after getting her first Winter Juniors cut in the event. She is now 6.4 seconds faster than she’d been last year. Herceg finished the meet with new PBs in the 50/200 free, 200 back, and 200 IM (winning all four events) a week after going best times in the 100 free, 800 free, and 400 IM at TXLA Sectionals.

Ashley Strouse, 15, Scottsdale Aquatic Club (SAC-AZ): 200m free (2:01.27) – Strouse dropped 1.1 seconds and finished 5th in the 18U final (29th overall) of the 200 free at Phillips 66 Nationals. She earned her first Summer Nationals cut in the event and was 2.1 seconds faster than she’d been a year ago. Strouse left the meet with new times in the 800 free and 1500 free, as well. Two weeks ago she went PBs in the 100/400 free and 200 IM.

Gian Saint Lo, 14, Desert Shark Swim Club (DSSC-BD): 200m free (2:02.40) – Swimming at Texas Age Group Championships, Saint Lo scorched his prelims swim in the boys’ 13-14 200 free; he dropped 1.8 seconds off a 2-month-old PB to qualify for the B final. Saint Lo is now 5 seconds faster than he’d been at this time last year. He also earned new PBs in the 100 free and 400 free, making the B finals in those events, as well.

Kayleigh Lovell, 14, Academy Bullets Swim Club (ACAD-IL): 800m free (8:48.01) – Lovell came from behind over the final 200 meters to win the 800 free at NCSA Summer Swimming Championship with her first Summer Nationals cut in the event, taking 8.8 seconds off a 3-week-old PB and beating her last year’s time by 20.8 seconds. She also finished 16th in the 400 free, 30th in the 100 free with a PB, and 31st in the 50 free.

Hannah Katchen, 12, Northern Lights Swim Club (NLSC-AK): Katchen won the girls’ 11-12 200 free, 100 back, 200 back, 50 breast, and 200 IM, and was runner-up in the 50 fly at Alaska Swimming Summer Long Course Championship hosted by Central Area Swimming. But her biggest coup came when she dropped 2.5 seconds and broke a 35-year-old age group record that had been set by … her mother, Sarah Rabinowitz, in August 1983. Katchen left the meet with PBs in the 200 free, 50/100/200 back, 50 breast, 50 fly, and 200 IM.

Clayton Whetstine, 14, Coast Guard Blue Dolphins (CGBD-VA): 100m back (1:00.02) – Swimming at the Virginia Long Course Age Group Championships held in Christiansburg, Whetstine dropped 1.67 seconds to win the boys’ 13-14 100 back with his first Futures cut in the event. He also won the 200 free (PBx1.18), 400 free (PBx9.62), 200 back (PBx2.84), 200 IM (PBx0.45), and 400 IM (PBx4.78), touched second in the 200 breast (PBx5.23) and placed third in the 1500 free (PBx26.25).

Lydia Jacoby, 14, Seward Tsunami Swim Club (STSC-AK): 100m breast (1:13.28) – Jacoby won the 100 breast at Alaska Summer Champs, dropping 7/10, lowering her own AK Age Group Record and Open Record, and snagging her first Summer Juniors cut in the event. She also won the 200 breast with a new record and took home PBs in the 100/200 back, 100/200 breast, 100 fly, and 200 IM.

Carly Palmer, 17, AquaStorm (AQST-ND): 100m breast (1:13.12) – Swimming at the North Dakota Long Course Championship, Palmer earned her first Summer Juniors cut in the 100m breast, taking 1.2 seconds off a week-old time and going 2.8 seconds faster than she’d been last summer. She also dropped 1.5 second to win the 50 breast with a new state record. Palmer left the meet with PBs in the 400 free, 50/100 breast, and 200 IM.

Luke Paxton, 15, Powel Crosley, Jr. YMCA (PCY-OH): 100m fly (56.81) – Paxton picked up his first Winter Juniors cut in the 100 fly when he dropped 2 seconds in prelims and rocketed into the A final at YMCA Long Course Nationals. He also competed in the 200 free, 100 back, and 50/200 fly. Two weeks ago at the Southwest Ohio YMCA Swim League Championships he added new PBs in the 200/800 free, 200 back, and 200 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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