There were only a handful of meets during the last three weekends of August. Here are the Weekly Wonders for the weekends of August 10-12, 17-19 and 24-26, 2018:
Maxine Parker, 16, Cats Aquatic Team (CATS-IL): 50m free (25.39) – Parker went her second-best time ever in winning the 50 free at Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Fiji. She was only .10 off her PB, achieved at U.S. Nationals when she won the C final with 25.29. Parker is fully 8/10 faster than she was last summer. She did go a best time in the 100 free (55.66) dropping .16 and finishing 1.8 seconds faster than she’d been a year ago.
Tim Connery, 15, SwimMAC Carolina (MAC-NC): 100m back (55.93) – Also swimming at Junior Pan Pacs, Connery finished 10th in the 100 back with a best time by 7/10, which is 4 seconds ahead of where he was last summer. He also notched a PB in the 100 fly (55.41) and was an A-finalist in the 100 breast.
Sean Christianson, 13, Wolverine Aquatics (WAC-SN): 100m back (1:01.71) – Christianson dropped 1.8 seconds to finish 10th in the 100 back at Western Zone Age Group Championship hosted by California Capital Aquatics. At the same meet last year, he went a best time of 1:12.87 in the event. Christianson also notched PBs in the 50/100/200 free and 50/200 back.
Amy Zhang, 12, North Coast Aquatics (NCA-SI): 100m back (1:06.71) – Zhang won the girls’ 11-12 100 back at Western Zone Age Group Champs with 1:06.94, but was even faster leading off the San Diego Imperial All Star Team’s 400 medley relay; her 1:06.71 set a new Zone record for 11-12 girls. The swim was a PB by 9/10 off a week-old PB and was 6.4 seconds faster than her best time from last year. Zhang also went PBs in the 50/200 back and 100/200 free.
Cole Gorsuch, 12, Portland Porpoise Swim Club (PPSC-ME): 100m back (1:09.10) – Swimming at the Eastern Zone Long Course Age Group Championships hosted by Virginia Swimming, Gorsuch dropped 1 second to finish 9th with a time that was 8.2 seconds faster than his PB last summer. He placed 8th in the 50 back, and left the meet with new times in the 200 free, 50/100 back, and 50 fly. The previous week he’d gone best times in the 50 free, 100 free, and 200 back at Maine Swimming International Invitational.
Hailey Uhrig, 14, Sweetwater Aquatics Team (SWAT-WY): 100m breast (1:14.67) – Uhrig took 3.6 seconds off a 2-week-old PB to place third in the girls’ 13-14 100 breast at Western Zone Age Group Champs. That makes her 9.4 seconds faster than her PB from last summer. She also competed in the 100 back, 200 back, 100 fly, 200 breast (8th place), and 200 IM and finished the meet with new lifetime bests in the 50 free, 100/200 breast and 200 IM.
Samuel Empey, 12, Columbia River Swim Team (CRST-OR): 100m fly (1:01.26) – Also swimming at Western Zone Age Groups, Empey was runner-up in the boys’ 11-12 100 fly with a PB by 6/10, which makes him 5.4 seconds faster than he was in this event at the same meet last year. He won the 50 free with a PB of 25.77, coming within .11 of the Western Zone record; the 100 free, in which he set the WZ record in prelims (55.94); and the 50 fly, with a new WZ record (27.64). He was 4th in the 200 IM and 6th in the 200 fly. All told he took home PBs in the 50/100 free, 100/200 fly, and 200 IM, one week after notching best times in the 100 back and 50 fly at Oregon Swimming’s 11&O Long Course Championships.
Madeline Frick, 16, Calvert Aquatics Club (CAC-MD): 200m IM (2:24.75) – Frick scorched a week-old PB, dropping 2.2 seconds, to win the girls’ 15-18 200 IM by several body lengths at Eastern Zone Age Group Champs. She is now 5.8 seconds faster than her PB from last summer. She also went best times in the 100 back, 200 breast, 100 fly, and 200 IM. The previous week, she’d gone lifetime bests in the 50 free, 200 back, 100 breast, 200 fly, and 400 IM at Maryland LSC Long Course Championships.
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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