Either there’s something in the water or the southeast has got some incredibly fast swimmers rising through the ranks. (It’s the latter, of course.) As an example, of the fastest girls’ 50 free swims over the past weekend, six of the nation’s top ten U18 times (including 1-4: Kathleen Baker, MAC; Kylie Stewart, DYNA; Caitlin Cooper, DYNA; Nora McCullagh, MAC – all under 24.00) came out of the SwimMAC vs Dynamo senior dual meet in Charlotte. And five of the top fifteen were produced at the various Florida high school regional championships (Catharine Cooper, Fabiana Ingram, Elle Chancey, Niki Urquidi, Ellie Burdusco). On the boys’ side it was flipflopped: five of the top ten came out of Florida (Cooper Hoffman, Noah Harasz, Gage Kohner, Ryan Peters, Stefan Spiric).
With all that fast swimming going on all over the country during the weekend of November 2-3, 2013 SwimSwam had a difficult time picking out the highlights, but here are this week’s Daring Dozen:
Steven Tan, 17, Delta Aquatics: 50 free (21.11) – And yet with all the splash-and-dash going on in Florida and North Carolina, the fastest time in the nation was posted by Steven Tan in an age-group meet in Illinois: the FOX Valley Swim Team’s 17th Annual Fall Classic. Steven’s 21.11 is the fastest he’s ever been at a non-championship meet and .51 faster than where he was last November. Steven holds all Delta’s 50/100 free and most of the 100/200 back records from 11/12 up through 15+.
Lia Campbell, 13, Bainbridge Island Swim Club: 100 free (51.54) – Lia won all five events she swam at BISC’s Bob Miller Sprint/Distance Classic, going best times in three of them (100 free, 100 back, 100 IM). She lowered her own 100 free club record for 13/14 girls and broke the 100 IM club mark with 1:01.98. Lia currently holds BISC records in all distances of free except the mile for 11/12 and 13/14.
Kenisha Liu, 15, BREA Aquatics Swim Team: 200 free (1:51.28)/ 200 IM (2:04.20) – Kenisha Liu and Alberto Gomez (see next paragraph) share the honors for Most Impressive Progression with their respective 200 frees. Kenisha won the 200 free by more than 2 seconds at a BREA-hosted age group meet last weekend. A year ago she went 1:55 in the 200; in the fall of 2011 she went 2:01. This weekend she also won the 100/200 back, 100/200 breast and 200 IM, all with best times. Her IM first-place finish put her 1.5 seconds in front of super-fast BREA teammate Alexis Margett.
Alberto Gomez, 13, Miami Dade County Aquatic Club: 200 free (1:47.59)/ 400 IM (4:15.96) – Alberto finished third in the Gulliver Fall Open in Miami with 1:47.59. Last fall Alberto’s 200 free was 1:51, two years ago (at age 11) he was 1:59. He also won the 400 IM at the Gulliver Fall Open going a lifetime-best 4:15.96. While the area’s high-schoolers weren’t at this meet to challenge Alberto, these are still pretty impressive times for a 13-year-old.
Roger Kriegl, 15, Conejo Simi Swim Club: 500 free (4:33.85) – At the 44th David Graham Memorial Swim Meet, hosted by Buenaventura Swim Club, Roger won the 500 free with a personal best 4:33.85. His swim was 12 seconds faster than at the same meet last year and 30 seconds faster than where he was in the fall of 2011. In addition, he dropped quite a bit of time in the 100/200 breast and the 200 fly.
Emily Meilus, 14, and Sinead Eksteen, 13, both of Nation’s Capital Swim Club: 1000 free – Emily and Sinead both participated in the National Age Group Team Challenge meet for 9-14 year-olds over the weekend. Sinead won the 13-year-old division with 10:05.97, thereby crushing the meet record of 10:22.12 set by Emily in 2012. Emily won the 14-year-old division with 10:05.78 and while it wasn’t her best time, it was still 16 seconds faster than last year.
Dong Hyeon Hwang, 13, Manoa Aquatics: 1650 free (16:59.48) – At the Oahu Age Group Distance Meet in Honolulu, Dong Hyeon swam the mile for the first time ever, clocking a 16:59.48. This makes Don Hyeon the third fastest 13-year-old miler in the country right now; not bad for the first time out.
Sydney Winters, 12, Mei’s Typhoons Swimming Club: 100 back (1:00.17) – Sydney took 5.5 seconds off her 100 back time from last fall with a second-place finish of 1:00.17 at the NWSC Specialty/Distance Meet at UMASS Lowell. Sydney had a strong meet, winning the 200/1000 frees (1:53/10:44), 100 breast (1:10) and 200IM (2:12) and finishing second in the 100 fly (59) and 400 IM (4:34).
Michael Andrew, 14, Indie Swimming: 200 back (1:52.28) – Competing at the TST Fall Roundup in Independence MO, Michael swam a 1:52.28 200 back, which is the third fastest time he’s gone and only 1.4 off his lifetime best.
Makayla (Kay) Sargent, 15, Unattached: 100 breast (1:06.00) – Kay won both the 100 breast (1:06.00) and the 100 fly (56.98) at the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Division 1 girls swimming championship, qualifying for the Section 6 meet on November 7-8 in Buffalo. Last year Kay broke the Niagara LSC record for 13/14 girls in the 200 IM at the Girls NY State Federation meet.
Adam Bouraoui, 13, Santa Clara Swim Club: 200 breast (2:16.67) – The question to ask here is: what will he go next week? Adam’s time of 2:16.67 at the WEST Daylight Savings Rewind Meet on 11/2-3 was 2.5 seconds faster that it had been a week earlier at the SCSC Super League meet, which was in turn 3 seconds faster than it had been at the Walnut Creek Aquabears Senior meet on 10/18-20. And in October 2012 he went 2:32. Adam has the top 13-year-old 200 breast time in the country from the last weekend by 2.3 seconds.