Spring high school championships are finally wrapping up. And while we are still keeping our eye on those fast short-course swims, we are starting to see age group swimmers hitting their stride in the long-course pool as well. Below are some great swims that took place over the weekend of May 16-18, 2014.
Ali Khalafalla, 18, Fork Union Aquatic Club: 50m free (22.90) – The Egyptian native, who is graduating from Fork Union Military Academy and will swim at Indiana, has only swum two long-course meets in the U.S. Still, his 50m free at Charlotte Grand Prix was his best performance by over 2 seconds and catapulted him into the “A” final.
Cole Cogswell, 17, Canyons Aquatic Club: 100y free (43.97) – Swimming for Hart High School, Cogswell won a come-from-behind victory in Southern California’s CIF-SS Division 1 championships. It was his first time under 44 seconds and two full seconds faster than last spring.
Grant Shoults, 16, Mission Viejo Nadadores: 200y free (1:35.99) – A sophomore at Santa Margarita, Shoults went 1:38.18 in prelims to log his best time by .37. Then in finals he dropped a stunning 2.2 seconds to jump to the top of the National Top Ten list for the 2013-14 year for 16-year-old boys.
North Baltimore Aquatic Club: 400m free – The girls from NBAC were impressive in the 400 free at Charlotte Grand Prix. Gillian Ryan, 18, who will swim at Michigan in the fall, went 4:09.10, less than two seconds off her best time. Becca Mann, 16, was about 2.2 off her best with 4:10.82. And Cal commit Cierra Runge, 18, was only .7 off her top time, going 4:10.77. All in all they were very impressive performances for so early in the season.
Alexander Capizzo, 12, Lakers Aquatic Club: 800m free – Capizzo dropped 28 seconds to win the boys’ 12-and-under 800 free at the PCC Cruisin’ into Summer meet at Eastern Michigan University. Capizzo also won the 100/200/400 free, 200 back, 100/200 fly, and 200 IM.
Aaron Zhu, 11, New Wave Swim Club: 1500m (19:48.10) – Zhu swam his first 1500 at the YNS LCM Distance Meet in Beverly, MA. He finished 17th out of 26 competitors in the Boys 11 & Older division. His time places him ninth for the 2013-14 year in the national rankings for 11-year-old boys.
Kyle Gornay, 18, Redlands Swim Team: 100y back (47.15) – Just .11 off his lifetime best, achieved while breaking the CIF-SS D1 record in 2013, Redlands High senior and future Cal Golden Bear Gornay won the 2014 CIF-SS title in the 100 back by 1.2 seconds.
Samantha Coloma, 16, Terrapins Swim Team: 200y back (1:58.11) – At the NCS Walk-On Meet hosted by Walnut Creek Aquabears, Coloma dropped 4.4 seconds and went under 2:00 for the first time. She won the 200 back by five seconds. Way to hold a taper!
Nikol Popov, 14, Canyons Aquatic Club: 100y breast (1:01.17) – A freshman at Valencia High School, Popov dropped over a second from her best time, which was already more than four seconds ahead of her pace from a year ago, in winning the 100 breast at CIF-SS D1 championships.
MC Schillinger 16, Walnut Creek Aquabears: 200y breast (2:12.99) – Schillinger dropped two full seconds off her personal best, and was 8.5 faster than a year ago when she won the 200 breast at WCAB’s NCS Walk-On Meet.
Kyle Grissom, 16, Tule Nation Tritons: 100y fly (48.80) – Representing Porterville High School, Grissom won both the 50 free and 100 fly at the CIF-Central Section Division 1 Championships. His 100 fly time was a person best by .4 and 1.7 seconds faster than at the same meet a year ago.
Kathleen Baker, 17, SwimMAC Carolina: 200m IM (2:13.17) – Baker went a best time and finished second to Katinka Hosszu at the Charlotte Grand Prix. She was 1.3 seconds ahead of her pace from the same meet a year ago.
Rafael Rodriguez, 12, South Florida Aquatic Club: 400m IM (5:03.69) – Rodriguez dropped 12.5 seconds while winning the boys’ 11-12 400 IM at the Coral Springs Invitational. Rodriguez also won the 50/200 free and 50 back, achieving best times in all three.
Special thanks to Lyle Campbell for his assistance in putting this list together.