In any given week in the United States, there are tens of thousands of swimmers around the country grinding out yards, perfecting turns, fighting for relay spots, and battling for best times. While it would be impossible to highlight all of these swimmers, there is room for plenty of recognition for these high school and age group swimmers. If you’re into elite swimming, consider this your long-range radar for the future collegiate and maybe even Olympic stars of USA Swimming. If you’re into youth swimming, consider this as a way to connect with those swimmers around the country who are doing exactly what you are doing. If you have a swimmer of your own who put up a great performance last week, use the comments to recognize that swimmer, no feat is too small! Together with our readers, we hope that this becomes a record for all of the great swims that are taking place around the country every week.
This is a new feature we’ve been considering for a while here on The Swimmers Circle. There’s not going to be a set form to it. We’re going to let it evolve as it comes. We might recognize a team, we might recognize a meet, we might recognize individual swimmers. It’s going to be a bit random: we’ll use local news reports, LSC results, the SWIMs database, and any other tool that we can think of to grab performances from, and just see where it takes us.
This past week, the short course yards season kicked off in both Hawaii and Florida.
Often at the beginnings of a season, we see some creative meet formats, because a lot of the focus is on competing and getting young swimmers back enthusiastic about the sport after some time off. One of my favorite meet formats is the “pentathlon” meet, where swimmers take part in a distance of all 4 strokes, plus the IM, and get a combined time score. This is the meet format that kicked off the short course yards season in Hawaii, at the Maui Summer Fun Pentathlon.
There were a lot of great swims in this meet, but the swimmer who I want to highlight is 10-year old Rebecca Buenrostro Gallimore from the South Maui Sharks. Rebecca is a budding star down in Hawaii, which she demonstrated with her 50 free victory at this meet in 28.11, which cut a full two seconds off of her career-best time, and gave her a first “AAAA” time standard in the yards version of the race. In total in the meet, Buenrostro got an early jump with zone cuts in three events (the 50 free, back, and fly).
At the furthest end of the country in the opposite direction, North Palm Beach, Florida, played host to the 8th annual NPB Sprint Invitational. This meet brought together some of South Florida’s best clubs, including the Davie Nadadores, the hosts North Palm Beach Swim Club, and the Metro Aquatic Club of Miami. In four events, Davie Nadadores’ Gabriel Perez took two victories and two runner-up finishes. He kicked off his first yards meet as a 14-year old with a “AAAA” time in the 100 free in 50.13, which is a fantastic time for a swimmer who will be starting high school this year. He ended up taking a top two finish in each of the four strokes, showing great versatility, including a 1:05.4 in the 100 breaststroke.
Nearby in Wellington, at the Wellington Wahoos’ sprint Invite, Cody Cline put up some great numbers, including a 1:00.28 in the 100 fly, which made him the top-ranked age grouper (under 14) in the country in the early-going of the 2011 season.