Presenting our Weekly Wonders from the weekend of March 1st-3rd, 2019:
Teddy Blake, 13, Nittany Lion Aquatics (NLAC-MA): 500 free, 4:46.16 – Sarah Stoler, 15, Planet Swim Aquatics (PSA-FL): 100 fly, 53.92 – In March 2018, Blake’s best time in the 500 free was 5:00.10. In December, he shattered that time, going 4:50.97 and then 4:49.40 on the same day. Three months later, he took off another three seconds, going 4:46.51 and 4:64.16 at the 2019 MA YY Junior Olympic Championships. At the same meet, he also went a best time in every other freestyle event, 100 through 1650.
Will Hayon, 14, Mid Wisconsin Wave Makers (MWWM-WI): 200 IM, 1:53.39 – Entering 2018, Hayon’s best time in the 200 IM was 2:03.14. In October of last year, he dropped to 2:00.66, and then alter the same day, broke 2:00 (1:59.47). But then last weekend, after going 1:59.04 in prelims, he absolutely obliterated his time, going 1:53.49 in finals and hitting a 2019 Futures cut. The time was good for the second-fastest 200 IM by a 14-year-old nationwide last week.
Tona Zinn, 14, Socal Aquatics Association (SCAL-CA): 100 free, 47.48 – Speaking of fast 14-year-olds, Zinn was the fastest in the nation in multiple events last week. His nation-leading times included his 200 and 400 IMs (1:49.73 and 3:52.08). But in his 100 free, he broke :48 first the first time (his previous best was a 48.01), going 47.48 at the 2019 Speedo Carlsbad Sectionals.
Tristen Ulett, 15, Dynamo Swim Club (DYNA-GA): 200 free, 1:46.18 – In March 2017, Ulett clocked a 1:47.53 in the 200 free, then was close to that time again in December, and then did not log a single 200 free race in 2018. In her first swim of 2019, she went 1:46.47 and then 1:46.18 on the same day. At the same meet, the 2019 Southern Premier Sectionals, Ulett also went a best time in the 100 free, 50 through 200 back, and 100 and 200 fly.
Averee Preble, 17, Clovis Swim Club (CLOV-CC): 1650 free, 16:10.56 – Over the last three months, Preble has shaved a full minute off her mile time. Her best going into December 2018 was 7:11.22, from February 2016. In December, she dropped all the way to 16:32.42. Then, last weekend at Carlsbad Sectionals, she went 16:10.56, qualifying for the 2019 Summer National Championships.
Evan Roberts, 13, Waterloo Swimming (WLOO-ST): 200 fly, 1:55.39 – As of November 2018, Roberts had yet to break 2:00 in the 200 fly. Then, in December, he dropped from 2:01.70 to 1:57.21. Then three months later? Roberts took off two more seconds, going 1:55.39. He also went a best time in his 100 fly (52.60).
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON MP, PLEASE VISIT WWW.MICHAELPHELPS.COM.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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