Weekly Wonders of Age Group Swimming: 4/26/2024

In our Weekly Wonders of Age Group Swimming series, we celebrate swimmers of every age and experience level with age group profiles of some recent results.

Hanz Palattao, 12, Pleasanton Seahawks (PC): Palattao was on fire at the Far Western Championships (SCY) in early April, winning and setting personal best times in all seven of his events. The Pleasanton Seahawks swimmer moved into 57th all-time in the boys’ 11-12 age group in the 50 breast (28.85) and took over 60th in the 50 free while also posting times that rank in the 70-75 range in the 100 back (55.68), 200 back (2:00.49), 100 breast (1:02.66) and 200 IM (2:02.29).

Marina Didenko, 12, Terrapins Swim Team (PC): One of the top performers on the girls’ side of the Far Western Championships was Terrapins Swim Team’s Marina Didenko, who won six events in the 11-12 age group. Didenko cracked the top 20 all-time in the 11-12 age group in the 200 breast, putting up a time of 2:18.96 to break 2:20 for the first time. She also moved to 24th in the 400 IM (4:27.24), 29th in the 100 IM (58.86) and 33rd in the 200 IM (2:06.18).

Reina Liu, 14, TAC Titans (NC): Liu recorded a pair of blistering swims at the TAC Titans Spring Sprint Meet, setting new best times in the 50 and 100 free (LCM). The 14-year-old clocked 56.70 in the 100 free, marking a seismic drop after she had previously never broken 1:00 in the event (1:00.37 last summer). That swim ties her for 31st all-time in the girls’ 13-14 age group, and she also went 26.34 in the 50 free, good for 61st all-time in what was her first time sub-27.

Grady Bell, 14, Nitro Swimming (ST): Nitro Swimming’s Bell chopped two seconds off his personal best in the 200 back at the Longhorn Aquatics’ Long Course Kickoff two weeks ago, touching in a time of 2:11.23. Bell now ranks 8th in the U.S. this season in the boys’ 13-14 age group, knocking off his previous best of 2:13.36 from last July. He also swam to new bests in the 100 free (55.96), 200 free (1:59.99) and 100 back (1:01.35).

Alyce Lehman, 15, Jersey Wahoos (MA): Lehman dropped more than two seconds in the 200 fly at the Pro Swim Series stop in San Antonio, clocking 2:13.18 to earn an Olympic Trials cut, getting under the 2:13.69 standard. The 15-year-old came into the meet with a best time of 2:15.55 from the 2023 Junior Nationals, and went 2:14.43 in the heats before her swim in the final to place 13th overall. Lehman ranks 3rd this season among 15-year-old girls and cracks the top 100 all-time in the 15-16 age group despite being in the younger half of the age group. She also swam to a best time of 1:00.21 during a 100 fly time trial in San Antonio, dropping 1.10 seconds off her newly-minted PB set one day prior.

Gavin Keogh, 16, Flatiron Athletic Club (CO): Keogh notched new best times in the 100 back (55.36) and 200 back (1:59.19) at the San Antonio Pro Swim, placing 3rd overall in the 200 while breaking 2:00 for the first (previous best of 2:00.64). Keogh now ranks 11th all-time in the boys’ 15-16 age group in the 200 back, and in the 100 back, he sits 13th after earning an Olympic Trials cut in the event for the first time.

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1 month ago

Early growers! Often peak young, get depressed as others pass them by, and quit the sport. Should be done with these pressure rankings of little kids.

1 month ago

Should extend this to international swimmers

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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