Presenting our Weekly Wonders – California High State Championships edition – from May 9-12, 2019:
Mia Kragh, 15, Torrey Pines High School: 100 fly, 52.26 – Fifteen-year-old Mia Kragh owned a best time of 54.65 coming into 2019, swum in December 2018. In February, she lowered that to 53.66 and 53.32 on the same day. Last weekend at the 2019 California High School State Championships, she took off over another second, going 52.26 for a state title and 2019 Summer Nationals cut.
Daniella Hawkins, 18, California High School: 500 free, 4:45.88 – Then-16-year-old Daniella Hawkins went a best time of 4:47.49 in the 500 free almost exactly two years ago, and only broke 4:50 once in the interim. Then last weekend, the UCLA commit Hawkins dropped to 4:45.88 to take second place at State.
Ben Dillard, 17, Oak Ridge High School: 200 IM, 1:46.14 – Exactly a year ago, a then-16-year-old Ben Dillard went a best time of 1:48.05 in the 200 IM. He came within .03 of that time in December but did not improve until State last weekend. In prelims, he went 1:46.97, then in finals, was 1:46.14. The USC commit Dillard won the State title by over a second.
Ryan Kirton, 16, Bellarmine Prep High School: 200 free, 1:38.68 – A year ago, then 15-year-old Ryan Kirton went a best time of 1:42.33 in the 200 free. He improved on that time in April of this year, going 1:41.78. In May, he went 1:40.03 in prelims at the 2019 CCS Championships, then 1:38.76 in finals the same day. Just a week later, he shaved the time down even further, going 1:38.68 at State.
Abigail Herscu, 14, Granada High School: 100 breast, 1:02.46 – Heading into 2019, 14-year-old Abigail Herscu held a best time of 1:05.10 in the 100 breast, swum in December 2018. She improved on that time in March, going 1:04.30. In her first swim at State last week, she blew that time away, going 1:02.87. In finals, she shaved off more time, going 1:02.46.
Maile Andresen, 15, Northgate High School: 100 free, 50.90 – Then-14-year-old Maile Andreson broke :52 seconds in the 100 free for the first time in April 2018, going 51.90. She went 51.68 in May, then 51.59 later the same day. In April of this year, she dropped to 51.34, then in early May, 51.27. At State last weekend, Andresen went 51.25 in prelims and 50.90 in finals to crack the top-20 at State.