Presenting our Weekly Wonders from July 5-7, 2019:
Will Whittington, 15, St. Croix Swim Club (PCST-SE): 400 free, 4:07.41 – A then 14-year-old Will Whittington ended the 2017 long course season with a 4:29.78 in the 400 free. He took off 13 seconds in his first swim of 2018, and then by the end of 2018, was 4:09.25. In his first swim of 2019, in May, he was 4:13.15, and then last weekend at the 2019 Aquajets Summer Invitational, went 4:07.41.
Katie Grimes, 13, Sandpipers of Nevada (SAND-CA): 200 fly, 2:21.86 – Katie Grimes has only swam the long course 200 fly four times in her life, but she’s dropped 30 seconds over the course of those four swims. In May of 2017, she was 2:51.52. In July 2018, she was 2:27.88, hitting a quad-A cut, and in April of this year, was 2:27.53. Three months later, at the 2019 Sandpipers Firecracker Meet last Friday, went 2:21.86.
Sydney Rogness, 16, Mako Aquatics (MAKO-MN): 200 IM, 2:22.88 – Sixteen-year-old Sydney Rogness went a best time of 2:24.22 to open the 2019 long course season, a .32 drop from her 2018 best. After going 2:26.89 in her first swim last Sunday, she went 2:22.88 in finals. Rogness also went a best time in the 100 free at 200 breast.
Alvin Tsai, 14, Long Island Aquatics (LIAC-MR): 50 free, 24.60 – Fourteen-year-old Alvin Tsai entered 2019 having been under :26 in the 50 free just once, in July of last year (25.67). In January, he went 25.92; in April, 26.17 and 26.34. Last weekend at the 2019 MI Eric Namesnik Memorial Open, he went 25.11, and then blew that time away, going 24.60 for a 2019 Futures cut.
Emma Kern, 14, Aquajets Swim Team (AQJT-MN): 100 back, 1:04.46 – A then 13-year-old Emma Kern ended the 2019 long course season with a 1:09.01 in the 100 back, then a best time. In an early 2019 swim, in May, she was 1:10.44, and then in June, a 1:06.28 best time in her first swim of the 2019 PW Swim PINK A+ Invitational, and 1:04.99 in finals. Last weekend she continued on that trajectory, going 1:04.46 for a 2019 Winter US Open cut.
Andrew Simmons, 16, Dynamo Swim Club (DYNA-GA): 100 breast, 1:06.89 – Sixteen-year-old Andrew Simmons dropped massive time last weekend to hit his second 2019 Winter Juniors cut of the season. He finished the 2018 long course season with a best time of 1:09.45 in the 100 breast, but had gone a 1:09 and 1:11 so far this season. Last weekend at the 2019 Long Course GA Open, he went 1:08.23 in prelims, then dropped further to 1:06.89 in finals. His other Winter Junior cut is in the 200 IM, swum in June.