In our Weekly Wonders of Age Group Swimming series, we celebrate the swimmers of every age and experience level by profiling several young swimmers and their recent results.
Franco Chirinos, 14, Franklin Regional Swim Team (FRST-IN): FRST in Indiana hosted an intrasquad meet with an entertaining concept: Star Wars vs Harry Potter. Chirinos swam for the Harry Potter team (listed in results as WZRD-IN, compared to the opposing JEDI-IN) and dropped almost five full seconds in his 100 fly. Chirinos went 1:01.89 for second in that race, blasting beyond his previous career-best of 1:06.80 set back in February.
Darien Betances, 16, Fanwood Scotch Plains YMCA (FSPY-NJ): Betances and the Fanwood Scotch Plains YMCA made the most of their pool availability this month. While finding short course yards pool space was difficult, the YMCA got access to a short course meters pool, and Betances blasted a 23.19 in a 50-meter freestyle (race video available here). That’s Betances’ first-ever short course meters swim (at least, per USA Swimming’s SWIMS database). And roughly converted to short course yards (our converter tags it at roughly 20.89 in yards), it blows away Betances’ career-best of 21.44 set last December.
Ana Loveridge, 13, Aquawolves Swim Team (AQUA-CO): swimming in a long course meters dual meet in Colorado, 13-year-old Loveridge cut time in five different events. Her biggest drops came in 200-meter races: Loveridge dropped from 2:52.68 to 2:38.27 in the 200 IM – a drop of 14.4 seconds! She actually bettered that in the 200 free, going from 2:34.57 all the way to 2:19.63 and cutting nearly 15 seconds. Loveridge also dropped seven tenths in her 50 free (28.70) and four seconds in her 100 breast (1:23.16).
Sydney Kang, 15, Solo Aquatics (SOLO-NE): Kang won three events at Solo Aquatics’ August Specialty Intrasquad. Swimming in long course meters, she won the 200 IM in her age group by ten seconds, and even beating the boys event winner by a second. Kang also won the 50 free (27.70) by more than a second and the 100 fly (1:04.37) by four and a half seconds. Among 18-and-unders this August, Kang ranks 5th nationally in the 200 IM, 10th in the 50 free and 10th in the 100 fly.