Young Swimmers Flex Best Times at Fall Western Great Lakes Open

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 1

December 01st, 2022 Club, News

2022 Fall Western Great Lakes Open

  • November 18-20, 2022
  • Walter Schroeder Aquatic Center, Brown Deer, Wisconsin
  • Short Course Yards (25 yards), Prelims/Finals
  • Full Meet Results (PDF)

15-year-old Alana Berlin of the host Schroeder YMCA led a group of young talent on display the weekend before Thanksgiving at the Western Great Lakes Open.

Berlin swam best times in the 100 back (53.46), 100 fly (54.41), and 200 IM (2:01.91), winning all three events.

A versatile swimmer with three career Wisconsin LSC Records among the age groups. A high school sophomore, the backstrokes are arguably her best events, though those records in Wisconsin are tough because of who holds them: Maggie Wanezek and Beata Nelson, two of the best junior backstrokers ever.

But Berlin has the versatility to be a great IM’er as well, and a two-second drop off her personal best in that 200 IM shows an encouraging upward trajectory. In total, she’s dropped 2.5 seconds this season, swimming a new lifetime best each time she has swum the race.

Her only defeat of the meet came at the hands of her 16-year-old teammate Elizabeth Beam, who won the 200 back in 1:58.49. Her previous best time, at March’s YMCA Nationals, was 1:59.33.

Just a high school junior, Beam is verbally committed to Iowa. The Hawkeyes haven’t had a backstroker go better than 2:01.4 since Anna Brooker at the 2021 Big Ten Championships.

There were a lot of talented backstrokers in the meet. Besides the two mentioned above, Emma Lemler swam 54.83 in the 100 back, and 14-year-old Maci Paradis was 4th in a new personal best in 55.57.

The boys’ meet was loaded with young talent as well, notably in the form of 13-year-old Thomas McMillan from the St. Charles Swim Team.

Swimming in the 13-14 events, McMillan posted new lifetime bests in 7 events:

Previous PB New PB Time Drop
50 free 23.58 22.38 -1.2
100 free 51.39 49.61 -1.78
200 free 1:52.05 1:50.91 -1.14
500 free 5:06.52 (October 2022) 5:12.17 N/A
50 back 26.33 25.02 -1.31
200 back 2:05.12 1:59.96 -5.16
50 fly 25.27 23.94 -1.33

That time in the 50 fly ranks him 1st nationally in the event among 13-year-olds this season, and the 50 back ranks him 2nd. The 50 free ranks 5th.

Other Notable Results:

  • Sam Lorenz of the host Schroeder YMCA team swam 49.29 to win the open boys’ 100 back. That’s within a second of his personal best time from March. The 16-year-old high school junior has not yet announced a college commitment.
  • 15-year-old Brody LePine swam best times in all four of his events. Most notable among those were a 49.97 in the 100 fly and 1:50.29 in the 200 fly. That 200 fly time is a personal best by more than four seconds. His first swim of the short course season in the event, that follows a big drop of more than six seconds over the summer in long course.



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Old Swimmer
2 months ago

Fast times! Would love to know the background on young kids and swimming to see what sets the fastest apart from the others. Are they physically bigger, do they swim more often, how long have they been swimming, do they take private lessons, do they play other sports, are their parents insane people, are they happy, etc? The times of young swimmers nowadays is vary impressive on the surface but I would be interested to know how they reached those times. There seems to be a tough trend in youth sports where too much is never enough. It’s very worrisome. National rankings for a 13 year old? That’s gotta be a joke? Please tell me that’s a joke.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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