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Greek Record, School Record, and 2 Trials Cuts at Houston First Chance Meet


University of Houston First Chance Meet

  • February 14th, 2020
  • University of Houston, Texas
  • LCM (50m)
  • Full Results

A school record, 2 Olympic Trials cuts, and a Greek National Record were the highlights of the University of Houston First Chance meet on Friday afternoon.

The meet, which featured female swimmers from Houston and nearby Rice University, had a session of long course racing to give swimmers a shot at Olympic Trials cuts, and short course racing for those looking to hit times that would qualify for the NCAA Championships or earn a final spot on a conference roster.

“We saw a lot of great things today. I’m very excited to see two more Olympic Trial qualifying times from Mykenzie Leehy and Peyton Kondis, and a Greek National Record for Ioanna Sacha,” said Houston head coach Ryan Wochomurka. “Laura Laderoute setting a school record in the 100 back was a great way to end the day. Across the board the things we saw were very encouraging for next week at The American Championships here in our home pool.”

In the long course session, junior Ioanna Sacha swam a 2:12.84 in the 200 meter backstroke. That breaks the Greek National Record of 2:13.70 that was set by Styliani Boumi in 2009 during the supersuit era. Sacha’s previous best time of 2:14.19 was done at the U.S. Open in December. She’s now well-under the Olympic “B” qualifying time of 2:14.30.

The Greek Winter Open Swimming Championships are happening this weekend in Athens, where athletes are being selected for the Olympic Games and the upcoming European Championships.

Her teammates Peyton Kondis and Mykenzie Leehy both added 2nd U.S. Olympic Trials cuts to their resumes.

Kondis swam 2:32.14 in the 200 breaststroke, which improves her best time of 2:33.57 from Summer Nationals. The U.S. Olympic Trials cut in that race is 2:33.29. She already holds a Trials cut in the 100 breaststroke via a 1:09.55 done at a February long course invite last season.

She also swam a 51.06 in the 100 yard free and a 56.63 in the 100 yard fly on Friday.

Leehy swam a 25.75 in the 50 free, which dips under the Trails cut of 25.99 and her previous best time of 26.30 from a time trial at the U.S. Open in December. She also has another cut already thanks to a 56.02 that she swam at this meet last season.

Later in the day, Leehy swam a 48.97 in the 100 yard free; her season (and lifetime) best swim in that event is 48.66 from the Phil Hansel Invitational in November. Last year, it took a 48.56 to earn an NCAA Invite in the 100 free. Leehy also swam a 58.38 in the 100 yard back.

That 100 back, the last race of the day, saw Houston senior Laura Laderoute swam a 52.47 for the fastest result of the day. That time broke her own personal best and University of Houston Record of 52.84 done at this meet last season. She was 52.93 mid-season. Last year, a 52.46 was invited to the NCAA Championships.

The visiting Rice Owls also had a handful of highlights, including a 1:59.17 in the 200 yard fly from Marta Cano-Minarro that jumps her into 5th place in school history. Her previous season best was a 1:59.85 done at a dual meet 2 weeks ago; she now ranks 2nd in Conference USA this season, behind only her junior teammate Brittany Bui (1:57.60).

Houston will race at the American Athletic Conference Championships from February 19th-22nd in their home pool, while Rice will swim at the Conference USA Championships from February 26th-29th in Atlanta,





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Freshmen Tie for 1000 Free Win on Day 1 of 2020 PCSC Championships


PACIFIC COLLEGIATE SWIM CONFERENCE

  • Wednesday, February 12 – Saturday, February 15
  • East Los Angeles College (Pacific Time Zone)
  • Defending Champion: Cal State East Bay women, Concordia men (results)
  • Live results (meet mobile)
  • Championship Central

The 2020 Pacific Collegiate Swim Conference Championships kicked off tonight with the 200 medley relay, 800 free relay, and 1000 free. Azusa Pacific freshman Hannah Frey knocked 5 seconds off her best in the 1000 free, winning the race in 10:15.08. She came from behind on the final 100 to out-touch East Bay freshman Leah Robinson (10:15.43), who went a best time by over 20 seconds. Santa Cruz’s Sam Smith and Biola’s Gabe Weber, both freshmen, tied for the win in the men’s race as they hit the wall together in 9:29.47. Both dropped over 20 seconds from their season bests.

Fresno Pacific won both the men’s and women’s 200 medley relays. The men won the event in 1:28.82, nearly 6 seconds ahead of any other team. That was highlighted by a 22.08 back leg from Iskender Baslakov and a 21.57 fly split from Kirill Baron. In time trials, Baron also put up a lifetime best 49.09 in the 100 back. The women’s team combined for a 1:43.97, with Arianna Kooijinga anchoring in 22.73.

Pepperdine won the women’s 800 free relay (7:33.84), with Nohea Lilekis swimming their fastest split in a 1:52.59 3rd leg. Biola took the men’s 800 free relay (6:47.17) by almost 10 seconds. Patrick Waggoner had their fastest split with a 1:41.14 on the leadoff leg. That was a best time by over 1.5 seconds.

TOP 5 TEAM SCORES THROUGH DAY 1 – WOMEN

  1. Azusa Pacific- 256
  2. Cal State East Bay- 239
  3. Pepperdine- 209
  4. Biola- 177
  5. UC Santa Cruz- 158

TOP 5 TEAM SCORES THROUGH DAY 1 – MEN

  1. UC Santa Cruz- 332
  2. Biola- 209
  3. Concordia- 207
  4. Simpson- 102
  5. Soka- 98





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13-Year-Old Pelaez Becomes Youngest 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifier


2020 SENIOR LONG COURSE SECTIONAL QUALIFIER

  • February 6th-8th, 2020
  • LCM (50m) pool
  • Plantation, Florida
  • Results on Meet Mobile “2020 Senior Long Course Sectional Qualifier”

Eagle Aquatics’ 13-year-old Erika Pelaez competed at the 2020 Sectionals Qualifier in Plantation, Florida this past weekend, becoming the youngest American swimmer to have qualified for the 2020 Olympic Trials. Pelaez made multiple cuts, qualifying in both the 100 meter free and 100 meter back. You can watch a video of her races below, courtesy of Eugenia Pelaez on YouTube.

WOMEN’S 100 BACK

WOMEN’S 100 FREE

Palaez dropped over a second in the 100 free, hitting a 56.03 to swim 2 tenths below the Olympic Trials Cut (56.29). In the 100 back, she also swam a best time by over a second. Her 1:02.65 was a few hundredths faster than the Olympic Trials Cut (1:02.69). While there are 2 other swimmers who made Trials cuts at age 13, Katie Grimes and Jillian Cox, Palaez is the youngest. Grimes and Cox have since turned 14, while Palaez will still be 13 years old when Olympic Trials rolls around.

As far as we can tell, this is the fastest 100 free ever swum by a 13 year old. The fastest 100 free on record for a 13 year old prior to Palaez’s swim was a 56.14 done by Olympic Champion Missy Johnson (formerly Missy Franklin) at the 2008 Olympic Trials. Johnson still holds the 13-14 National Age Group Record, which stands at a 54.03 from 2009.





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Alex Walsh Breaks Gretchen Walsh’s State Record; Boys’ TISCA Ends in a Tie


2020 TISCA TENNESSEE HIGH SCHOOL STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS

FINAL TOP 5 TEAM SCORES – GIRLS

  1. Baylor- 295
  2. Harpeth Hall- 220
  3. Maryville High- 196
  4. Ensworth- 121
  5. Brentwood High- 120

FINAL TOP 5 TEAM SCORES – BOYS

  1. (TIE- CHAMPIONS) McCallie- 248
  2. (TIE- CHAMPIONS) Baylor- 248
  3. Montgomery Bell- 172.5
  4. Ensworth- 138
  5. Science Hill- 114

The 2020 TISCA Championships concluded Saturday night. Harpeth Hall sisters Alex Walsh and Gretchen Walsh continued to impress. On day 1, both sisters swam medley relay splits that would have been the 3rd fastest in last year’s NCAA final. Alex Walsh was just a nail off her own State Record, while Gretchen Walsh took down Abbey Weitzeil’s National High School Record in the 50 free.

Tonight, Gretchen Walsh started things off with a new National High School Record in the 100 free. Her 46.98 took down Weitzeil’s former record from 2015. She’s now the 3rd fastest 17-18 year old girl ever behind only Olympic gold medalists Simone Manuel and Weitzeil.

Alex Walsh, who was just off her own State Record in the 200 free last night, picked up her 2nd individual title of the meet in the 100 back. Her 51.35 was about half a second shy of her lifetime best from 2018. It was just 3 hundredths shy of the National High School Record before tonight, but around the same time tonight Phoebe Bacon broke that record at DC Metros with a 50.89. Interestingly, it was a new State Record, breaking the former mark held by her younger sister. Gretchen’s old record was a 51.57 from last season’s TISCA.

Both Walsh sisters swam on the winning 400 free relay. Lexi Stewart led them off in 55.00, followed by Alex Massey (49.76). AW took on the 3rd leg with the fastest split of the field, a 47.91. GW then anchored them to victory with a 48.14 anchor split. With that, Harpeth Hall set a new State Record in 3:20.81.

McCallie’s Will Jackson, who won the 200 free on day 1, was dominant in the 500 free tonight. Jackson, who broke 4:30 for the first time back in December, dropped 4 seconds from his best. He won in 4:24.29. Teammate Sam Powe was also a winner for McCallie. After breaking 50 for the first time with a lifetime best 48.94 in the 100 back prelims, he won the final in 49.86.

In addition to his individual swims this weekend, Jackson split a 19.90 on the anchor leg of the winning 200 free relay and led off the winning 400 free relay in 44.80. McCallie was slightly behind in the team battle, but with that relay victory, they ended the meet in a tie. McCallie and Baylor are both the 2020 Tennessee State Champions. Baylor won both team titles, as the girls defeated Harpeth Hall.

Additional Event Winners

  • Boys 100 Free: Joseph Jordan, Oakland, 44.73
  • Girls 500 Free: Kallie Chelsvig, Ensworth, 4:49.98
  • Girls 200 Free Relay: Baylor, 1:34.37
  • Boys 200 Free Relay: McCallie, 1:24.31
  • Girls 100 Breast: Ella Platek, John Paul II, 1:03.99
  • Boys 100 Breast: Daniel West, Houston, 55.52
  • Boys 400 Free Relay: McCallie, 3:05.87





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2019-2020 NCAA Women’s Swimming & Diving Power Rankings: February Edition


As in previous years, SwimSwam’s Power Rankings are somewhere between the CSCAA-style dual meet rankings and a pure prediction of NCAA finish order.  SwimSwam’s rankings take into account how a team looks at the moment, while keeping the end of the season in mind through things like a team’s previous trajectory and NCAA scoring potential.  These rankings are by nature subjective, and a jumping-off point for discussion.  If you disagree with any team’s ranking, feel free to make your case in a respectful way in our comments section.

Previous Ranks:

Check out our Swimulator for some early NCAA scoring projections based on current national ranks.

SwimSwam’s Power Rankings are the average of ballots from a panel of our top college swimming reporters. While this should help readers glean which teams are consensus picks at their rank and where in the order things get fuzzy and more subjective, bear in mind that these rankings are not an opportunity to personally attack any specific writer.

(Also receiving votes: Arkansas, Northwestern, Ohio State)

Change from previous ranks shown in parentheses

#20: UNC Tar Heels (Previously Unranked)

The energy on this team is completely revamped as compared to the last couple of seasons. Their free relays look very strong, while Caroline Hauder and Emma Cole look like potential scorers in at least one event. -KO

#19: Arizona State Sun Devils (-)

It’s not a terribly deep roster, but deep enough to make a run into the top 10. Cierra Runge is a great veteran presence, and senior Emma Nordin is having a big year after placing 17th and 19th in two NCAA events last year. -JA

#18: Alabama Crimson Tide (-)

A lot of coaching/chemistry turmoil coming out of Tuscaloosa right now. That hasn’t always been a death-knell for fast swimming, but it’s reason to be a little hesitant. -JA

#17: Wisconsin Badgers (+1)

Current Swimulator projections: Beata Nelson: 60 points. Wisconsin relays: 2 points. None of the Wisconsin relays have even hit an NCAA Provisional Standard yet, meaning they’ll need big Big Ten drops just to earn an NCAA invite. They should be able to accomplish that, but scoring big is going to require one monster taper. -JA

#16: Texas A&M Aggies (+1) 

The Aggies #2 returning scorer from last year, Jing Quahhas only been 1:57.3 and 54.1 in the butterfly races this season. She needs a big SEC showing just to make NCAA invite status. That’s going to be key for a reloading A&M group. -JA

#15: Florida Gators (-3)

For now, without any timetable on Talia Bates‘ return, I’ve downgraded the Gators. If she’s back, though, I’ll have them back in to my top 12 before NCAAs. -BK

Talia Bates‘ injury throws a bit of a wrench in an otherwise impressive season to this point. There’s still much to look forward to this post-season with the Gators, though, and their sprinters are much-improved. -KO

Losing Talia Bates to a hand injury would be a blow to the relays, though it’s unclear if she’s actually out long-term. -JA

#14: Indiana Hoosiers (+1) 

Jonty Skinner is out before the post-season begins. How much impact will that have on IU’s sprint group? Hard to say, but the Hoosiers are really going to need their sprinters behind rookie star Cora Dupre. -JA

#13: Missouri Tigers (-)

Medley relay splits all season from Sarah Thompson and Haley Hynes are tantalizing. -KO

#12: Auburn Tigers (-1)

The Auburn relays are projected to go big at this point – they project to 58, but scored 70 total relay points last year. Julie Meynen (21.8/47.7) is way ahead of where she was at this point last year (22.6/49.2). -JA

#11: Louisville Cardinals (+3)

Louisville returns a bunch of NCAA qualifiers from last year who didn’t score – 8 of them, to be specific. Any or all of them making the leap into scoring range this year would be huge for the Cardinals. -JA

#10: Kentucky Wildcats (-1)

I’m still on the hype train. Kentucky is finishing in the top 10, and they just might score 60+ in the backstrokes alone. -JA

#9: USC Trojans (-2)

The sprints and relays look solid for USC, and six individuals are currently projected to score, though half of them only a few points. Will USC swim inspired this post-season and give head coach Dave Salo a big sendoff? It’s hard to predict, especially with some key internationals perhaps splitting their focus with long course and Olympic qualifying -JA

#8: Georgia Bulldogs (+2)

We all know about Kate Douglass and her impact on the ACC. But did you know that Georgia rookie Zoie Hartman is projected for the exact same number of individual NCAA points (53)? The Bulldogs have six women with double digit points in the Swimulator at this point, and it looks like a bounce-back into the top 10 could be on its way. -JA

#7: Texas Longhorns (+1)

Kelly Pash has been an awesome addition to a deep sprint group. Texas probably isn’t going to rise in the next poll – and that’d be a good thing. The Longhorns need to save their best stuff for NCAAs, and nice Big 12 swims would only be a bonus. -JA

#6: NC State Wolfpack (-1)

They’re usually the flashy team everyone is talking about, but this year, the Wolfpack are the NCAA’s forgotten crew. That’s not going to last long. Expect NC State to come up with some huge relay performances at ACCs. -JA

The top 6 teams, to me, seem well ahead of the rest of the country. There’s a clear break here. -BK

#5: Michigan Wolverines (+1)

Olivia Carter is a likely A-finalist in the 200 fly, and if her impact can extend to other events and boost relays, Michigan could threaten a couple teams above them. -KO

#4: Tennessee Volunteers (-)

This Tennessee group is outstanding, currently projected with the second-most relay points of any team in the Swimulator. The Vols currently don’t project to get any points from Stanzi Moseley or Kaitlin Harty, but I have a sneaking suspicion at least one of those two will contribute something at NCAAs. -JA

#3: Virginia Cavaliers (-)

I have no idea what Kate Douglass will do with a full taper but I cannot wait to witness it. -KO

#2: Stanford Cardinal (-)

Stanford may not have the in-season fireworks to realy blow our socks off. But with so many individual standouts, and so much talent in every event, I can’t see them not piecing it together. -KO

Still an incredible team top-to-bottom. Swimulator projections are really not to be trusted here, as Stanford is only projected 58 relay points. Try at least triple that. -JA

#1: Cal Golden Bears (-)

Abbey Weitzeil has exceeded expectations. I do think these Golden Bears can challenge for the win; the answer may lie in their freshmen showing up and delivering like Isabel Ivey did last year. -KO

The impact of having the NCAA’s best sprinter can’t be overstated. Stanford is deeper, but if Abbey Weitzeil is lights out, it might not matter. -JA

FULL RANKING BALLOTS

Rank Jared Braden Karl Torrey Robert
1 Cal Cal Stanford Cal Cal
2 Stanford Stanford Cal Stanford Stanford
3 Virginia Virginia Virginia Virginia Virginia
4 Tennessee Michigan Tennessee Tennessee Michigan
5 NC State Tennessee Michigan NC State Tennessee
6 Michigan NC State NC State Michigan NC State
7 Texas Georgia Texas Texas Texas
8 Georgia Texas Georgia Georgia USC
9 USC USC USC USC Georgia
10 Kentucky Kentucky Kentucky Kentucky Kentucky
11 Auburn Louisville Auburn Louisville Louisville
12 Louisville Auburn Indiana Auburn Auburn
13 Missouri Arizona State Louisville Missouri Indiana
14 Florida Indiana Missouri Indiana Missouri
15 Wisconsin Florida Florida Florida Florida
16 Alabama Missouri Texas A&M Alabama Alabama
17 Texas A&M Texas A&M Wisconsin Texas A&M Texas A&M
18 Indiana Wisconsin Alabama Wisconsin Arizona State
19 Arkansas UNC UNC UNC Wisconsin
20 Arizona State Ohio State Northwestern Arizona State Northwestern





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11-Year Old Ohio Swimmer Fighting for Her Life After Collapsing on Pool Deck


An 11-year old swimmer from Lebanon, Ohio is fighting for her life after collapsing on the pool deck after a swim practice.

On Tuesday, January 28th, Emma Palmer exited the pool after an otherwise-normal swim practice and collapsed. After being life-flighted to the hospital, doctors discovered that she had a spontaneous brain bleed, though they are still unsure as to the cause. She has undergone 2 brain surgeries and is currently in a medically induced coma.

Palmer swims for the Countryside YMCA, and her teammates dedicated their swims over the weekend at the Teddy Bear Invite hosted by the Blue Ash YMCA to their teammate.

Updates on a GoFundMe page that has been started to support her medical costs indicate that on Wednesday, doctors were working to get a lung infection under control, and that she is scheduled to receive an MRI as doctors hope to learn more about what is happening with her brain.

Over $28,000 has been donated so far.

 





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What it Would Take to Beat Regan Smith for Pro Swim Series Title


The 2020 Pro Swim Series isn’t even half over, but the race for the women’s title might as well be. With Regan Smith‘s absurd speed in Knoxville, it’s going to take an otherworldly swim to knock her off the top of the current standings.

For the second season, the Pro Swim Series doesn’t give out its $10,000 series winner prizes based on cumulative points. This year, as it was last year, the winner will be determined by the single best swim (in FINA points) of the entire series. FINA points attempt to compare swims in different events by creating a points system in which the world record is worth 1000 points. Swims slower than the world record earn less than 1000, based on their relative distance from the world record, and new world records will earn more than 1000, depending on how much faster they are than the previous world record.

While that system has its critics, it is the one being used for this year’s Pro Swim Series title. And it’s relative simplicity means we can come up with ‘benchmark’ times that would be needed to beat Smith’s 58.27 100 backstroke from the Knoxville Pro Swim Series over the weekend.

Spoiler alert: they’re ridiculous.

The Pro Swim Series is using FINA’s 2019 Power Points table, which is based off of world records as of January 2019. (That means Smith’s backstrokes are scored based on the former world records, not her new world records set over the summer). Smith scored 986 points with her 100 back in Knoxville. Here’s a look at the slowest times that would earn 987 points and knock Smith off the top of the list:

Event 987-point Swim
50 free 23.77
100 free 51.93
200 free 1:53.47
400 free 3:57.49
800 free 8:06.90
1500 free 15:24.50
100 back 58.25
200 back 2:04.60
100 breast 1:04.41
200 breast 2:19.71
100 fly 55.72
200 fly 2:02.34
200 IM 2:06.67
400 IM 4:27.52

While the series does award $10,000 to the winner, Smith is still maintaining her amateurism for NCAA eligibility. That’ll put some restrictions on how much (if any) of that award she can accept. But the PSS title also comes with plenty of prestige. And it looks like Smith is squarely in line for that honor.

Oh, and if there’s a tie, the tiebreaker is highest FINA points in a second event. Smith has already gone 2:05.94 in the 200 back for 955 FINA points. So even if another swimmer can muster up a 986-point swim, they’ll have to get a second event above 955. Good luck with that.





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2020 Pro Swim Series – Knoxville: Day 3 Finals Live Recap


2020 PRO SWIM SERIES – KNOXVILLE

  • Thursday, January 16 – Sunday, January 19, 2020
  • Knoxville, TN – Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center – University of Tennessee
  • Long course meters (LCM) format
  • Thursday distance session: 4 PM (U.S. Eastern Time)
  • Fri-Sun.: 9:30 AM Prelims / 6:30 PM Finals
  • Meet site
  • Live Stream
  • Psych Sheets
  • Live results

The third finals night of the 2020 Pro Swim Series in Knoxville is scheduled to have amazing duels in the A-finals, as well as have more Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center pool records. This evening’s line-up will feature the finals of the 200 fly, 50 free, 100 back, 200 breast, and 400 free.

Among the races to watch, catch Worlds runner-up Hali Flickinger race in the 200 fly against teen sensation Regan Smith. Later on in the session, world record-holder Smith will contest in the 100 back against fellow teen stars NCAP’s Phoebe Bacon and Aquajets’ Isabelle Stadden. WUGs champion Lisa Bratton and Olympian Taylor Ruck are also set to race in the final tonight.

Then, 18-year-old Carson Foster is scheduled to be the center of two battles here in Knoxville. The first will be the 200 fly, where Foster is seeded 3rd behind Worlds finalist Zach Harting and Kentucky’s Mason Wilby. Then, Foster will battle another Worlds finalist, Zane Grothe, in the 400 free final.

More exciting races to keep an eye on are Simone Manuel V. Erika Brown in the 50 free, Annie Lazor V. Madisyn Cox in the 200 breast, Will Licon V. Nic Fink also in the 200 breast, and teens Emma Weyant V. Erica Sullivan in the 400 free.

Remaining top seeds tonight include NC State’s Nyls Korstanje (50 free) and WUGs champion Justin Ress (100 back).

WOMEN’S 200 FLY

  • PSS Record: Cammile Adams, 2012, 2:06.76
  • Trials Cut: 2:14.59

Top 3

MEN’S 200 FLY

  • PSS Record: Luca Urlando, 2019, 1:53.84
  • Trials Cut: 2:01.19

Top 3

WOMEN’S 50 FREE

  • PSS Record: Sarah Sjostrom, 2016, 24.17
  • Trials Cut: 25.99

Top 3

MEN’S 50 FREE

  • PSS Record: Nathan Adrian, 2015, 21.56
  • Trials Cut: 23.19

Top 3

WOMEN’S 100 BACK

  • PSS Record: Olivia Smoliga, 2019, 58.73
  • Trials Cut: 1:02.69

Top 3

MEN’S 100 BACK

  • PSS Record: David Plummer, 2016, 52.40
  • Trials Cut: 56.59

Top 3

WOMEN’S 200 BREAST

  • PSS Record: Annie Lazor, 2019, 2:20.77
  • Trials Cut: 2:33.29

Top 3

MEN’S 200 BREAST

Top 3

WOMEN’S 400 FREE

  • PSS Record: Katie Ledecky, 2018, 3:57.94
  • Trials Cut: 4:16.89

Top 3

MEN’S 400 FREE

  • PSS Record: Sun Yang, 2016, 3:43.55
  • Trials Cut: 3:57.29

Top 3





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Hanim Abrahams The Golden Swimmer

Hanim Abrahams The 17-Year-Old Swimmer

Hanim Abrahams the 17 year old that is leading the way in her field of swim, she is trying to help and inspire young teens around the world.

She has around 2.5k followers on Instagram, everyone make sure you go give her a follow if you don’t already!

We got the chance to interview her, here are a few things she had to say.

How old are you?

I am Hānim Abrahams, I am currently 17 years old. 

When did you start swimming?

I was introduced to swimming at a very young age, I started swimming lessons when I was about two years old.

I would be in our pool whenever I could and my mom would have to haul me out. In grade R I tried out for the school swim team to be with my older sister.

Many girls thought I was crazy as I tried out with the grade two’s.

I then started swimming at Cape Dolphins Aquatics (CADO) with renowned coach Brian Button at the age of six.

What goes through your mind when you swim? 

When I swim I think what’s goes through my mind is to push myself to limits to compete with myself. I just want to be the best swimmer that I can be.

What inspires you to keep swimming?

What inspires me to swim would be the sport and the competitiveness of swimming.

In swimming you can always be better and faster and that inspires me to keep going.

You won the gold in the 50m breaststroke. Please explain your emotions after you realized you won. 

I was incredibly humble to have won the 50m breastroke at Junior Nationals.

This win meant so much to me as junior nationals was my first nationals post operation, the win made me feel like all the hardwork paid off preparing physically and mentally. 

You were named captain the team captain at the Junior African Swimming Championships. Walk us through that experience please. 

Being a captain of any South African team is incredibly humbling. I enjoy being a leader and it was really a privilege to be the captain.

It taught me a lot about other swimmers and a lot about myself.

What advice for teenagers in your field?

Advice to any teenagers in my field would be “Everything happens for a reason” just trust the process and your own abilities.

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