Swimming World Presents “Record Breakers: Five New High School National Record Holders”

SW August 2020 Record Breakers - Five New National Record Holders - Kaitlyn Dobler

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Record Breakers: Five New High School National Record Holders

By David Rieder

Nine high school swimmers from eight different states combined for 11 public or independent school records and eight overall national high school records—including three times in one event!

Since 1997, Swimming World has annually awarded High School Swimmer of the Year honors to the teenagers for superior efforts while representing their schools, but for 2020, there cannot be one such honoree. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, high school swimmers in certain states never got to have a season at all, and while all fall seasons and most winter seasons were completed, some state championship meets were canceled last minute or even stopped in the middle of the meet.

With that in mind, we recognize all the swimmers who broke national high school records this season and, specifically, the five swimmers who finished the season as new overall high school record holders: Claire Curzan, Gretchen Walsh, Phoebe Bacon, Kaitlyn Dobler and Matt Brownstead.

THE WEEKEND OF RECORDS (Feb. 7-8)
While the fall high school swimming season came without any overall national records, a whopping six went down during one early February weekend in North Carolina, Tennessee and in the Washington, D.C. area.

First came Claire Curzan, who broke the national high school record in the girls’ 100 yard butterfly at the North Carolina 4A Championships on Friday, Feb. 7. Representing Cardinal Gibbons High School (Raleigh, N.C.), Curzan, only a sophomore, swam a time of 50.35, smashing the 51.29 that Torri Huske had set one year earlier (2-15-19). Curzan also broke her own 15-16 national age group record and became the event’s 11th-fastest performer in history.

Junior Gretchen Walsh struck first on Feb. 7: She split 21.20 to anchor the opening 200 medley relay before she broke Abbey Weitzeil’s national record of 21.64 (5-16-15) in the 50 free with a 21.59. On Saturday, Feb. 8, Walsh broke another Weitzeil record (47.09r, 5-16-15) with a 46.98 in the 100 free. Like Curzan, Walsh made an impact on the all-time record books, and she ranks among the top 20 ever in both events.

Two events after Gretchen’s sizzling 100 free, her older sister, Alex Walsh, came out for the 100 back and swam a 51.35, eclipsing Curzan’s record from the day before.

But that, too, would be short-lived, as Stone Ridge’s (Bethesda, Md.) Phoebe Bacon was getting ready to swim the event at the Metro (D.C.) Championships in Maryland. Bacon would blow right through the 51-second barrier and swim a time of 50.89.

BREASTSTROKE IN OREGON
Kaitlyn Dobler, who swims for Aloha High School (Beaverton, Ore.), was named this year’s Oregon 6A State Championships on Feb. 22, when she won the 100 yard breast and set an overall national high school record. Her time of 58.35 cut 5-hundredths off Emily Weiss’ two-year-old national high school record of 58.40 (2-10-18).

SPRINTING PAST A LEGEND
Matt Brownstead of State College Area High School (State College, Pa.) spent the entire high school season geared toward 19 seconds of down-and-back speed and power. The target was the 50 free national high school record of 19.29 (11-9-13), and it belonged to one Caeleb Dressel, now widely considered the best all-around swimmer in the world.

Brownstead had won the 50 free the year before in 19.55, a state record, and in 2020, he annihilated the rest of the heat by more than a second. He touched in 19.24 and promptly slammed the water in excitement, having taken down the Dressel record by 5-hundredths.

“Even to be mentioned in the same sentence as him, it’s crazy, and it’s such a good feeling,” Brownstead said. “He’s out of this world. He’s incredible. Even like, ‘Oh, you just broke Caeleb Dressel’s record,’ it’s crazy. There’s nothing like it. It’s such a great feeling.”

Brownstead would anchor State College’s 200 free relay, swimming on a team with his younger brother, John. Having split 19.03 on a 200 medley relay earlier, Brownstead targeted getting under 19 seconds, and he ended up with an astounding 18.67.

To read the full story behind all of 2020’s new high school National record holders,
click here to download the August issue of Swimming World Magazine, available
now!

SW August 2020 The Record Breakers - Cover

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Swimming World Magazine August 2020 Issue

FEATURES

014 OPPORTUNITY LOST
by Dan D’Addona
High school swimming has multiple seasons with roughly 130 state/sectional/divisional high school championship meets held as early as October or as late as May of the following year. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in mid-March, some high schools had already completed their championships, others saw their season canceled…while still others were interrupted during the middle of their meet! Here are a few examples of how the coronavirus affected high school swimming.

016 A GOOD INDICATOR OF FUTURE SUCCESS
by Andy Ross
Since Swimming World first honored its Male and Female High School Swimmers of the Year in 1997, 60 percent of those athletes have gone on to compete in the Olympics from 2000 through 2016.

019 TOP HIGH SCHOOL RECRUITS
by Chandler Brandes
Swimming World takes a look at the swimmers it considers to be the 10 best high school recruits—both male and female—from the Class of 2020 and where they’ll be attending college in the fall.

022 THE RECORD BREAKERS
by David Rieder
Nine high school swimmers from eight different states combined for 11 public or independent school records and eight overall national high school records—including three times in one event!

026 A GROSS INJUSTICE
by John Lohn
In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, 16-year-old Rick DeMont had won the 400 meter freestyle only to have his gold medal taken away several days later in one of the biggest injustices in Olympic history.

029 ISHOF: THE TOM AND MATT SHOW
by Bruce Wigo
As explained in last month’s issue,sprinters are considered a different breed of swimmer. They’re not just free spirits, but they seem to be rule breakers and troublemakers of the sport. In July, Swimming World featured two of swimming’s notorious female rebels, Eleanor Holm and Dawn Fraser. This month’s article takes a look at two male disruptors who paved the way for professional swimming, Tom Jager and Matt Biondi.

COACHING

012 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: DEVELOPMENT OF AN OPTIMAL MODEL FOR TECHNIQUE: PART VIII—BODY BASE OF SUPPORT FOR BREASTSTROKE
by Rod Havriluk
The torso is the swimmer’s base of support (BOS). During a stroke cycle of a typical breaststroker, excess vertical motion of the shoulder distorts the BOS, which compromises the ability to maximize propulsion and, as a result, limits swimming velocity. This article offers suggestions for how to stabilize the BOS to generate more propulsion to swim faster.

033 SUMMER LEAGUE: HAVING FUN AND GETTING THE WORK DONE
by Michael J. Stott
No matter what tomorrow or next year brings, one can hope that the benefits of summer league as we know them will persist.

035 SPECIAL SETS: TRAINING FROM TRIALS TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES
by Michael J. Stott
Through the voice of Michigan associate coach Josh White, this month’s “Special Sets” traces the training Connor Jaeger did in the period between the U.S. Olympic Trials to the Olympic Games in 2012  and 2016.

041 Q&A WITH COACH NEIL HARPER
by Michael J. Stott

042 HOW THEY TRAIN ANNA HOPKIN
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

010 DRYSIDE TRAINING: EXERCISES FOR EXPLOSIVE STARTS & TURNS
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

039 GOLDMINDS: HOW TO BECOME AN “A” SWIMMER
by Wayne Goldsmith
Ultimately, success comes to those amazing people who make the decision to be successful and who then live that decision in practice and performance—in and out of the pool—until they realize their potential.

045 UP & COMERS: ABBY REICH
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

032 DID YOU KNOW? PETER JACKSON: “THE BLACK PRINCE”

046 GUTTERTALK

048 PARTING SHOT

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