2019 NVSL Preseason All Swim Ninja: 11-12s
The 11-12 age group is where we start to really have fun with these picks. Other than fly, there is plenty of data to compare 10-year-olds aging up and 11-year-olds returning, creating a larger pool of athletes to consider. The one consideration that must be pointed out is that some 10 y/os may have been given more, or better, opportunities to compete in their strongest events than 11 y/os who were buried on their team’s ladders at the bottom of the age group. Furthermore, this is the age range where truly committed year-round swimmers separate themselves from those focusing on other sports. By 11, the hundreds and thousands of hours of technique work, endurance training, and club competitions make it exceedingly difficult for less serious swimmers to compete at the very top as kids begin to get their growth and strength. Therefore, we can expect a few names not even remotely on our radar to show up as we progress through the season.
- Benjamin Farello (Poplar Tree): Farello finished 6th, 19th, and 21st overall in Fly, Free, and Back as an 11 y/o in 2018, giving him the top spot amongst returners in Fly and Free, and the third fastest returning back to start 2019. The Pirates will need Ben’s strength and versatility as they look to compete in D9 this season. We saw his fly last season at D5 divisionals – see below!
- Charlie Greenwood (Donaldson Run): Charlie had the 2nd fastest 50 breast in the age group in 2018 and he comes back as the fastest in the stroke in 2019 by well over a second. Greenwood will also be the 3rd fastest 50 fly and 6th fastest free to start the summer.
- Kai Sanchez (Rutherford): Kai will be the fastest returning 50m backstroke swimmer entering 2019 after finishing 7th in the stroke last year. Sanchez also gives the Water Rats the 10th fastest returning freestyle.
- Kai Wang (Dowden Terrace): Wang has the second fastest returning 50 back and 4th fastest 50 fly after finishing 8th and 26th overall last summer. The Dolphins are boosted in their D2 bid by yet another strong swimmer making this list.
- Wiktor Wyszogrodzki (Highlands): Wiktor has the 2nd fastest 50 free and 6th fastest 50 back for the 11-12 boys coming into 2019. Check out this impressive swim he gave the Whomping Turtles from week 1 last summer.
- Brandon Lesser (Daventry): Lesser earned his spot on the 2018 First Team All Swim Ninja list a year ago by having the fastest 50 Breast and 2nd fastest 50 free for the 9-10 boys. Despite aging up, Brandon will begin 2019 with the 2nd fastest breast in the age group and 9th fastest 50 free. Watch him light up the fast heat of Allstars with this 7-second win!
- Rian Graham (Herndon): Graham had the 10th fastest 50 fly last summer, giving him the number two spot to start 2019. He also begins 2019 as the 8th fastest 50 backstroke swimmer.
- Billy Weber (Overlee): Weber has the 3rd, 4th, and 9th fastest returning 50 breast, 50 free, and 50 back respectively
- Evan Ingraham (Overlee): Ingraham joins his teammate Billy Weber with the 3rd fastest 50 free and 6th fastest 50 fly amongst returning athletes in 2019
- Connor Tain (Fair Oaks): Tain is the 4th fastest returning backstroker and 7th fastest 50 fly to start 2019
- Emma Redman (Sleepy Hollow Rec): Redman is a fascinating talent who has the fastest returning 50 free and back, and the 3rd fastest 50 breast. Emma finished 2018 in the top 10 in all 3 of her events despite being at the bottom of the age group, giving her the First Team All Swim Ninja selection!
- Rachel Conley (Donaldson Run): Rachel brings back the fastest 50 fly in the age group for the Thunderbolts this season as well as the 6th fastest 50 free. DR will need help from their top athletes like Conley this season in D3.
- Sarah Vollbrecht (South Run): The Seahawks have a lot to be excited about with the return of Vollbrecht–after finishing with the 3rd fastest time in 50 breast in 2018, Sarah is now the top athlete in the stroke to start 2019.
- Sadie Laughlin (Camelot): Laughlin was in the top 10 in both free and breast a year ago, and now will start 2019 with the 2nd fastest returning time in breast and is tied with Redman for the fastest 50 free coming back.
- Charlotte Scogna (Highlands): Scogna has top-10 returning times in all 4 events, sitting at 4th in free, back, and fly, and 8th in breast. Her versatility will be key for the Whomping Turtles as they challenge the best of D1 this summer.
- Keira Gutierrez (Chesterbrook): Keira rounded out an age group with two First Team All Swim Ninja selections for the Tiger Shark 11-12 girls last season while still finishing 15th in back and 27th in fly. Gutierrez is now 2nd and 3rd in each stroke respectively coming into the summer and will definitely contend with the top of the leaderboards. Watch Keira narrowly edge out Charlotte in the 50 fly from their dual meet in 2018 below
- Charlotte Prunty (Orange Hunt): Sitting only a few tenths behind Rachel Conley, Prunty is the second fastest returning flyer. Charlotte also brings the 7th fastest backstroke in the age group.
- Lexi Ries (High Point): Ries is the 3rd fastest returning freestyler, less than a second behind both Emma Redman and Sadie Laughlin.
- Grace Callahan (Overlee): Grace will be the 5th fastest backstroke and 7th fastest fly to start 2019.
- Charlotte Wilhite (Overlee): Charlotte is the 5th fastest returning free and 7th fastest breast entering the season.
- Aida Young (Overlee): Aida finished 10th in 50m breast in 2019 and is the 4th fastest coming back this summer.
- Morgan Kass (Hamlet): After a First Team All Swim Ninja selection in the 9-10 age group in 2018 for the fastest 50 back, Kass ages up with the 3rd fastest returning time for the 11-12s. See her crush the field in her backstroke from week 1 in 2018 below: