2018 NVSL Preseason All-Swim Ninja: 8-Unders

The Ninjas have gotten together to create our preseason All-Swim Ninja team, comprised of the top returning athletes in each age group. Using solely 2017 times as our predictor, we created the 1st team, 2nd team, and honorable mention lists. We are excited to see great competition this coming summer, and expect to see a few names left off the preseason list make our postseason All-Swim Ninja team–so go out and swim hard!

See the boys and girls teams and our reasoning below!


*Due to athletes switching pools before the start of the season/no longer competing updates will be made to this post*

This was our most difficult age group to predict–identifying top performing 6 and 7-year-olds from a year ago in events that tend to be dominated by 8-year-olds is hardly all-telling, but what we have to work with for the time being:


1st Team:

  • Nicholas Harris (Virginia Run): As a 7-year-old, Nicholas was the 5th fastest 8-under boys backstroker and 10th fastest flyer in the league, and cracked the top 50 in 25 free with an 18.38 landing him at 39th overall in the event
  • Cooper Roberts (Dowden Terrace): Cooper is the fastest returning 7-year-old freestyler with a best time of 17.14 last season, which was the 9th fastest time in the league and .60 seconds behind the league leader
  • Bennett Steele (Hamlet): Bennett is the fastest returning boys breaststroker in arguably the most difficult stroke to master as an 8-under. He finished 9th last season with a time of 23.48 which was just over a second and a half behind the league leader in the event so he will have the competition chasing him this summer
  • Connor Minear (Mansion House): Connor was the 12th fastest breaststroker and 19th fastest flyer in his age group in 2017. He was just over .20 seconds slower than Bennett, so watch him contend for the top spot this season
  • Sullivan Portner (Overlee): Sully finished in the top 50 in free (28th), back (13th), and fly (11th) last season–his times make him competitive with anyone in the league

2nd Team:

  • Gabriel Hanson (Kent Gardens): As a 6-year-old Gabriel was 11th in the league in back and is the second fastest returning boy–he was also 35th in fly
  • William Yoon (Chesterbrook): William was 23rd in breast and 32nd in back as a 7y/o making him a serious double threat in the season ahead
  • Connor O’Neill (Hollin Meadows): Connor had two top 50 times in free (35th) and breast (44th), which will make him a major player for his team in 2018
  • Alexander Wolverton (Stratford): Alexander had two top 50 times in free (48th) and breast (42nd), giving his team a solid player in the early events
  • Quinn Zenyuh (Pleasant Valley): Quinn was competitive in both the fly (23rd) and back (38th) and should be a serious contender this season

Honorable Mention:

  • Till Golcyz (McLean): 19th in 25 Back
  • Wyatt Nicholson (Fairfax): 21st in 25 Back
  • Declan Conley (High Point): 24th in 25 Breast
  • Liam Fore (Mount Vernon Park): 20th in 25 Fly


1st Team: 

  • Anne O’Shaughnessy (Highlands): Anne was a dominant 7y/o a season ago, finishing as the fastest returning backstroker at 6th overall in 2017. She also was 19th in breast and 33rd in fly
  • Cally Codding (Fairfax): Cally finished 8th in fly last season and is the fastest returning girl in the age group for the event–she also was a top-100 freestyler, so keep your eyes on this girl
  • Hazel Hales (Tuckahoe): Hazel finished with the 12th fastest time in breast in 2017 and returns this year as the fastest in the age group. She also posted the 41st fastest freestyle time a season ago

2nd Team:

  • McKenzie Cory (Chesterbrook): McKenzie is the fastest returning freestyler in the age group and also posted the 21st fasted backstroke time in 2017
  • Annabelle Francis (Chesterbrook): Annabelle was only .01 seconds behind McKenzie in free and .37 seconds slower in back a year ago–the duo should cause headaches for their division 1 rivals this season in both the individual events and relays
  • Mary McNichols (Virginia Hills): Mary was the 16th fastest backstroker last season and also had a top 50 time in the 25 fly, making her a force to be reckoned with in 2018
  • Carly Schweers (Vienna Woods): Carly had two top 50 times in the breast and fly a season ago, and should be highly competitive this season again
  • Gillian Dent (Highlands): Gillian had the 9th fastest backstroke time in 2017 as a 7y/o, and will combine with her Highlands teammate Anne O’Shaughnessy to make a formidable tandem
  • Hazel Gramlich (Dunn Loring): Hazel posted the 16th best 25 fly time last year and expect her to pick up where she left off

Honorable Mention:

  • Eleanor Wertzler (Donaldson Run): Eleanor was 29th in fly in 2017 and had two top 100 times in free (76) and back (54)

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