Ilya Kharun at the top of the 2023 ranking in 200 Fly; Claire Weinstein changes team

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Sandpipers Pumpkin Invitational 2021

  • 22-24 October 2021
  • Pavilion Center Pool, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Short course (25 yards)
  • Timed finals
  • Full results of the meeting

Usually, encounters with words like “Pumpkin” in their title are quite tame: training meets from mid-October to the end of October were used to train for running and test some early-stage workouts. season.

But the Nevada Sandpipers hosted what could be the more significant “pumpkin” invitational meetings in the history of USA Swimming. For three days at the Pavilion Center Pool, a new star, Ilya Kharoun, was born, and one of the brightest age group talents in the country Claire Weinstein showed up with a new team affiliation.

And that adds to the almost insurmountable presence of a pair of American Olympians.

Note that all hours of the competition were swam at altitude. While the average Las Vegas elevation is just over 2,000 feet, the Pavilion Center pool has an official elevation of 3,054 feet. This means that for entry and qualifying purposes, 200-yard runs get an adjustment half a second faster, 500-yard runs get a 2.5-second adjustment faster, individual runs 800. or 1000 yards get 5 seconds faster and runs 1650 yards get 11 seconds faster.

The great breakthrough of Kharun

16 years old Ilya Kharoun Had a breakout meeting like little we’ve ever seen in October. Even while running at altitude he swam not corrected lifetime records in 9 events. The only one where it was not the 400 IM. With a maximum of 9 events allowed per athlete, he actually could have had 10 personal bests, including the 1,000-yard division en route to his mile.

Each event was also a victory for Kharun.

Pumpkin Invitation – Raw Time Pumpkin Invitation – Time Adjusted Previous PB (unadjusted)

Falling time (adjusted altitude)

200 free 1: 40.06 1: 39.56 1: 41.72 2.16s
500 free 4: 32.27 4: 29.77 4: 45.02 15.25s
1000 free 9: 15.67 (Split) 9: 09.37 (Split) 9: 42.01 32.64s
1650 free 15: 24.69 15: 13.69 16: 16.11 62.42s
200 return 1: 50.20 1: 49.70 1: 57.58 7.88s
200 chest 2: 06.74 2: 06.24 2: 16.81 10.57s
200 flies 1: 45.94 1: 45.44 1: 49.62 4.18s
100 MI 50.7 50.7 1: 00.04 9.34s
200 MI 1: 52.00 1: 51.50 1: 55.73 4.23s
400 MI 4: 04.39 4: 01.89 3: 59.05 N / A

The remarkable swim among a list of remarkable strokes for Kharun was 1: 45.94 in the 200 butterfly. In June, when we ranked the high school class of 2023 (which Kharun is in), the fastest flight time out of 200 was from Mitchell Ledford at 1: 46.32. Ledford was the No. 6 rookie in the class at the time, while Kharun was unranked.

While that one race alone isn’t enough to put Kharun in the top 10 immediately, his trajectory is heading towards one of the true black horses in the class of 2023, which is already well into its recruiting cycle.

So how did he get here? According to Sandpipers coach Michael Kinross, a number of factors played into Kharun’s success.

Kharun started in the Sandpipers program as “10 and less talented” at the age of 5. He is the Southern California swimming record holder in several 10-and-under events. After spending a few seasons with another local team, he joined the Sandpipers in the spring of 2019.

“It took him a little while to readjust to our training and he’s a bit behind in size compared to some of the other boys his age and level,” said Kinross.

“Then COVID hit and it stayed in our age group / pre-senior level track, which by design focuses on the development of the growing athlete. Which means he always swam in all events, all strokes, all distances, all competitions, wearing a technical wetsuit only a few times a year and competing in competitions not as fresh as many of his counterparts in his country. age group.

“Ilya joined our national groups in January which gave him a little more freedom to focus on more of his main events, especially ahead of the National Open Water Championships and Olympic Trials.”

Kinross said that alongside continued physical growth, this led to the breakout meetup we saw this weekend in Las Vegas.

This is a follow-up to his first meeting of the season, a duel against Boulder City Henderson earlier in September, where he swam a series of different events and set 4 personal bests: 20.74 in the 50 freestyle. , 50.16 in the 100 backstroke, 57.08 in the 100 breaststroke and 47.96 in the 100 butterfly.

It seems that there is, essentially, no race that Kharun can not swim, which makes him a tantalizing college prospect when he begins to specialize.

Age-group star moves to Vegas

As if that wasn’t enough, the encounter saw a 14-year-old appearance Claire Weinstein where the blue and gold of the Sandpipers.

Weinstein has previously trained with the Westchester Aquatic Club in New York City and had a run earlier this year, including becoming the youngest to qualify for the 2021 Olympic Trials at just 13 and knocking on the doors of some of the most famous national records by age group. There are.

Having left Westchester, a club renowned in the region for the development of its age group, Weinstein now trains at the club which has put three swimmers with similar specialties to her in the 200+ freestyles of the US Olympic team.

His swim this weekend included times of 4: 47.31 in the 500 freestyle and 9: 48.78 in the 1000 freestyle. Once adjusted (4: 44.81 / 9: 42.48), 1000’s free time would be a better time.

But following the Sandpipers philosophy, the competition also swam its backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly sprint events. This included a new best ever time of 57.98 in the 100 butterflies, pulling more than a second off his previous best time in March.

The Olympians

Even after Erica Sullivan graduated from the University of Texas, Sandpipers is still the training center for two teenage Olympians: Bella sims and Katie grimes (undoubtedly a substantial part of Weinstein’s motivation to take the step).

Sims qualified for the US Olympic team as a member of the 800 free relay, which meant an Olympic silver medal in Tokyo.

Although she did not swim the 200 freestyle in this meet (she did so in September clocking 1: 47.89), Sims showed some versatility by swimming the best times in the freestyles. longer (15: 59.68, converted to 15: 48.68 in the 1650 freestyle) and breaststroke (1: 05.19 in the 100 breaststroke).

Grimes, meanwhile, finished 4th in the 800 freestyle at the Olympics. She made swim the equivalent yardage, 1000 freestyle and fastest times crushed at a pace similar to Kharun’s.

Pumpkin Invitation – Raw Time Pumpkin Invitation – Time Adjusted Previous PB (unadjusted)

Falling time (adjusted altitude)

100 free 51.03 51.03 51.16 .13s
500 free 4: 39.86 4: 37.36 4: 38.26 .90
1000 free 9: 30.58 9: 24.28 9: 39.77 15.49s
100 return 54.15 54.15 55.64 1.49s
100 chest 1: 04.86 1: 04.86 1: 06.38 1.52s
200 chest 2: 19.00 2: 18.50 2: 20.27 1.77s
100 MI 55.51 55.51 59.78 4.27s

While USA Swimming does not award national age group records or national age group rankings based on adjusted altitude times, its adjusted time in the 1000 freestyle is second all-time in the 15-16 age group behind the indomitable Katie Ledecky. Even her not corrected time, swam 3000 feet above sea level, ranks 6th all-time:

  1. Katie Ledecky, 9: 14.22 – 2013
  2. Kate Ziegler, 9: 25.51 – 2005
  3. Katie Hoff, 9: 27.56 – 2006
  4. Erica Sullivan, 9: 29.91 – 2016
  5. Jane Skillman, 9: 30.35 – 1990
  6. Katie grimes, 9: 30.58 – 2021


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