Wong keeps getting faster and faster

Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week

CdM junior, who is aiming for Olympic trials, had another great high school season for Sea Kings.

May 18, 2012|By Matt Szabo
(Kevin Chang | Daily…)

Even with a year of school left, Corona del Mar High junior Brynne Wong is one of the most accomplished swimmers in program history.

The Sea Kings' record board doesn't lie. Wong is the record-holder in the 50-yard freestyle and 100 butterfly. She's also on the board as the anchor of a record-setting 200 and 400 freestyle relay team.

But that record board can't tell people Wong's resolve. It doesn't tell you how Wong stood on the CdM pool deck May 4, thrilled about swimming a 55.20 in the butterfly at Pacific Coast League finals. The mark lowered her own school record and also bested the previous meet record, a 55.53 by Beckman's Tara Thomas in 2006.

One of Wong's goals when she came in as a freshman was to break Thomas' mark. Wong, the Daily Pilot Athlete of the Week, still was far from satisfied.

In the CIF Southern Section Division 1 finals eight days later, she again came up huge at Riverside City College. This time Wong was second in the butterfly, but her automatic All-American time — a 54.38 — was pretty special.


"She does a 55 in league to get the league record, then she does a 54 at CIF," CdM Coach Doug Volding said. "She just is amazing. Absolutely amazing. Boy, oh boy. One wonders about next year, is she going to continue this drop?"

In the butterfly and 50 free this year, Wong was mostly just racing against herself. Wong, who swims club for the Irvine-based AquaZots, continually chiseled her school-record 50 free mark to the current 23.60. In that race she got third at CIF finals.

It was just another amazing meet for Wong. Yet, even she felt the excitement in that butterfly race, in which she finished second to her friend Katie McLaughlin of JSerra.

"I was super-excited," she said. "When I touched the wall, I looked at the board and I was just like, 'Is that my time?' I'm really happy to finally break the 55."

The time is important to Wong. Next weekend she races in the long-course Speedo Grand Challenge at Irvine's Woollett Aquatics Center. Wong said it's her last chance to qualify for the Olympic trials, which begin June 25 in Omaha, Neb.

Wong needs to swim a 1:01.99 (long course) in the fly to qualify for the trials. Her previous best is a 1:02.40, but her time from CIF finals converts to a 1:01.76.

Making the Olympic trials at just 16 years old would be quite an experience for Wong.

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