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2011-12 Signal Sports Awards Newcomer of the Year: Abbey Weitzeil, Saugus Swim

Posted: July 7, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 7, 2012 1:55 a.m.

As a freshman, Saugus' Abbey Weitzeil won two CIF-Southern Section Division I titles in the 50- and 100-yard free.

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Saugus’ Abbey Weitzeil is used to being a relative newcomer when it comes to the world of competitive swim.


The 15 year old only started swimming at such a level three years ago, a 12-year-old up against athletes who had been swimming on club teams for years.


But when Weitzeil joined Canyons Aquatics in 2009, after moving with her family to the Santa Clarita Valley from their Northern California home, she wasted no time making an impact.


Her reputation as one of the best swimmers in the Santa Clarita Valley grew, bolstered by qualifying for the Olympic Trials at the age of 14, the youngest a swimmer in the SCV has ever qualified for the trials,
Before she even arrived in high school, her name was known amongst the Foothill’s coaches.


It quickly became known by all her opponents, as well.


The Foothill newcomer didn’t waste anytime proving her expectations justified.


In your first year of varsity competition, there’s generally a “feeling out” period.


An athlete who adjusts more quickly than average is usally a hot commodity.


As a newcomer, you’re not necessarily expected to carry the team, but rather, simply being an integral piece is often cause for pause.


In Weitzeil’s case, though, there was no feeling out period.


There was no playing her role.


There was simply leading the team.


And that’s what Weitzeil did, from week one through the CIF-Southern Section Division I Championship meet, she was the anchor of the Saugus High girls swim team.


In her first season of high school swim, Weitzeil set nine Saugus school records, four Foothill League records and won two Foothill League titles.


It wasn’t simply that there were league titles that were remarkable, but even more so, it was in which events.
By all accounts, Weitzeil’s specialty is in sprint events.


She qualified for the Olympic Trials in the 50- and 100-meter freestyles.


Her league titles, though, came in the 500 free, a distance event that requires a different skill set from the shorter sprint events she excels at, and the 200 free.


The Foothill League prelims meet was the first time she swam the 500 all season.


But that didn’t stop her from winning the league title in a league record time two days later.


She was just that good.


It didn’t matter the event — she won every individual event she was entered in during the league season.


And at the CIF-SS Div. I Championship, she became the only female athlete to win two CIF titles.


She was a newcomer who performed with the poise and ability of a veteran.


The higher the pressure, the better the performance.


And for that, Abbey Weitzeil is The Signal’s 2012 Newcomer of the Year.

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