Irvine Novaquatics Break 11-12 400 Free Relay NAG by Four Seconds

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The team of Allen Cai, Humberto Najera, Joey Chang, and Nick Grulke from Irvine Novaquatics broke the 11-12 National Age Group Record in the 400 Free Relay with a time of 3:54.06. This was the third NAG set the weekend of June 16-18 across the country.

The previous mark stood at 3:58.04 from 2014, when Carson Foster, Jacob McDonald, Ansel Froass and Kevin Thibodeaux of the Cincinnati Marlins set the standard.

At the time, the Marlins were the first group of 12 and under boys to break the 4:00 barrier. Now, the foursome from Novaquatics has added yet another NAG to their team’s resume.

The program has set numerous NAGs over the years, most recently besting the records in the 13-14 200 free relay and the 10 & Under 200 free relay.

The latter includes two of the same swimmers who set the 11-12 400 free relay mark this weekend: Humberto Najera and Joey Chang. Two years ago, they teamed up with Joel Hernandez, and Mitchell Schott.

This time around, the boys had the following splits:

Cai – 57.51

Najera – 59.05

Chang – 58.68

Grulke – 58.82

This is the first time a group of 12 and under boys have ever had all four swimmers split under 1:00. The previous record was led by a 57.65 split from Carson Foster, the NAG record-holder in the 10 & Under 50 butterfly, but included a 1:00.7 split.



  1. Pat Kennedy

    Congratulations to the swimmers, coaches and their families.

  2. Scott Anderson

    I still remember Meg being part of the 400 Free Relay that broke the Jr National Record – stood for 10 minutes – LOL – but TBAY still won the overall Jr National Championship that year right there in Irvine in 2007.
    Didn’t get much mention in Tampa…

Author: Diana Pimer

Diana Pimer was a breaststroke/IMer at Keene State College and is the NEISDA Conference record holder in the 200 IM. She is currently an Age Group Coach at AGUA in New York City and has covered major competitions for Swimming World including the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, 2015 and 2017 FINA World Championships, USA Swimming Nationals and more.

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