WHEN fifteen year-old phenom, Michael Phelps, slammed the touchpad at the end of his 200 yard fly at the Eastern Classic on January 13 in Atlanta, Georgia, he not only erased one of the oldest–and toughest–national age group records in the book. He also helped his club, North Baltimore Aquatic Club (NBAC), notch its one hundredth national age group record.
Phelps clocked 1:45.50 for his 200 yard fly. The old record, set by Melvin Stewart in 1985–just before Phelps was born–was 1:46.71. Michael has more than a year to improve on his new record, perhaps pushing it to a level where it will take another 16 years for it to be broken.
Stewart went on to win the 200 fly at the 1992 Olympic Games. Phelps, who became the youngest U.S. male Olympian in 68 years, finished fifth at the Sydney Games, but he has his eye on the gold for Athens 2004.
Murray Stephens, head coach at NBAC, and NBAC's statistician, Tom Hines, were understandably proud of their swimmer's and team's achievements. "I don't know if 100 national age group records is a record," said Stephens, "but this should provide an incentive to other clubs to tally their own list of records set or to try and beat us."
How about it, coaches? How many NAGs has your team set?