BOYDS, Maryland, February 9. IT took 30 years for it to happen, but reigning Swimming World Male High School Swimmer of the Year Jack Conger demolished the national high school record in the 500-yard free tonight at the 2013 Metro Championships.
Conger obliterated the mark with a 4:13.87, not only beating his national independent school record of 4:17.51 for Good Counsel last year, but also far surpassing the 4:16.39 set by Jeff Kostoff while swimming for Upland High on May 14, 1983.
Conger's performance also shot him into the top 25 all time in the event's history, and would have placed Conger third at last year's NCAA Championships behind Georgia's Martin Grodzki (4:12.95) and Southern California's Cristian Quintero (4:13.07). Tonight's time has to bring a smile to Texas head coach Eddie Reese's face, as Conger is headed to Austin after completing his senior year at Good Counsel.
Conger won this evening by nearly 16 seconds ahead of Gavin Springer's 4:29.54. Conger also split the swim as follows: 22.16, 46.64, 1:11.98, 1:37.79, 2:03.87, 2:30.15, 2:56.60, 3:23.09, 3:49.33, 4:13.87. That final split represents a blazing 24.54 coming home with the record.
The world was definitely watching as Twitter was set afire with the news.
Congrats to Jack Conger breaking 30 year old high school national record!!! 500 freestyle 4:13.8!!!!
– Michael Klueh (@mklueh) February 10, 2013
– Bryan Flaherty (@bryanAflaherty) February 10, 2013
@swimmingworld WOW! That Kostoff record was not exactly a softie, either. Not sure which new 500 record is more impressive!!! Holy smokes!
– TheGrapeGeek (@TheGrapeGeek) February 10, 2013
– Erin Quinn (@ErinQuinn11) February 10, 2013
Conger likely had most of his eggs in the 500 free basket as he won the 100 back in 46.76. His lifetime best is a 45.32, which would have rivaled the national high school record of 45.34 set by Ryan Murphy during the Bolles School record onslaught in November 2012.
Conger also ledoff Good Counsel's 400 free relay with a 42.81 to down Murphy's 100 free national independent school record of 42.95. David Nolan remained in possession of the overall record with a 42.34 from 2011.