Luka Mijatovic Breaks Four More 13-14 National Age Group Records, Including Phelps 400 IM Mark

Luka Mijatovic -- Photo Courtesy: Emily Cameron

Luka Mijatovic Breaks Four More 13-14 National Age Group Records, Including Phelps 400 IM Mark

Already the owner of eight 13-14 National Age Group records entering the weekend, Luka Mijatovic is continuing his assault on the record book in the final month-and-a-half before his 15th birthday in late April. Over the weekend at a long course Sectionals meet in Novato, Calif., Mijatovic lowered four more NAG marks, including three of his own and one that previously belonged to 23-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps.

In his first swim of the weekend Thursday evening, Mijatovic swam a time of 15:26.73 in the 1500 freestyle, eclipsing his previous mark of 15:27.38 from last year by more than six tenths. The next day, Mijatovic went two-for-two in the record category. First, he clocked 1:49.63 to win the 200 free, an improvement of three-quarters of a second on his previous best record of 1:50.40 as he became the first 13-14 swimmer in U.S. history under 1:50. Then, just over an hour later, he erased a Phelps mark.

Mijatovic clocked 4:24.20 in the 400 IM, taking down the Phelps mark of 4:24.77 set in 2000 before Phelps’ unlikely run to the U.S. Olympic team as a 15-year-old. Mijatovic annihilated his own best time in the process, dropping from 4:30.79 to 4:28.13 in prelims before another improvement of almost four seconds as he swam 4:24.20 in the final.

The last NAG mark of the weekend came Saturday when Mijatovic won the 400 free in 3:51.18, eight tenths quicker than his old record of 3:52.01. He also swam the 200 butterfly that day and placed third in 2:03.67, a drop of 6.76 seconds from his previous best time. Finally, Mijatovic swam the 800 free Sunday and took the win in 7:59.67, missing a fifth NAG record of the weekend by a mere three hundredths as he previously clocked a time of 7:59.64 in winning the event at Junior Nationals in August.

As Mijatovic prepares to age up, it might not be long before we see him tackle some records in the 15-16 age group. In particular, the 400 free mark belongs to Larsen Jensen at 3:50.68, and Mijatovic is now just a half-second off that time. In the meantime, he will be targeting a big performance at this summer’s U.S. Olympic Trials, and given his recent rate of improvement, a spot in a final or two is a real possibility.

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