Luka Mijatovic Knocks Off 13-14 400 Free, 800 Free National Age Group Records in Santa Clara

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Luka Mijatovic Knocks Off 13-14 400 Free, 800 Free National Age Group Records in Santa Clara

Competing at the George Haines International Swim Meet in Santa Clara, Calif., Luka Mijatovic beat the 13-14 boys’ National Age Group record in the 400 freestyle Saturday. The 14-year-old entered the meet with a best time of 4:02.14 before dropping his best time to 3:58.85 in prelims. Then, he dropped 2.5 further seconds in the final on the way to a time of 3:56.56.

In the process, Mijatovic lopped more than a second off the previous National Age Group record of 3:57.61 set by Evan Pinion in 2009. Before that mark was the national standard for 14 years, it belonged to Michael Phelps at 3:58.80, set a month before the eventual-23-time Olympic gold medalist turned 15 — and just over three months before Phelps shockingly qualified for the Sydney Olympics as the Olympic Trials runnerup in the 200 butterfly.

In Mitajovic’s 400 free race, he finished second behind Cal standout Lukas Henveaux, who clocked a mark of 3:50.67 (after swimming as fast as 3:46.59 earlier this year). His sub-4:00 effort made him only the sixth U.S. swimmer younger than 15 to break 4:00, joining Pinion, Phelps, Dare RoseNick Silverthorn and Trey Freeman.

One day later, Mitajovic took down a second NAG record, also previously held by Pinion, in the 800 free. He clocked a time of 8:07.96 to cut eight tenths from Pinion’s 2009 time of 8:08.75.

Mitajovic also won the 1500 free in Santa Clara in 15:47.19, and in the 200 free, he cut three seconds from his best time to finish fourth in 1:51.70. That swim made him the second-fastest 13-14 boy in U.S. history behind Thomas Heilman’s 2021 NAG record of 1:51.27.

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