13-Year-Old Luka Mijatovic Becomes Fastest 200 IMer Since Michael Andrew

by Riley Overend 7

December 06th, 2022 Club, News, Previews & Recaps

2022 Winter Age Group Junior Championships West

  • Dec. 2-4, 2022
  • George Haines International Swim Center
    • Santa Clara, CA
  • SCY (25 yards)
  • Results on MeetMobile: “2022 Winter Age Group Junior Championships”

Luka Mijatovic continued his climb up the all-time age group rankings with an impressive performance at the 2022 Winter Age Group Junior Championships last weekend.

The 13-year-old Pleasanton Seahawks standout registered eight lifetime bests and six nation-leading times for his age in Santa Clara. Mijatovic lowered his nation-leading time in the 500-yard freestyle to 4:28.67, which stands as the fastest mark ever by a 13-year-old American. He’s held that distinction since blazing a 4:29.84 last month as he continues to close in on the boys’ 13-14 NAG record of 4:24.79 set by Lleyton Plattel in 2017.

Mijatovic clocked a pair of personal bests in the 200 IM and 400 IM that each rank No. 2 all time among 13-year-old boys. In the 200 IM, he shaved more than two seconds off his previous best en route to a 1:52.33, good for the top time in the country among 13- and 14-year-old boys by more than a second. Only 23-year-old Olympic gold medalist Michael Andrew (1:50.50 from 2013) has ever been faster than Mijatovic at his age.

All-Time Rankings, 13-Year-Old Boys’ 200 IM (SCY) 

  1. Michael Andrew (Race Pace Club), 1:50.50 – 2013
  2. Luka Mijatovic (Pleasanton Seahawks), 1:52.33 – 2022
  3. Thomas Heilman (Cavalier Aquatics/Piedmont Family YMCA), 1:52.80 – 2020
  4. Joshua Zuchowski (Flood Aquatics Swim Team), 1:53.33 – 2018
  5. Tyler Lu (King Aquatic Club), 1:53.77 – 2017

In the 400 IM, Mijatovic posted a 3:58.12, the fastest time among 13-year-olds nationally this season by nearly 19 seconds. It’s the second-best time ever for his age behind Joshua Zuchowski’s 3:56.86 from 2018. His lifetime best was fueled by a 1:00.72 back split, which took nearly two seconds off his previous best.

All-Time Rankings, 13-Year-Old Boys’ 400 IM (SCY) 

  1. Joshua Zuchowski (Flood Aquatics Swim Team), 3:56.86 – 2018
  2. Luka Mijatovic (Pleasanton Seahawks), 3:58.12 – 2022
  3. Thomas Heilman (Cavalier Aquatics), 3:58.73 – 2020
  4. Richard Poplawski (Scarlet Aquatics), 4:00.09 – 2019
  5. Curtis Ogren (Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics), 4:01.29 – 2009

Mijatovic also clocked a top-five time ever among 13-year-old Americans in the 200 free, where he went nearly two seconds faster than his previous best with a 1:40.66. It’s the fourth-fastest ever for his age behind a pair of former Pleasanton Seahawks (Nicholas Silverthorn and Maxime Rooney) and Thomas Heilman. It’s also a nation-leading time among 13-year-old boys by exactly two seconds.

All-Time Rankings, 13-Year-Old Boys’ 200 Free (SCY) 

  1. Thomas Heilman (Cavalier Aquatics/Piedmont Family YMCA), 1:38.81 – 2020
  2. Maxime Rooney (Pleasanton Seahawks), 1:40.06 – 2012
  3. Nicholas Silverthorn (Pleasanton Seahawks), 1:40.52 – 2009
  4. Luka Mijatovic (Pleasanton Seahawks), 1:40.66 – 2022
  5. Braeden Haughey (TAC Titans), 1:41.58 – 2017

Mijatovic also threw down personal bests in the 100 back (52.94), 200 back (1:52.31), and 200 fly (1:52.73). The latter 200 fly time ranks him No. 8 all time among 13-year-old boys, while his 200 fly mark puts him at No. 15 all time for his age.

Mijatovic wasn’t the only 13-year-old boy who clocked a historically fast 200 IM time. Santa Clara Swim Club’s Shareef Elaydi reached the wall in 1:54.12, making him the second-fastest performer this season and No. 10 all time among 13-year-old boys. He also posted a 2:08.24 in the 200 breast to become the second-fastest performer this season for his age while adding a 4:09.77 in the 400 IM to become the fourth-fastest 13-year-old boy this season. In the 200 back, he clocked a 1:58.45 to move up to 12th this season for his age.

Elaydi’s Santa Clara Swim Club teammate, 13-year-old Mia Su, headline the girls’ action by notching two nation-leading times this season in the 100 breast (1:03.66 in prelims) and 200 breast (2:16.07). The latter mark is the top time in the country by nearly four seconds. Su added personal bests in the 100 back (59.89) and 200 back (2:08.64) along with a 200 IM time (2:07.03) that ranks No. 3 this season among 13-year-old girls.

Caitlyn Offenberg also had a big weekend for the Crow Canyon Country Club Sharks. Highlights included the second-fastest 50 back among 10-year-old girls this season (29.58), the fourth-fastest 100 back for her age this season (1:05.61), and the eighth-fastest 50 breast.

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Crosby
1 month ago

Owen Ekk went a 151 which would be 2nd for 13-14 age group

SwimmerGuy
1 month ago

What’s in that Pleasanton Seahawks pool water that they can get 3 13yos to go that fast over 13 years apart!?!? This level of talent and speed I’d typically chalk up to serendipity, and thus would occur in varying locations in the country. To have 3, and over 3 years apart each, further showing repeatability is something special.

Queens
Reply to  SwimmerGuy
1 month ago

Discipline, fear, and burn out. It’s great he’s very fast at this age. Let’s see where he is in five, 10 years. Everybody knows that Steve burns kids out and isn’t healthy to work with children. Breaks them down to build them back up as his own. Psychological torture. Remember that cone throwing article?

Last edited 1 month ago by Queens
MIKE
Reply to  Queens
1 month ago

You should check out the Gator Holiday Classic in Ocala, FL results last weekend. 3 top 14 yr olds had top times too.

athomas
Reply to  Queens
1 month ago

For accuracy sake: The other Pleasanton swimmers mentioned in this article – Rooney and Silverthorn – had fine swimming careers.

Seahawk1709
Reply to  Queens
1 month ago

There is a tremendous amount of discipline AND hard work that goes into swimming, both from the swimmer and Coach.
I’d leave your concerns of Luka’s well being to his parents AND Coach. I won’t even comment on your tasteless accusations re Coach, and echo what athomas said about Maxime, Nick and Lleyton.

ItsMe
Reply to  Queens
1 month ago

Actual swimmer for Steve here. Been training in his group for 4 years, on my 5th now. Been with the Seahawks for 9 years. I’m just going to say this is 100% inaccurate. Steve doesn’t make you do anything; you choose to do it on your own because you trust him. As for the cone throwing, you have zero context about that situation whatsoever.

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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