15-Year-Old Nathan Szobota Breaks Virginia LSC Record in 1000 Free to Close Sr Champs


After swimming secondary events most of the weekend, Thomas Heilman and Kyle Peck had record-setting swims in primary races on Sunday at the Virginia Swimming Senior Championships.

For Heilman, that included adding a win in the 100 free in 42.61, almost three seconds ahead of the field. That’s a new personal best for him, undercutting his 43.43 from the YMCA National Championships almost a year ago.

Heilman then concluded the meet with 5 individual wins and personal best in all of those races:

  • 100 free – 42.61
  • 100 back – 47.91
  • 100 breast – 54.27
  • 200 breast – 1:57.80
  • 400 IM – 3:43.63

Heilman didn’t swim his best stroke, butterfly, at this meet individually (he did split 45.62 on a medley relay), and in his absence Kyle Peck had dominated those events – interestingly while bypassing his best race, the 100 back.

But on Sunday, he flipped over and swam the 200 back, winning in 1:45.02. That is a third win of the meet for him and shaves a couple-of-tenths off his previous personal best from Winter Juniors-East.

Peck’s earlier individual wins came in the 100 fly (47.09) and 200 fly (1:46.57).

The runner-up in that 200 back David King also knocked out a personal best, touching in 1:45.50. Later in the session, King won the 200 IM in 1:50.21, just .14 seconds ahead of Harry Belcher, and another personal best for him.

King was another star of this meet, ultimately winning four events:

  • 200 free – 1:36.63
  • 500 free – 4:21.24
  • 1650 free – 15:02.76
  • 200 IM – 1:50.21

In spite of winning the 200, 500 and 1650 freestyles, King skipped the 1000 free on Sunday. That race was won by NOVA 15-year-old Nathan Szobota in 9:00.53.

That knocks five seconds off his previous best time in the event and breaks a pair of records: one is the LSC 15-16 record that Bobby Dinunzio set in 2021 at 9:06.68, and the other is the Senior Champs Record that Bobby Dinunzio set in 2022 at 9:06.16.

In spite of only being 15, Szobota now ranks 20th all-time in the 15-16 age group in this event, jumping one spot of 1988 US Olympian Lars Jorgensen. With the addition of an 800 meter free to this Olympic schedule, the 1000 yard free is getting more attention than it has in the past, which has led to a dramatic improvement in times nationally.

A big distance day for NOVA capped off a big distance meet and a team title this week. 16-year-old Amanda Barnard swam 9:46.41, winning by almost 16 seconds.

That added a second win for her this week after topping the 500 free in 4:46.12. She was 2nd in the 1650 (16:41.35) and 400 IM (4:17.80).

Szobota was the only new individual winner on Saturday. Besides the swimmers listed above, the rest of the girls races were also won by swimmers who had previously won events this week.

Lexi Stephens of Poseidon won the 200 back in 1:54.92. Stephens’ best backstroke distance has always been the 100, but with this 200, she made a huge lurch forward (dropping 1.6 seconds from Winter Juniors and 3 seconds from this meet last year) in the 200 yard distance.

She won the 100 back earlier this weekend in 52.48.

Ali Pfaff finished 2nd in 1:55.88. While she only won a single race this weekend (50 free – 22.72), the Duke commit did swim best times in four different events.

Wyllo Hanson capped off her meet with a 49.14 in the 100 free, which gave her a win in one of the biggest showdowns of the weekend. The runner-up was 15-year old Elle Scott from NOVA who set LSC Records in both breaststrokes earlier in the meet. She swam 49.73 for 2nd.

Cavalier Aquatics’ Morgan Thomas placed 3rd in 50.51.

Scott bounced right back in the next girls’ race, though, to win the 200 IM in 1:59.83 for her third victory of the weekend.

That was the only of her three weekends this weekend in which she didn’t swim a lifetime best – she swam 1:59.39 in the 200 IM to win the Virignia independent schools state championship two weeks earlier.

2023 Virginia LSC Senior Championships – Final Team Scores

Top 5 Boys:

  1. NOVA of Virginia – 976.5
  2. Cavalier Aquatics – 583
  3. Stingrays Swim Team – 450.5
  4. Tide Swimming – 330
  5. Coast Guard Blue Dolphins – 257.5

Top 5 Girls:

  1. NOVA of Virginia – 964
  2. Quest Swimming – 529
  3. Coast Guard Blue Dolphins – 355
  4. Virginia Gators – 330.5
  5. Tide Swimming – 314

Top 5 Combined:

  1. NOVA of Virginia – 1940.5
  2. Cavalier Aquatics – 894
  3. Tide Swimming – 644
  4. Coast Guard Blue Dolphins – 612.5
  5. Stingrays Swim Team – 501.5



Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Szoboat fan
2 months ago

And dominating performance by nova… can’t wait to see what they have at NCSAs!

Szoboat fan
2 months ago

Nathan szogoata strikes again…

Reply to  Szoboat fan
1 month ago

This guy is a talent

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

Read More »