Nikol Popov, a sophomore at Valencia High School in Valencia, California, broke the girls’ 15-16 National Age Group Record in the 100 yard breaststroke on Saturday at CIF-SS Division I Finals in Riverside. Popov, whose best time coming into the meet was 1:00.62 from March 2015, knocked .39 off her PB to go a lifetime-best 1:00.23 in prelims on Thursday. She then came back to finals on Saturday and cleared 1:00 for the first time, clocking a 59.64 to win the event, and taking a whole second off her previous best. Although she missed Jessica Hardy’s Division I meet record of 59.20 dating back to 2005, Popov did break Lilly King’s NAG mark of 59.67, set in December 2013 at Winter Junior Nationals.
- Nikol Popov, May 2015 – 28.04 / 31.60 = 59.64
- Lilly King, December 2013 – 27.69 / 31.98 = 59.67
The most impressive thing about Popov’s swim is that she is still 15 and has a whole year to see how low she can take the record.
The 100 meter breast record is 1:07.05; Popov went 1:09.64 at Nationals last summer as a 15-year-old.