Natalia de Luccas, 17, set a new South American record in the 200-meter backstroke at the Brazil Junior Champs this week. She went 2:12.09 (LCM) to win the Junior-1 category for swimmers 17 and under. The old record of 2:12.32 was set in a tech suit by Fernanda Alvarenga back in 2009.
De Luccas also won the 100 back a day earlier, setting a new meet record in 1:01.50 and becoming just the third Brazilian girl to go sub-1:02.
Brazil has two categories for junior swimmers: Junior-1 covers swimmers 17 and under, while Junior-2 houses 18- and 19-year-olds. They are the last two categories before swimmers are classified as Senior at age 20.
A whole host of other meet records have gone down in the first two days of competition. Vitor Nascimento Guaraldo went 56.04 in the 100 back Junior-1, setting a new championship record and beating out Gustavo Louzada (finished fourth at Junior Worlds in the 50 back), who also went under the old record. On the same day, Carolina Bilich broke the meet record in the 800 free Junior-2 (8:53.72) and Corinthians broke the 4×50 free relay record, going 1:31.20 to win the Junior-1 event, thanks to Guilherme Ocampo’s 22.0 split. Corinthian leadoff swimmer Caio Castellan went 22.96 to tie Ramon Melo’s meet record in the 50 free.
On day two, when de Luccas set her South American record, five additional records fell: Carolina Bilich in the 200 free Junior-2 (2:02.48), Raquel Costa Couto in the girls 200 back Junior-2 (2:19.90), Gustavo Louzada in the boys 200 back Junior-2 (2:02.71), Thais Xavier in the girls 100 fly Junior-1 (1:01.31) and Icaro Pereira in the boys 400 IM Junior-1 (4:28.72).
Matheus Santana was just .17 off of a meet record of his own in the 200 free Junior-1, but he did go 1:51.61, cutting 4 full seconds off his lifetime-best en route to the Junior national championship.
The championships continue two more days through Saturday. Results of the first two days can be found here.
D’Artagnan R. Dias contributed to this report.