Alex Shackell Shatters 17-18 200 Fly NAG Record (1:50.15) To Close Out Winter Juniors


During the final session of the 2023 Winter Junior Nationals – East, Alex Shackell of Carmel Swim Club destroyed the 17-18 national age group (NAG) record in the 200 butterfly, touching in 1:50.15. The previous mark was held by Olympic silver medalist Claire Curzan (1:50.85), which was set in March of 2022. With her performance, Shackell became the fifth-fastest performer of all time.

Top 5 Performers in History, 200 SCY Butterfly:

  1. Regan Smith – 1:48.33
  2. Ella Eastin – 1:49.51
  3. Elaine Breeden – 1:49.92
  4. Emma Sticklen – 1:49.95
  5. Alex Shackell – 1:50.15

Shackell took the race out much faster than Curzan through the first 100, but Curzan had a slightly faster third 50. They split about even on the final 50, so Shackell’s opening speed is what garnered her the record in the end. See a full split comparison below:

Splits Comparison

Shackell New Record: Curzan Old Record:
24.14 24.48
51.61 (27.47) 52.32 (27.89)
1:20.05 (28.44) 1:20.68 (28.31)
1:50.15 (30.10) 1:50.85 (30.17)

Shackell scared the mark during today’s prelim session, where she recorded a time of 1:51.33. Coming into the meet, her best time rested at the 1:53.52 marker she threw down exactly a year ago.

With her 1:50.15 swim tonight, she took off 3.37 seconds off her best time in the span of eight hours. This is a great sign for Shackell, as this event in the long course pool seems to be fairly wide open for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. Regan Smith, who destroyed the American record with a 2:03.87 last June, seems like the clear frontrunner — but behind Smith, the field is bunched up in the 2:06 – 2:07 range.

Here’s how the U.S. rankings in the 200 LCM Fly shaped up this past year:

  1. Regan Smith – 2:03.87
  2. Dakota Luther – 2:06.79
  3. Hali Flickinger – 2:06.80
  4. Tess Howley – 2:06.85
  5. Lindsay Looney – 2:07.35

Shackell placed 5th in this event at the World Championships trials last June, where she touched the wall in 2:08.18. She clocked a personal best of 2:07.95 during the prelims of that meet. Her breakout event of the meet was the 200 freestyle, where she dropped a multi-second best time of 1:56.70 to place 5th, earning a spot on the World Championship team as part of the 4×200 free relay.

At the World Championships, Shackell clocked 1:56.05 on the third leg in prelims, earning a spot on the U.S. relay in the final. She anchored the team to silver, splitting 1:56.38.

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2 months ago

I’ve seen Alex swim a few times in person… BEAST! Can’t wait to see how she develops over the next few years… hoping she makes the Olympic team in ’24, but should have a great chance in ’28.

Reply to  502SwimFan
2 months ago

My daughter was in the lane next to her. lordy, beast is right! All eyes were certainly on Alex for that race-history made. fun to have witnessed it in person.