Thanks to Ken Takahashi for the tip on this story.
The latest National Age Group Record came from off of most peoples’ radars, though it sure-well should have.
In the final session of the 2013 California/Nevada Winter Sectional meet at East LA College, Alex Valente of the Santa Barbara Swim Club swam a 46.99 in the 100 yard butterfly to break the record of another Californian: one Mike Cavic. Cavic was a 47.10 back in 2001, and would go on to be the man that almost upset Michael Phelps’ 8 gold-medal run in Beijing while representing Serbia.
Valente left little doubt that he was fully spent on this race, splitting a rocket-fast 21.95 at the 50, and closing in 25.04. He left behind an impressive field that included Cal-bound Kyle Gornay, who was 3rd in 48.97. This makes Valente the first-ever 15-16 under 47 seconds in the 100 yard fly.
Valente was a 47.41 in the 100 yard race at last year’s CIF Southern Section Division I Championships when he was already 16 years old. Because of the unique California high school system, though, where their scholastic state championship meet isn’t until May, swimmers can realistically take a shot at a taper before their high school championships roll around. That allows Valente, who is a junior, to break this record here, even though he’ll be 17 when CIF championships roll around again.
Valente has been a 54.20 in the long course 100 fly, and finished 8th at the summer’s Junior National Championships.