Michael Phelps set a lot of National Age Group Records from ages 10 through 18, and many more records thereafter. Among his most impressive, though, came in an event that is not most peoples’ initial thought when they think “Phelps”.
It’s not a butterfly race. It’s not an IM. It’s not the 200 free or even a backstroke event. It’s the 4:18.12 he swam in the 500 yard free when he was just 16 (two years later, he got that down to a 4:12 – which would’ve crushed Jeff Kostoff’s high school record a decade before Jack Conger did it) Tonight, Andrew Seliskar came dangerously close to breaking it with a 4:18.92 at the Potomac Valley Senior Championships. That’s the third-best time in the history of the age group behind only Phelps and Evan Pinion. This again highlights Seliskar’s versatility after twice downing the NAG Record in the 100 breast on Friday. A swimmer like Conger or Ryan Murphy, who can range from 100 fly and back to the 500 free is rare enough; Seliskar might be an even more complete package as he’s one of the best age group breaststrokers of all time to boot.
In other impressive swims of the day, a pair of 13-year olds went 1-2 in the women’s 500 free, and were the only two under 5 minutes. Isabella Rongione won in 4:48, and Cassidy Bayer took 2nd in 4:57. Those two are a part of the core future of the US women’s program going forward.
Machine Aquatics’ Hellen Moffitt had a solid swim of 55.75 to win the women’s 100 backstroke.
Another NCAP swimmer and Seliskar training partner, Janet Hu, had a unique double on the night. First she won the 200 breast in 2:17.72. She followed that up very shortly thereafter with a win in a much more primordial event, the 50 free, where she was a 22.35. That’s just two tenths from her personal best.