Just two weeks ago, PEAK 14-year old Benjamin Ho came within a tenth-of-a-second of a National Age Group Record in the 13-14 200 backstroke. Many fans were fooled, as the results sheets hadn’t been updated with the new record, set in December.
This time, he left no doubt in anyone’s mind, swimming a 1:45.73 at the Southern Sectional Championships on the Texas A&M University campus to blow away the old mark. That puts him as the second seed headed into finals, behind a Junior National Champion Jonathan Roberts from the North Texas Nadadores.
The old record belonged to Ethan Young from Carpet Capital Aquatics Club (who, pending verification, also happens to hold the 100 back record right now). Young set the record at the Georgia LSC State Championship meet just after Winter Juniors in 1:46.66. The record before that had belonged to the great Ryan Murphy.
Ho actually lives in California, but a huge portion of the elite ranks at this meet is actually made up of Californians. Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics (PASA) has been coming to this meet for a few years, and this year, the Aquazots from Irvine, Peak, and a few other teams have joined them in the warmer March temperatures of Texas.
Other impressive times early in this meet include a 1:55.07 from Longhorn Aquatics’ Quinn Carrozza. That’s a new personal best for her as she shifts back to Longhorn after spending some time training with Nitro: another Austin-based team.
On Thursday, the aforementioned Roberts was also an 8:56.61 in the 1000 free. He’s only a high school junior, but the only two collegiate swimmers who were faster than that this season were former NCAA Champion Michael McBroom, and Olympian Connor Jaeger.