Swimming in the corn belt has been on the rise in the last half-decade.. Since the University of Iowa got a brilliant new Aquatics Center, the state has been hosting more meets, putting out better college teams, and producing better age group swimmers. Nebraska has developed a hugely enthusiastic core after hosting two-straight Olympic Trials, and it’s showing in their new ability to turn out great swimmers as well.
And now, they have a National Age Group Record holder. On Sunday, at the Central Zone 14 & Under meet in Columbus, Indiana, Olivia Calegan of Lincoln Select Swimming, broke the 11-12 girls 50 breaststroke record with a 33.05. That takes down the 33.33 set by Olivia Anderson of the Aquajets in Minnesota, set in 2009; Anderson is now a 15-16 and still setting NAG Records with the famous Aquajets relays.
Earlier in the meet, Calegan won the 100 breaststroke in a very-fast 1:15.60, which puts her in the top 40 on the all-time list for that event, but there was nothing to indicate the explosion that was waiting in the 50. Other wins went down in the 200 breaststroke with a 2:44.27, and a 28.17 on the Midwestern Swimming 200 free relay (alongside, among others, Caroline Theil, daughter of contributors Ryan and Shelly Theil). The pair were also 2:26.9’s in the 200 IM, with Theil touching first on a great freestyle burst.
Calegan now is the only National Age Group Record holder from the Midwestern LSC for that matter that includes Nebraska and a small portion of Iowa. The Calegans recently moved from the Eastern end of Iowa to Lincoln, Nebraska.
She comes from a great swimming family; her older brothers Tyler and Haden Calegan swan for Iowa state powers Muscatine High School until the move, and Haden is the top-ranked swimmer from the state of Iowa in the class of 2013. Haden will remain in Iowa for his senior season.