Update: USA Swimming, after confirming Carter’s U.S. passport, have logged the record in the 200 free as a new National Age Group record. It looks like this one will go in the books, assuming it clears all of the standard hurdles.
On Friday at Winter Junior Nationals, Davie Nadadores swimmer Dylan Carter was faster than the USA Swimming 15-16 National Age Group Record in the 200 freestyle. His 1:35.29 was two-tenths better than the time set by Michael Domagala at Senior Winter Nationals a week ago.
Will this be a National Age Group Record? Well, that’s not such an easier answer.
As we’ve discussed, Carter is a citizen of both the United States and Trinidad & Tobago. He swam for Trinidad & Tobago at the 2011 CARIFTA Championships, meaning that would be his presumptive sporting nationality. That’s what separates him from swimmers like Milorad Cavic, who had dual citizenship when he broke a NAG Record a decade ago, but had not yet declared a sporting nationality.
The initial reaction from a USA Swimming spokesperson was that the record would count as of last night, but that they would be looking into it further because of his dual citizenship.
Further discussions today left the record still up in the air. This is a challenging situation, as more-and-more international swimmers are coming to the United States to train as just age groupers. Carter was initially selected for the 2013 National Select Camp, though once it was realized that his sporting citizenship was for another country, that invitation was rescinded.
Now the issue is that the language of the NAG Records states only that a swimmer must be a US Citizen, as compared to American Record rules which state that they must be a US “sporting citizen.” Internal discussions at USA Swimming, though, indicate that they aren’t ready to accept that distinction as the intent of NAG Records.
Whatever decision is come to will be precedent-setting; perhaps U.S. Open Age Group Records need to be established, like exist for other yards records. Australia keeps track of “open” national records for each age group, so that solution has been used. This is a tricky situation, one-way or the other. What we know for sure is this: Carter swam his 200 yard free faster than anybody ever has.