Over the past few years, there’s been a line of backstrokers who were chasing down, in succession, and breaking all of the backstroke National Age Group Records. 2016 U.S. Olympian Ryan Murphy was their elder statesman, followed by Michael Andrew, then Destin Lasco and Vinny Marciano, with now Ronald Dalmacio chasing them all down.
The breaststrokes are now developing a similar chain – with Michael Andrew and Reece Whitley rolling through together and demolishing the record-books, and now a young Ethan Dang from the King Aquatic Club following through and breaking them all again.
Dang’s latest conquest came at the Pacific Northwest Swimming Long Course Championships where late on Saturday evening, he swam a 2:15.84 in the 200 breaststroke. That won him the race in the 13-14 age group by 10 seconds.
More significantly, it cut half-a-second from the National Age Group Record that had been a 2:16.48 done by Reece Whitley in 2014.
When Whitley broke that record, he broke it by an astonishing three seconds, with it having belonged to 2016 U.S. Olympian Gunnar Bentz.
- Bentz Record (BSS Summer Classic) 1:06.59 – 1:13.15 = 2:19.74
- Whitley Record (MA LC SR Champs) 1:06.50 – 1:09.98 = 2:16.48
- Dang Record (2016 PNS LC Champs) 1:04.99 – 1:10.85 = 2:15.84
Whereas Bentz and Whitley both opened their races with similar pace, Dang blew through the first 100 meters of his swim in a sub-1:05. Incidentally, on a flat-start, Dang is only one of 5 swimmers in 13-14 history to go better than 1:05 in a 100 even if it’s not en route to a 200.
Speaking of, earlier in the meet Dang swam 1:03.62 in the 100 breaststroke, which ranks him 3rd all-time in the age group behind only Whitley’s 1:03.23 and Liam Bell’s 1:03.57 from 2015.