Gianluca Urlando Erases Michael Phelps’ 200 Fly NAG from the Books with 1:40.91

Gianluca Urlando, 16, of DART Swimming in Northern California, became the youngest swimmer ever to break 1:41 in the 200 butterfly when he won his final at 2018 Speedo Winter Junior Championships – West in 1:40.91. He crushed the meet record of 1:43.64 set in 2013 by Baylor Swim Club’s Robert McHugh, and he took a 1.19-second bite out of the 2002 National Age Group Record for 15-16 boys set by none other than Michael Phelps.

Race Video:

Urlando was the top seed in both the 200 back and 200 fly after prelims in Austin but scratched the 200 back to focus on the fly final. And it paid off. He took 1.58 seconds off his month-old PB of 1:42.49 and came within .06 of Nicolas Albiero’s 2018 NAG Record for 17-18 boys. Urlando has 3 more months in the 15-16 age group before he turns 17.

Urlando’s swim is the 2nd-fastest in the country so far this swim year (September 2018 through August 2019). Given that we have already had a slew of mid-season college invites, that a 16-year-old boy ranks second is a remarkable thing. Zheng Quah of Cal went 1:39.29 at the UGA Fall Invitational, while his teammate Mike Thomas clocked a 1:41.29. Until Saturday night those were the fastest times in the country this season.

Giving his swim more context, had he gone 1:40.91 at NCAA Division I Championships last March, he would have made the A final at #8 out of heats. Including 2018 NCAAs, Urlando has the 12th-fastest time in the country for the calendar year. Even more remarkably, he ranks 26th on the all-time performers list – for all ages – at only 16.

His splits compared to those of Phelps:

  Gianluca Urlando, Winter Juniors East, December 2018 Michael Phelps, Spring Sectionals, March 2002
50 22.88 22.66
100 48.50 (25.62) 48.58 (25.92)
150 1:14.08 (25.58) 1:15.76 (27.18)
200 1:40.91 (26.83) 1:42.10 (26.34)



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2 years ago

I cant wait to see the future Dressel-Urlando rivalry in the 100 fly.

Reply to  Markster
2 years ago

How tf is that gonna be a rivalry this mans swims the 200

He said what?
Reply to  biggy
2 years ago

So did Phelps (at the same age) and suddenly he was one of the best in the 100. Seriously?

Reply to  biggy
2 years ago

Because he also swims the 100 bruh

Michael Schwartz
Reply to  biggy
2 years ago

He did say on the 100 so…the assumption one would make is that he could probably pull off a good 100 if he’s crushing the 200 right now

Reply to  Michael Schwartz
2 years ago

Hes also the NAG record holder in the 100 fly. It may be his current best event, but he doesnt just swim the 200. His 100 lcm fly will be fast.

Reply to  biggy
2 years ago

A great SCY 200 fly is a good sign for a great LCM 100 fly

Reply to  Thomas
2 years ago

He’s already World-class in LCM…

Reply to  Markster
2 years ago

Urlando might be peaking when Dressel hangs up his speedos lol.

Captain Ahab
2 years ago

Just watched his 200 yard butterfly race on youtube. His butterfly technique reminds me a lot of Laszlo Cseh. You can tell he’s heavily influenced by Laszlo Cseh.

Reply to  Captain Ahab
2 years ago

Not nearly as extreme as Cseh in his upward recovery

2 years ago

We must keep a book that shows record progression. It will show Urlando beat Phelps’ record. We must never forget Phelps.

Reply to  Trojan
2 years ago

he won 23 olympic golds…don’t think we’ll be forgetting him anytime soon

ACC fan
2 years ago

2020 look out

2 years ago

Will someone please post a video this

Reply to  Swimdog87
2 years ago

Added above.

2 years ago

I’ve never seen anyone so excited to break a legendary NAG before. Wow

A$AP Pocky
2 years ago

The fact he came back faster than Mike is nuts. The guy was a ruthlessly clutch backhalf swimmer all of his life when he absolutely needed it, and was just naturally stronger than anyone his age in the second half of races. Bread secured.

Reply to  A$AP Pocky
2 years ago

Remember that at this point in his career Phelps was one of the best swimmers in the world and never focused on SCY, especially at a meet like spring sectionals. This would have basically been a training meet for Phelps

2 years ago

Any chance he’ll get a run at Phelps’ Long Course 15-16 Record before he ages up?

Be cool to see him and Carson Foster chasing down Phelps’ 17-18 LCM records over the next couple of years.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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