Ilya Kharun Has Dropped 14.5 Seconds in the 200 FL this Year, Now #4 15-16



Top 3:

  1. Ilya Kharun (SAND), 16 – 1:42.39
  2. Conor McKenna (LAC), 18 – 1:43.65
  3. Holden Smith (Un-CA), 18 – 1:44.29

16-year-old Ilya Kharun out of Sandpipers of Nevada followed up his boys 15-16 NAG in the 100 fly on Friday with a win in the 200 fly on Saturday. Kharun led the race wire-to-wire in finals, splitting 49.00 on the opening 100, then closing in 53.39. He touched in 1:42.39, winning by over a second, and shedding 1.64 seconds off the personal best of 1:44.03 he swam in prelims. Kharun entered the meet with a best of 1:45.44, so in total, the 16-year-old dropped 3.05 seconds over the course of the day.

Kharun is now the #4 performer all-time in the 15-16 boys age group with the swim. He sits behind only NAG holder Luca Urlando, Aiden Hayes, and Michael Phelps. Here is the updated all-time top 5 for the 15-16 boys SCY 200 fly:

Rank Time Swimmer
1 1:40.91 Luca Urlando
2 1:41.34 Aiden Hayes
3 1:42.10 Michael Phelps
4 1:42.39 Ilya Kharun
5 1:42.94 Brendan Burns

Yesterday’s performance were the latest in a period of huge improvement for the 16-year-old Kharun. He had a breakthrough meet back in October, where he swam giant personal bests in 9 different events.

Kharun started out on Sandpipers as a young child, then left for another team. In the spring of 2019, he returned to the team. According to Sandpipers coach Michael Kinross, Kharun “took a little while to readjust to our training and he is a bit of a late bloomer size wise compared to some of the other boys at his age and level.”

“Then COVID hit and he remained in our Age Group/Pre-Senior level track, which by design focuses on the development of the growing athlete. Meaning he was still swimming all events, all strokes, all distances, at all meets, only wearing a tech suit a couple of times a year, and racing at meets not as fresh as many of his age group counterparts.

“Ilya moved into our National groups in January which allowed a little more freedom to focus on more of his primary events, especially in the lead up to Open Water Nationals and Olympic Trials.”

The moves have paid off for Kharun, who has now dropped 14.52 seconds from the personal best he swam in November of 2020 – 1:56.91. Here Kharun’s improvement progression in the 200 fly in the past 13 months:

Time Date Meet Improvement
1:56.91 11/1/2020 2020 UT Sandpipers Pumpkin Invite
1:49.62 4/10/2021 2021 FL GAIN Invitational -7.29
1:45.94 10/23/2021 2021 CA SAND Pumpkin Invite -3.68
1:44.03 12/11/2021 2021 West Speedo Winter Junior – Prelims -1.91
1:42.39 12/11/2021 2021 West Speedo Winter Junior – Finals -1.64

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2 years ago

We really need to get the sports scientists on the line to try and quantify this phenomenon that we are experiencing. Namely, barely a year removed from the most disruptive event in swimming history where the majority of USA Swimming teams either completely lost, or had a significant disruption in the ability to hold in water workouts to now where the age group record books are being literally shredded. Of course some of these swims were to be expected, but I don’t think anyone was counting on this. The presence of “equal opportunity” destruction where both sexes are going off shocks me.

Reply to  WestCoastRefugee
2 years ago

I think we learned a lot during covid about over-training, dryland work, and being creative about how to train (and rest) swimmers. Any coach that went through the covid shutdowns of 2020 and didn’t change anything in their program . . . Is not a very good coach

Distance Per Stroke
Reply to  Swimgeek
2 years ago

Overtraining is the big one I think. We also saw multiple elite swimmers catch Covid and be out for 2 weeks than come back and drop best times at the next meet(like tom dean).

Anecdotal but I was out of the water for 8 months then started again and swam for 4 weeks, only 1:30 practices no doubles, and dropped in my 100s for the first in 4 years.

2 years ago

Really cool and insightful to have a quote giving background from the coach! Please keep doing this

Tea rex
2 years ago

Got to love age group swimming.

Michael Schwartz
2 years ago

Puberty is a hell of a drug.

Reply to  Michael Schwartz
2 years ago

Natural hormone-therapy. Oh yes….

2 years ago

We all start somewhere man keep trying!

Sam B
2 years ago

how tall is he?

Wild Bill
2 years ago


2 years ago