Owen Kao (16), Justin Nguyen (16), Hunter Hitchens (16), and Andrew Koustik (16) from Irvine Novaquatics broke the national age group record in the boys 15-16 4×200 free relay on Saturday night at the Los Angeles Invitational at USC’s Uytengsu Aquatics Center. The NOVA boys combined to take a 2.3-second chunk out of the national mark, and now own 2 of the 3 NAG records for boys freestyle relays, having broken the 4×50 national mark in February 2016 with 1:34.63.
The previous 800 free relay record had stood since 2010 when cross-town rivals, Aquazot Swim Club, established the mark of 7:39.77 at Speedo Junior Nationals in the Novaquatics’ pool, William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center. Aquazot came in fifth overall at that meet, thanks to the efforts of Logan Redondo, Christopher Wong, Joshua Smith, and Michael Hauss.
Here are the comparative splits:
|Irvine Novaquatics||July 2016||Irvine Aquazots||August 2010|
|Owen Kao||1:53.04||Logan Redondo||1:54.74|
|Justin Nguyen||1:52.98||Christopher Wong||1:54.13|
|Hunter Hitchens||1:54.92||Joshua Smith||1:56.01|
|Andrew Koustik||1:56.54||Michael Hauss||1:54.89|
It shouldn’t have been much of a surprise that the NOVA boys downed this mark, given that their 2016 in-season add-up times were already well under 7:37. Coming into tonight’s race, their best flat-start times were:
On Friday night, the NOVA quartet took a crack at the 4×100 free relay national age group record held by Upper Dublin Aquatic Club (Jake Sannem, Wyatt Amdor, Michael Thomas, and Michael Jensen). They fell just shy of the 3:29.18 set by UDAC in 2014, going a combined 3:29.66 with Nguyen, Kao, Sean Slusiewicz, and Hitchens. It’s worth noting that 3/4 of the relay (Kao, Slusiewicz and Hitchens) will still be 16 at the beginning of the next long course season; they will make another attempt at the record with a fourth teammate.