Keaton Jones Scares 13-14 NAG, Makes Trials Cut In 200 Backstroke

2019 AZ LC Age Group State Championships

  • July 18-21, 2019
  • Oro Valley, Arizona
  • Oro Valley Aquatic Center
  • Meet Central
  • Results on Meet Mobile

Keaton Jones of Swim Neptune hit a 2020 Olympic Trials Cut and scared the boys 13-14 National Age Group Record in the 200 backstroke at the Arizona Age Group State Championships on Friday.

After a 2:03.50 in the prelims, narrowly missing his previous personal best of 2:03.01, Jones dropped a 2:01.20 in the final. That put the 14-year-old well under the Trials Cut of 2:02.99, and fell just over two-tenths shy of the NAG held by Josh Zuchowski at 2:00.97.

Zuchowski’s swim from March broke Aaron Peirsol‘s 21-year-old record of 2:02.78 set back in 1998, and Jones now moves past Peirsol into #2 all-time in the age group. Previously, Jones sat fourth.

All-Time Top Five, Boys 13-14 200 Backstroke

  1. Josh Zuchowski, 2:00.97
  2. Keaton Jones, 2:01.20
  3. Aaron Peirsol, 2:02.78
  4. Ryan Murphy, 2:02.86
  5. Destin Lasco, 2:03.28

Jones with Coach Popa (via Joe Zemaitis)

“Keaton has been working hard all year and had a laser focus on this event,” said his coach Alex Popa. “He has big goals and is willing to put in the work to make it happen.”

Since the beginning of the season, Jones has knocked eight seconds off the Arizona State Record in the event. It previously belonged to Colin Gafney who went 2:09.20 back in 1998.

In addition to the 200 back, he also set new best times in the 200 free (1:58.01), 1500 free (16:40.19), 50 back (28.08), and 400 IM (4:36.43) at the competition.

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Texas Tap Water
3 years ago

He’s gonna break 100-200 back WRs.

Mark my words.

Reply to  Texas Tap Water
3 years ago

How about Joshua Zuchowski? Will they break the WRs in turn?

Reply to  Texas Tap Water
3 years ago

Way too early to tell. When he’s 17 or so we can get a better read on him. Maybe his improvement curve will flatten way out, or maybe he really will be an elite international swimmer.

Julie Schaefer
3 years ago

Go Neptune!!

3 years ago

Look at his feet in the picture with his coach. They’re like natural flippers!

JP input is too short
Reply to  Tyler
3 years ago

That’s the first thing I noticed too! Oars for feet!

The michael phelps caterpillar
3 years ago

All of life is a simulation!

3 years ago

Actually pretty impressed that for someone whose top 50 back time is 28.0, he is able to go a 201.2 in the 200 back.

Reply to  John
3 years ago

Or a 1:58 in the 200 free!

Reply to  apathetic
3 years ago

I’ve never seen someone that fast with such a small gap between bk and fr times.

Reply to  MTK
3 years ago

I know a girl who goes 2:01 200 fly sc and 1:58 free

Reply to  John
3 years ago

He flipped at 28.5 for the first 50 of his 200

Reply to  BSD
3 years ago

That is awesome.

Reply to  John
3 years ago

He went out in 27:9 for his 57:86 in the 100 back this morning. We will see what he has left for the finals tonight.

Swammer from Wakanda
Reply to  Alex
3 years ago

He’s 14. He’ll have plenty in the tank.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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