National Age Group Records are awesome and exciting, and those we’ve seen this weekend are from swimmers expected to be the future cornerstones of swimming in the US.
When swimmers are going after American Records, though, that’s really headline-grabbing. Arizona sophomore Kevin Cordes is now in the American Recors category, and at 19 has broken his second of the weekend at Winter Nationals. This time, it was the 200 breaststroke where he swam a 1:50.73, which knocks a full second off of Brendan Hansen’s old record of 1:51.74.
The old record was set in April of 2006 in this same pool at the “American Short Course Championships,” which wasn’t actually a sanctioned national championship meet but still usually a very high-level circuit meet.
Cordes also broke the US Open Record of 1:51.40 that was held by Neil Versfeld, a South African, from the 2009 NCAA Championships. That means that Cordes is now the fastest 200 yard breaststroker ever.
After an initial disqualification, his Tucson training buddy Clark Burckle had his second-place finish reinstated. Burckle was a 1:51.20, making him under the old record and now the second-fastest of all-time.
His previous best was 1:51.97. Cordes, who stands about 6’5, is the model of the modern short course breaststroker, as the stroke moves more toward the super-tall (like former Cal swimmer Damir Dugonjic).