Kevin Cordes Gets 2nd American Record of Weekend in Austin

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).

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11 years ago

Your family is so excited and proud of your accomplishments! Keep up the good work!

bobo gigi
11 years ago

Congrats to Kevin Cordes! We knew for a few years now he was the next American star on breaststroke. And about the height, everyone can swim fast. Kosuke Kitajima is small. Kevin Cordes is tall.

Reply to  bobo gigi
11 years ago

I do think the height seems to matter more in short course. Tall breastrokers especially seem to gain a pretty big advantage on their pull-downs, which considering Cordes only took 4 strokes per lap, account for more than half of the race.

Reply to  CraigH
11 years ago

Hmm makes sense. Explains Breeja Larson too. Although if you’re 5’8″ and can figure out how to change your stroke to a Kitajima or Soni style then you’re good, too.

11 years ago

How does Yamaguchi fare in SC? Cause he’s not very tall…

11 years ago

Breeja Larson who just broke both women’s records is 6’0″

Reply to  gosharks
11 years ago

Breeja Larson looks quite a bit taller than 6’0″

11 years ago

Why do you think breaststrokers are “moving to the super-tall”?

Reply to  liquidassets
11 years ago

(just my opinion/observation)

I just think that because swimming has become so much more popular these past few years, that there is a shift in the type of athletes who choose to pursue the sport. Those taller kids–who normally would have played basketball, football, volleyball, etc..–are now swimming. And obviously, added length certainly adds an advantage in the pool.

That’s why I’ve been wondering a lot lately how much faster Elizabeth Beisel could be if she were 6 feet (like practically every other girl on the olympic team). She’s already an incredible swimmer–imagine if she were taller with more power…that would be crazy.

Reply to  anonymous
11 years ago

Interesting theory; if it’s true, then that is Phelps dream come true….

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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