As we reported earlier today, Arizona freshman Kevin Cordes swam one of the all-time great 100 yard breaststrokes when he went a 51.76 in this morning’s prelims race at the Texas Invitational.
Besides being the fastest in-season time ever done by a college swimmer, and an NCAA Freshman Record, that swim crushes the old 17-18 National Age Group Record. Cordes, who only turned 18 on August 13th, cut eight-tenths of a second off of the old mark of 52.56, that was set by Nolan Koon in 2009. Coincidentally, Koon, who is currently a senior at Cal, was a heavy favorite to win the NCAA 100 breast title this season. Koon is still probably the favorite, but Cordes should at least make the race interesting.
Cordes’ previous best in the race was a 53.67 done at last year’s Junior Nationals when he was still training with the Fox Valley Swim Team in Illinois.
We all knew Cordes was going to be strong in this 100 breaststroke in college, but I don’t think anyone knew he would be this good this fast (and better yet, he’s got another 8 months to lower his record even further). He will get one more strong shot at Brendan Hansen’ long course record of 1:01.55, set all the way back in 2000, as Cordes will be 18 through the major long course season (the U.S. Open ends two days before his 19th birthday). His long course best is a 1:01.60, so don’t be surprised to see that mark go easily by the wayside either.
There now becomes questions about whether or not Cordes is ready to compete for a spot on he American Olympic Team. Prior to Hansen’s strong comeback, the answer probably would have been yes, but it now becomes more of a long shot. Still, he could very well be in the top 3 or 4 at the Olympic Trials.
Koon still holds the 200 yard record with a 1:53.78. Cordes’ best there is a 1:56, so watch to see how close he can come in that race tomorrow.