Kieran Smith Fires Off 1:31.9/4:11.7 Freestyles Amid Elite Age Group Swims At NCAP Invite

2023 NCAP Invitational

  • December 7-10, 2023
  • College Park, Maryland
  • Eppley Recreation Center – University of Maryland
  • SCY (25 yards)
  • Results on Meet Mobile: “2023 NCAP Invitational”

While blistering age group performances were being produced at the Winter Junior Championship sites in Columbus and Westmont, there were plenty more coming out of the annual NCAP Invitational, hosted at the University of Maryland in College Park.

Amidst a bevy of elite age groupers, U.S. Olympic medalist and 2022 world champion Kieran Smith was in the field representing the Ridgefield Aquatic Club, and he fired off some quick swims.

The 23-year-old clocked 1:31.92 in the 200 free and 4:11.75 in the 500 free, and added two personal bests with 21.75/46.11 backstroke lead-offs on Ridgefield’s medley relays while also splitting sub-19 (18.95) from a takeover in the 200 free relay.

Smith, who raced at the U.S. Open in long course meters the weekend prior, owns the U.S. Open Record in the 500 free with his time of 4:06.32, and his lifetime best of 1:29.48 in the 200 free ranks #2 all-time.


There were several standouts on the younger half of the age groups in College Park, led by 12-year-old Julia Bak and 14-year-old Reid O’Connell.

Bak, a member of QNS Aquatics, was unstoppable in the girls’ 11-12 age group, winning all six events she raced and moving up the all-time rankings.

Bak cracked the top-10 all-time in the 100 free, clocking 51.29 to rank #9 in age group history—she went sub-52 three times, all well under her previous PB of 52.91 set in March.

Bak also set a new MR LSC Record on the lead-off leg of QNS’ 200 medley relay, clocking 26.17 in the 50 back to rank 14th all-time in the 11-12 age group.

She also went 23.66 in the 50 free to rank 14th, 59.32 in the 100 IM to rank 55th, 25.87 in the 50 fly to sit 64th, and 57.66 in the 100 back to tie for 77th all-time.

O’Connell, a member of the Long Island Aquatic Club (LIAC), moved up the historical rankings in the boys’ 13-14 age group in four events, doing so in the 400 IM (48th/3:58.33), 200 IM (58th/1:52.09), 200 back (t-67th/1:49.70) and 200 free (90th/1:41.16).

He also swam best times in the 50 free (21.77), 500 free (4:38.19) and 100 back (51.38), picking up a total of five individual wins and two runner-up finishes.

Also racing in the boys’ 13-14 age group, NCAP’s Luc Dionne moved into 24th all-time in the 200 breast (2:02.85) and tied for 77th in the 100 breast (57.37), and he also swam notable bests in the 200 IM (1:54.79) and 400 IM (4:02.02).

Asphalt Green Unified Aquatics’ Bruce Qian, 13, had an impressive meet with six new personal bests, highlighted by a 51.75 showing in the 100 fly that ranks him 42nd all-time among 13-year-old boys.

Looking at the 12 & under swimmers, siblings Leo Delev and Vanessa Delev were top performers for Badger Swim Club, with Vanessa winning seven events and setting four best times.

The 10-year-old moved into 50th all-time in the girls’ 10 & under age group in the 200 free (2:03.68), and also now ranks 62nd in the 50 back (29.65) and tied for 66th in the 100 back (1:03.69).

Leo, 11, had one of the top-ranked swims of the meet power-points-wise in the 200 back, clocking 2:08.04 to tie for 35th all-time among 11-year-old boys.

Another 11-year-old making some noise was Machine Aquatics’ Masten Kennedy, who dropped a time of 26.99 in the 50 back (relay lead-off) to rank #9 all-time among 11-year-old girls. She also broke the 1:00 barrier in the 100 back, 59.98, to rank tied for 57th, and added a noteworthy 25.02 50 free time.


The top performers among the 15 & over swimmers on the boys’ side were the Nation’s Capital duo of Simon Bermudez and JT Schmid along with Sean Green from LIAC.

Green had one of the top swims of the meet in the 1650 free, clocking 14:57.71 to narrowly miss his lifetime best of 14:57.10, which ranks 10th all-time in the boys’ 15-16 age group.

In the 500 free, the 16-year-old Green went a lifetime best of 4:18.93 to move into 15th all-time among 15-16s, and he also chipped just over a tenth off his PB in the 400 IM (3:48.20) to move up one spot and slot into 26th all-time.

Green added a best time of 1:51.23 in the 200 IM and season-bests of 1:37.54 in the 200 free and 1:45.60 in the 200 back.

Bermudez, 17, was the top point-scorer for 15 & over boys, registering six finishes inside the top four of the age group, highlighted by two notable bests in the 200 IM (1:46.81) and 100 breast (54.71).

His time in the 200 IM ranks 86th all-time among 17-year-old boys and 10th this season, while the 100 breast showing ties for 24th in 2023-24.

Schmid, 18, won the boys’ 100 back (47.63) and 200 back (1:43.48) in lifetime best fashion, earning respective rankings of t-22nd and ninth this season in the 17-18 age group.

A UNC commit, Schmid also swam to best times of 47.58 in the 100 fly and 1:47.97 in the 200 fly, ranking 32 and 59th this season for 17-18s.

Another standout swim from an NCAP product came from FSU commit Lleyton Arnold, who dropped nearly two seconds in the 200 breast in 1:56.75. The performance ranks Arnold 40th all-time among 17-year-old boys and fifth this season. Arnold added a PB of 55.41 in the 100 breast, knocking five one-hundredths off his previous mark set at the NCSA Spring Championships this past March.

On the girls’ side, the top performer in the Open category was NCAP’s Gwyn Frick, a 16-year-old who won three events and added a runner-up finish, all in lifetime best fashion.

Frick moved into a tie for 96th all-time and eight this season in the 15-16 age group with her swim in the 100 back (53.41), while her 200 back showing of 1:56.23 took over eighth in the age group this season.

Frick also set best times in the 50 free (23.66), 200 breast (2:14.42) and 200 IM (2:01.00).

The top scorer for the Open girls was Wilmington Aquatic Club’s Rachel Bockrath, an 18-year-old OSU commit who won the 50 free (22.78), 100 free (49.35), 200 free (1:48.02) and added three more top-eight finishes.

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2 months ago

At the sr level, the meet isn’t what it used to be. Juniors has siphoned off a bunch of talent. NCAP isn’t what they used to be.

Reply to  Coach
2 months ago

Exactly, NCAP is better now- especially with all the new swimmers coming in and joining the training

2 months ago

not even the fastest 2 free this week

2 months ago

This meet was so fun

2 months ago

How cool for these kids to have Kieran show up and race these times. Sure these kids will have this memory for a lifetime

2 months ago

The other day I was climbing a mountain.

Towards the final ascent, my Mom texted asking if I made the summit.

“Kieran Smith” I just replied.

My mom laughed and nodded.

She knew I had peaked

Reply to  Andrew
2 months ago

Lol. I think he actually may be pretty impressive in 2024 for some reason. Gotta admit his 2021 was definitely better than the last two years though

Reply to  Buttafly
2 months ago

Definitely would prefer to come out big the start of a quad and then close it out than have two hot years in the middle if I’m being honest

Pasta Eater
Reply to  Andrew
2 months ago


Jimmy DeSnuts
Reply to  Andrew
2 months ago

funny but I think you meant Popovici. But instead of a mountain with a summit, D-Pop is a race car going 80…90…95… and just when you think he’s gonna hit a 100… WHAM… he hits a brick wall, smashed to pieces, totaled, will never be the same again.

Also hating on a peaked swimmer when your favorite swimmer is admittedly Florent Manadou is pretty ironic. The peak of that mountain was hidden by the smothering cloud of Caeleb Dressel.

Reply to  Andrew
2 months ago

This is some next level hating 😭😭

Sweet Sweet Peter Rosen
Reply to  Andrew
2 months ago

You can do better

Reply to  Andrew
2 months ago

Another hot take from Andrew, who also said Wang Shun was “washed”, and then he proceeded to go 1:54.62 in the 200 IM at the Asian Games in September to become the third-fastest all-time.

Reply to  Andrew
2 months ago

Im a Keiran fan but thats objectively funny – had no clue where you were going with this.

With that said, I wouldnt mind peaking as an NCAA Champion and Olympic Medalist.

Reply to  SwimmerGuy
2 months ago

It’s a meme.

Don’t want anybody accidentally thinking Andrew made a good joke. There’s other versions of it – involving “washed” and other such terms for “past ones prime”.

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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