Laon Kim Breaks Canadian Age Group Record That has Stood for Over 44 Years

2023 Hyack May Closed Invite

  • May 19-22, 2023
  • Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada
  • LCM (50 meters)
  • Meet Mobile; “2023 Hyack May LC Closed Invitational”

14 year old Laon Kim of Hyack Swim Club broke a Canadian Age Group Record that has stood for more than 44 years as Kim swam a 15:56.44 in the LCM 1500 freestyle Friday night.

Kim broke the record that was previously set by Alex Baumann back in April 1979. Baumann swam a 16:00.93, meaning that Kim became the youngest Canadian to break the 16-minute mark in the 1500 free.

This was the last freestyle record remaining in the LCM 13-14 age group that Kim had not yet broken until this weekend. Kim broke the 50, 100, 200, 400, and 800 LCM 13-14 Canadian age group records at Canadian Trials at the end of March and the beginning of April.

In addition to now holding all of the LCM freestyle records in the age group, Kim also holds the 50, 100, 200, 400, and 800 SCM freestyle records. The lone SCM freestyle record to still stand is held by Baumann as he swam a 15:32.15 in 1979. Kim just missed that record as his best time is a 15:32.99 which he swam in December 2022.

Kim’s 13-14 Canadian Age Group Records (LCM)

  • 50 free: 23.55
  • 100 free: 51.05
  • 200 free: 1:52.82
  • 400 free: 3:56.79
  • 800 free: 8:17.16
  • 1500 free: 15:56.44
  • 400 IM: 4:31.72

Last night’s swim was a drop for Kim by over 16 seconds as his previous best stood at a 16:12.80 from last summer’s Canadian Championships. Although detailed splits are not yet available, Kim was out in a 4:10.78 this weekend during his first 400 meters. This was already over three seconds faster than his previous best as he turned at the 4:13.86 mark last summer.

Kim is also entered in the 200 fly, 400 free, 200 free, and 50 free this weekend.

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5 days ago

My goodness are age group swimmers fast these days.

"We've got a boilover"
6 days ago

Congrats to Laon, Hyack swim club and his coach, Andrew Lennstrom! 👍👏⏱️

7 days ago

Just for reference, Kim’s 100 and 400 free NAGs are faster than the US ones (at 51.12 and 3:57.62 according to USASwimming’s site). His 50 would rank 5th, pushing Kaii Winkler with 23.57 to 6th, his 200 would be 2nd ahead of Maximus Williamson’s 1:53.04, his 800 would be 7th, his 1500 would be 18th, and his 400 IM would be 12th.

7 days ago

Was very much hoping he’d tackle the 1500 too bwfore he aged up! Any chance we’ll see him sweep the Freestyle Records on the SCM side too? Just has the 1500 left there as well!

Reply to  TimmyTongle
7 days ago

He’s only .84 off it too

Reply to  TimmyTongle
7 days ago

He is turning 15 next week.
Hopefully continue to see him break new record for next level !

7 days ago

Pretty incredible, although highlights just how incredible Baumann’s swims were in 1979. Loose brief, no dolphin kicks, ?goggles. @coleman you need to get him on the podcast for the details!

I’d love to know what his initial reaction was to the 16:00.xx time back then too…

Reply to  Swumswims
7 days ago

lots of people were wearing goggles by 1979, but it was still a pretty new thing. I started age group swimming in the 70s and I remember being told by my coach that it was OK to wear goggles in practice but not OK to wear them at a meet. Apparently some people thought it was “dangerous” and the goggles could break when I dived in. (Or something, I never quite understood) Then I switched teams/coaches and always wore them after that.

Bauman was definitely wearing goggles by the 1984 Olympics. But in 1979? Probably, but hard to be sure.

Reply to  BigNowhere
7 days ago

Yeah Malmsten AB started making what became known as Swedish Goggles (aka swedes, aka likely the most common goggle in history) back in 75. I started swimming competitively in 1980 and always wore goggles as did everyone else I swam with as it was just well established already, at least in my area of Wisconsin. I know that you still saw people not using them and there were weird hold out coaches and clubs like you describe, but I would imagine someone at Baumann’s level would have been using them.

Reply to  Swumswims
5 days ago

I swam at Canadian Nationals many times in the late 70s and can confirm that almost everyone wore goggles at swim meets, including Nationals. It would have been remarked on if Baumann didn’t. Guys only wore loose briefs in swim practice, they were tighter for swim meets, but still briefs.

About Anya Pelshaw

Anya Pelshaw

Anya has been with SwimSwam since June 2021 as both a writer and social media coordinator. She was in attendance at the 2022 Women's NCAA Championships writing and doing social media for SwimSwam. Currently, Anya is pursuing her B.A. in Government & Law and Economics at Lafayette College. There she is …

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