Leah Hayes Breaks 11-12 National Age Group Record in 400 IM

Courtesy: Sara Converse/Fox ValleyPark District Riptides

Leah Hayes of the Fox Valley Park District Riptides in suburban Chicago broke the 11-12 National Age Group Record in the 400 yard IM on Friday evening at the Elgin Summer Regional Championships in Elgin, Illinois.

Hayes swam a 4:20.03, which broke the 2001 record of Jenny Forster by .01 seconds.

Hayes’ Splits:

  • 100 fly – 58.59 (27.30/31.29)
  • 100 back – 1:07.95 (34.21/33.74)
  • 100 breast – 1:14.86 (37.15/37.71)
  • 100 free – 58.63 (30.06/28.57)
  • Final Time: 4:20.03

Hayes also holds the 11-12 National Age Group Record in the 100 yard breaststroke (1:02.63), plus 4 records in the 10 & under age group in long course. Her previous best time in the 400 IM was a 4:20.65.

Forster, the swimmer whose record Hayes broke, would go on to become a 3-time Ohio High School State Champion in the 200 IM, and to this day still holds 9 Ohio LSC state records. She swam at the University of Arizona and was a 6-time All-American in individual events.

Hayes’ primary coach with the Riptides is Nancy Hooper, and the 400 IM is her only entry of the weekend.

Race Video, Courtesy Tim Hayes:

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Marci G Hotchkiss
4 years ago


4 years ago

USA should change their old yard pools to 25/50 meter pools. These results are incomparable to the results of the rest of the world.

4 years ago

I’ve seen Leah a number of times on the deck and she is a gracious winner and a class act. I look forward to continuing to watch her shine!

Downstate IL
4 years ago

How was she allowed to swim at the Regional meet when she already has cuts in that for both Age Group State and Senior State? You are only allowed to swim Regionals in events that you don’t have state cuts in.

Reply to  Downstate IL
4 years ago

In Illinois the 400 IM is not contested at the IL State meet for 11-12 year olds. Therefore 11-12 year olds are able to swim it at the Regional Meet – the only time it’s offered for those swimmers.
There was no exception made for Leah to swim. It’s simply the way IL swimming is set up.
For the senior kids Regionals are held after the state meet – denying 15-18 year olds the opportunity to qualify for the state meet if they haven’t and it’s rheee goal.
No LC pools, poor meet structure – welcome to IL swim!

sane swim parent
4 years ago

She is going to be crazy fast at the age group state meet.

bobo gigi
4 years ago

I’m surprised there are still SCY meets in July!
Leah Hayes recently swam 2.19.90 and 4.58.09 in the 200 and 400 IM in long course. Close to Missy and Beisel’s NAG records.

Reply to  bobo gigi
4 years ago

This is the Illinois Regional Championships which is for kids who don’t make State cuts. There are 5 Regionals and since there aren’t 5 Long Course facilities able or willing to host these meets, they are held in yards pools. Also explains why she is so far ahead. Illinois is so desperate for Long Course pools we host our State Championships in Wisconsin or Indiana.

Reply to  Ecoach
4 years ago

How did Leah not get state cuts?

Reply to  50free
4 years ago

Good question. Was there an exception made?

Reply to  Dan
4 years ago

There’s no 400IM at state for 11-12 in IL

HC Swim dad
Reply to  Ecoach
4 years ago

Not for long! New 9 lane 50 meter pool with seating for 1200 breaking ground in Westmont in a few weeks! Woohoo!

4 years ago

Closes faster than michael andrew

4 years ago

Those parents are hysterical.

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