Leah Hayes Clocks Personal Best 1:57.88 in 200 IM, Moves to #6 in 13-14 History


  • August 29-30, 2020
  • Aurora, IL
  • Short course yards (SCY)
  • Results on Meet Mobile: “FVPD Riptides Time Trial 1”

14-year-old Leah Hayes, an NAG record holder across multiple events and age groups, threw down three huge lifetime bests yesterday on the first day of the Fox Valley Park District Riptides time trial in Illinois.

The biggest swim for Hayes came in her first event, the 200 IM. Winning the mixed-gender event, Hayes clocked a lifetime best 1:57.88, dropping eight-tenths from her old best of 1:58.58.


  • Fly – 25.95
  • Back – 30.02
  • Breast – 34.59
  • Free – 27.32

Hayes is quite a well-rounded swimmer, but her 27.3 final 50 showcased remarkable closing speed. For context, that final 50 split is faster than four of the eight A-finalists in this event at the 2019 NCAA Championships, including runner-up Ella Eastin (27.54).

Hayes’ time, which was her first improvement in the event since December of 2018, positions her at #6 in 13-14 history, just behind Olympian Katie Hoff. Her 200 IM drop was only a matter of time; last summer, at age 13, she clocked a 2:14.81 in long course to become the #2 13-14 200 IMer in U.S. history behind only NAG record-holder Missy Franklin (2:12.73).


  1. Alex Walsh – 1:56.20 (2015)
  2. Regan Smith – 1:56.69 (2016)
  3. Charlotte Hook – 1:57.22 (2018)
  4. Missy Franklin – 1:57.70 (2010)
  5. Katie Hoff – 1:57.76 (2004)
  6. Leah Hayes – 1:57.88 (2020)
  7. Brooke Zettel – 1:58.31 (2018)
  8. Justina Kozan – 1:58.57 (2018)

Meanwhile, she added new lifetime bests in the 100 free (49.83) and 100 back (55.90) in yesterday’s time trial session.

In the 100 free, she broke 50 seconds for the first time, improving on her old best of 50.02. She’s now tied for 33rd in 13-14 top performer history in that event. The 100 back was her biggest drop on the day, coming down from 57.33 to 55.90.

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Michael Schwartz
3 years ago

First thought is wow! That is insanely fast for a 14 year old. Second thought…how is this only the 6th fastest time?!?

Pacific Whirl
3 years ago

Hayes posted a 2:13 lifetime best last summer.

Brian M
3 years ago

I remember when sub 2:00 200IM was special for a female of any age. Now it’s almost commonplace.

He Said What?
Reply to  Brian M
3 years ago

First time was way back in 1978 from Tracy Caulkins. Loooong time ago.

3 years ago

She has alopecia, a condition that can cause hair loss.

3 years ago

Great swim! Happy to see athletes shining

Last edited 3 years ago by Mnswim

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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