Luca Urlando Hits New Lifetime 200 Free Best for Third Time in 2019

2019 MEL ZAJAC JR. INTERNATIONAL MEET

One big highlight from prelims of the Mel Zajac Jr. International Meet: 17-year-old Luca Urlando bettered his personal best in the 200 free for the third time this year, suggesting he may have similar drops coming in his primary butterfly events.

As of last summer, Urlando’s best time in the 200 meter freestyle was 1:50.08. And that swim itself – coming on an exhibition relay at Junior Pan Pacs – was already a huge drop from a previous best of 1:52.51. Urlando has already cut two-and-a-half more seconds from that 1:50 in 2019, with the year not even half over.

Urlando went 1:49.51 at the Knoxville Pro Swim Series in January, then 1:47.73 at a Sectional meet in February. This morning at the Mel Zajac meet in Canada, Urlando went 1:47.56. He’s the top qualifier into tonight’s final, where he can push for an even bigger time drop. Below is a look at Urlando’s lifetime-bests in the 200 free over the past two years, which have seen a whirlwind of time drops:

200m Free
June 2017 1:57.28
June 2018 1:52.92
July 2018 1:52.51
August 2018 1:50.08
January 2019 1:49.51
February 2019 1:47.73
May 2019 1:47.56

Urlando is better-known for his butterfly prowess, especially after he finished 3rd at U.S. Nationals among the senior field last year while he was just 16. He’s still got all three butterfly distances to come at the Mel Zajac meet. For reference, when he went 1:50.0 in the 200 free last summer, he was 1:56.26 in the 200 fly at the same meet. At Sectionals this spring when he was 1:47.73 in the freestyle, he went 1:55.76 in fly, within about a half-second of his lifetime-best.

With another few tenths dropped in freestyle, it’s worth watching to see whether Urlando can better any of his other notable personal-bests this weekend: 1:55.21 in the 200 fly, 52.40 in the 100 fly and 2:00.34 in the 200 IM. His 200 free from this morning already places him #6 all-time in USA Swimming’s history for 200 freestylers in the 17-18 age group. He could pass Townley Haas with a drop of .02 tonight. Lifetime-bests in any of those other three events would move him up to at least 2nd (200 fly), 2nd (100 fly) and 10th (200 IM). In both butterflys, only Michael Phelps has been faster as a 17-18 than Urlando’s best times.

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(G)olden Bear
3 years ago

Here at the meet, that 200 looked easy and smooth. More in the tank.

Woke Stasi
3 years ago

I hope Dan Schemmel has Luca on speed-dial!

(Is that an NCAA violation to even suggest such a thing?)
🙂

NONA
Reply to  Woke Stasi
3 years ago

Not a violation, but shows you don’t realize he’s committed to UGA

Superfan
Reply to  NONA
3 years ago

But not signed!

Togger
3 years ago

Second fastest in history and you still need a 1.3 second drop over just a hundred to get a record nearly as old as you are. Insane time. I think that 100 fly and the 200 IM are probably even harder than the 200.

Pvdh
Reply to  Togger
3 years ago

I don’t think that 200IM Nag is going down for Atleast 20 years

Swimmer
3 years ago

We’re about to see some fast swims from Urlando at this meet as it looks like he’s rested.

Joe
Reply to  Swimmer
3 years ago

Doubt he’s fully rested. He was presumably somewhat rested three weeks ago for HS sections and he’ll want to peak at Nats

dude
Reply to  Swimmer
3 years ago

Have you seen this guy’s consistency? Billy is way too good of a coach to rest him for mel zajac. He’s not rested. He’s just really, really good.

Pvdh
3 years ago

He’s gonna make the team in the 200 fly and 800 free relay next year. Would he be the Youngest male qualifier since Phelps?

Eagleswim
Reply to  Pvdh
3 years ago

I can’t think of anyone else making it before college

BigNowhere
Reply to  Eagleswim
3 years ago

Aaron Pierson, Ian Crocker and Klete Keller were all 17-year old high school students when they qualified for the Olympic team in 2000. Phelps was also on that team, at age 15(or was it 14?)

Eagleswim
Reply to  BigNowhere
3 years ago

He was 15, but I was thinking since that games. But you’re right, it’s amazing the young talent they had on that team. Crocker and Peirsol’s legacies are legend, and Peirsol is still the greatest backstroker in history in my mind. Keller’s anchor in the 2004 4×2 relay is one of the greatest legs of all time. Seriously great class, thanks for reminding!

Blackflag82
Reply to  BigNowhere
3 years ago

I believe Keller was 18, but it was before he started college

Swim fan
Reply to  Blackflag82
3 years ago

Right and in August which means he was not a “high schooler.”

Swim fan
Reply to  BigNowhere
3 years ago

Klete was 18 at 2000 trials. But let’s not forget how much ridiculously faster the high school kids are today and just generally how much faster and deeper the field is getting each year!

Même
Reply to  Eagleswim
3 years ago

Joe Hudepohl made it at his junior year.

MÊME
Reply to  Même
3 years ago

Joe Hudepohl made the Olympic team in his junior year.

Eagleswim
Reply to  MÊME
3 years ago

That was before 2000

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Pvdh
3 years ago

I though Dressel had a 200 fly spot locked up. smh

Pvdh
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
3 years ago

You gotta learn when to move on with the crowd. You’re probably one of those that repeats a joke when he gets no reaction.

Ragnar
3 years ago

This man wants a 1:45 relay spot next year to go with the butterfly, hope Lochte is hard at work!!!

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Ragnar
3 years ago

The Usa will have many candidates for spots on that relay …..its gonna rock hard at the OT

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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