Luca Urlando Takes Down Phelps’ 17-18 200 Fly NAG Record in 1:53.84


17-year-old Luca Urlando broke his first 17-18 National Age Group (NAG) Record tonight at the Clovis stop of the Pro Swim Series. Swimming his signature event, the 200 butterfly, Urlando put up a time of 1:53.84 to skate past Michael Phelps‘ 1:53.93 NAG Record, set in the semifinals of the 200 fly at the 2003 World Championships in Barcelona.

When Phelps swam his 1:53.93 in Barcelona, the time was both a NAG Record and a World Record, which Phelps himself did not surpass for another three years. It was not until the 2006 Pan Pacific Championships in Victoria that Phelps, then 21-years-old, swam a 1:53.80 for a new best time and World Record. Urlando, who just turned 17 on March 16th, is still young for the 17-18 age group, whereas Phelps set the former NAG Record nearly one month after his 18th birthday.

Urlando’s time tonight makes him the third-fastest American all-time in the 200 LCM butterfly, as well as the 11th-fastest performer all-time in the 200 LCM butterfly. In terms of U.S. talent, Urlando sits behind only Michael Phelps who holds the current World Record of 1:51.51, and Tyler Clary, who put up a 1:53.64 at the 2009 U.S. National Championships.

Top U.S. Performers

  1. Michael Phelps, 1:51.51, 2009
  2. Tyler Clary, 1:53.64, 2009
  3. Luca Urlando, 1:53.84, 2019
  4. Gil Stovall, 1:53.86, 2008
  5. Davis Tarwarter, 1:54.46, 2008
  6. Jack Conger, 1:54.47, 2017
  7. Pace Clark, 1:54.58, 2017
  8. Justin Wright, 1:54.63, 2018
  9. Chase Kalisz, 1:54.79, 2017
  10. Tom Malchow, 1:55.03, 2001

Before tonight, Urlando was ranked third in the world, and he maintains that position with his performance tonight, improving upon his recent personal best from the Mel Zajac Jr. International Meet just a few weeks ago in Vancouver. A comparison of Urlando’s splits tonight versus Mel Zajac, as well as versus Phelps’ from 2003, is detailed below:

1st 50 26.08 26.05 25.95
2nd 50 (100) 28.74 (54.82) 28.45 (54.50) 28.94 (54.89)
3rd 50 (150) 29.09 (1:23.91) 29.43 (1:23.93) 29.39 (1:24.28)
4th 50 29.93 30.42 29.65
FINAL TIME 1:53.84* NAG Record 1:54.35 1:53.93

In the world this year, Urlando currently ranks third behind Hungarian phenom Kristof Milak and his countryman, 2016 Olympic Bronze medalist in the 200 butterfly, Tamas Kenderesi.

Kristof Milak

2018-2019 LCM MEN 200 FLY

1.50.73 *WR
View Top 26»

On the all-time performers’ list, Urlando now ranks 11th:

Rank Fastest Performers All-Time Time Nationality Competition
1 Michael Phelps 1:51.51 USA 2009 World Championships
2 Laszlo Cseh 1:52.70 HUN 2008 Olympic Games
3 Kristof Milak 1:52.71 HUN 2018 Hungarian Championships
4 Chad le Clos 1:52.96 RSA 2012 Olympic Games
5 Takeshi Matsuda 1:52.97 JPN 2008 Olympic Games
6 Pawel Korzeniowski 1:53.23 POL 2009 World Championships
7 Masato Sakai 1:53.40 JPN 2016 Olympic Games
8 Tamas Kenderesi 1:53.42 HUN 2019 Hungarian Nationals
9 Tyler Clary 1:53.64 USA 2009 USA Swimming National Championships
10 Nao Horomura 1:53.79 JPN 2018 Japan Swim
11 Luca Urlando* 1:53.84 USA 2019 Clovis PSS


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2 years ago

And yet he still can’t swim at worlds.

Reply to  Swimmer
2 years ago

Yes, we get it. . . . but he can swim in Tokyo!

Reply to  SwimGeek
2 years ago

Gives us a reason to watch summer nationals this year!

Reply to  Ragnar
2 years ago

Oh yes

Gold Medal Mel
Reply to  Ragnar
2 years ago

I am so excited a/ US Nationals in Palo Alto.
Urlando’s stoke is the most perfect 2-fly stroke I have ever seen. Pure perfection. He’s in constant motion forward, no jerks, pauses—not for .01 of a second.. His feet are under the water nearly the entire race and yet he keeps a very slight downhill effect with his body position. He has designed a stroke that will take him to 1:50 point, below Phelps’ super-suited WR. It’s just a matter of time. And, he’s a baby. He’s going to get so much stronger… That 1:53 2-fly performance in Irvine was a work of art…. (I wonder if he studied Phelps’ stroke and asked the question, can this be improved upon?)

Reply to  Gold Medal Mel
2 years ago

agreed with the ” the most perfect stroke for a 200 fly ” Mel . Many of us i think were waiting for the analysis u would offer …..loved it !!!

2 years ago


Benjamin Van Der Wel
Reply to  SwimGeek
2 years ago

No kidding. What else can one say right now? Urlando is incredible & apparently just keeps getting better every time he swims.

2 years ago

And he just missed Worlds team last year. One year in advance is a long time to pick a team.

2 years ago

It’s crazy to think Cseh is #2 all-time and more than a second behind Phelps

Reply to  DCSWIM
2 years ago

It’s wild to think that 5 out of those 6 are in their active 👀

bear drinks beer
Reply to  Dcswim
2 years ago

However the two active Japanese didn’t show any competitiveness recently and won’t even have the chance to swim at Worlds. What a shame Horomura was only two tenths behind Milak at 17 but never improved since then.

Reply to  bear drinks beer
2 years ago

Horomura’s 153.9 was done in 2017 WUG at the age of 18.

2 years ago

jeepers that has to be one of the best textile times ever! What was Phelps best textile time?

Reply to  gator
2 years ago

1:52.09 from 07 worlds

Reply to  USA
2 years ago

’07 textile was not the same as 2019 textile. I know they were wearing a lot more fabric (full legs; some torso). Phelps was 1:52.9 in 2015 during his comeback.

We’ve Got A Hulk
Reply to  SwimGeek
2 years ago

Phelps’s ‘07 2 fly looks like it was done in a simple FS2 jammer (no extra length) in the video, which from my personal experience is not nearly as good as the racing suits of today (e.g. Mizuno)

Mr Piano
Reply to  We’ve Got A Hulk
2 years ago

As someone who has worn a speedo Lzr X (much faster than the FS2 jammer), and a Mizuno GX Sonic III… I can confidently say that Phelps would have been 1:52 low in 2003 if he was wearing a Mizuno, and 1:50 high in 07. This suit just blows away even today’s fastest suits, and it makes the suits from 07 feel like a training suit. Luca did an incredible job, but his swim would probably “only” have been a 1:54 high or 1:55 low if he was swimming in 2003. But honestly, this guy is going to get gold or silver at Tokyo.

Science Geek
Reply to  SwimGeek
2 years ago

Today’s suits are FAST, even just a jammer. I remember doing pacework before Nationals in early 2000s and I couldn’t figure if full body was better or not.

2 years ago

He’s getting better every time he swims the race….even when he’s off his 200 free PB he throws this down.

2 years ago

Should we be looking for a WR at nationals?

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  Rocky
2 years ago

Not quite yet, but it would a super – & welcome – surprise if it DID happen. That 1:51 from MP is still the gold standard.

Reply to  Coach Mike 1952
2 years ago

“1:52.09…. sensational.” “No ones
Been under 1:54 and Phelps almost went sub 1:52.”

2 years ago

Boardman gets to go to Tokyo

About Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson originally hails from Clay Center, Kansas, where he began swimming at age six.  At age 14 he began swimming club year-round and later with his high school team, making state all four years.  He was fortunate enough to draw the attention of Kalamazoo College where he went on to …

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