14 Year Old Luka Mijatovic Breaks Oldest NAG In The Books With 15:27.38 1500 Freestyle




  • Jr World: 14:46.09 – Franko Grgic (2019)
  • Meet: 15:16.62 – Johannes Calloni (2016)
  • Boys’ 13-14 NAG: 15:31.03 – Jesse Vassallo (1976)
  • Boys’ 15-16 NAG: 15:03.91 – Bobby Hackett (1976)
  • Boys’ 17-18 NAG: 14:45.29 – Larsen Jensen (2004)
  • 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials: 15:39.89


  1. Isaac Fleig (TST), 15:19.90
  2. Luke Whitlock (FAST), 15:22.22
  3. Luka Mijatovic (PLS), 15:27.38
  4. William Mulgrew (CRIM), 15:29.82
  5. Nathan Szobota (NOVA), 15:29.87
  6. Jacob Pins (DMSF), 15:31.13
  7. Bobby DiNunzio (TIDE), 15:32.78
  8. Aiden Hammer (KING), 15:33.69

14 year old Luka Mijatovic has broken the oldest national age group (NAG) record in the books swimming a 15:27.38 in the 1500 freestyle while at Summer Junior Nationals in Irvine. Mijatovic’s time tonight broke the previous record of 15:31.03 set by Jesse Vassallo back in 1976.

U.S. Boys 13-14 1500 Freestyle All-Time Rankings

  1. Luka Mijatovic — 15:27.38 (2023)
  2. Jesse Vassallo — 15:31.03 (1976)
  3. Lleyton Plattel — 15:35.36 (2017)
  4. Andrew Abruzzo — 15:36.03 (2014)
  5. Michael Phelps — 15:39.08 (2000)

Back at US Nationals in Indianapolis last month, Mijatovic was just off of the record as he swam a 15:32.18.

Because of the date of Vassallo’s old record, Mijatovic’s splits are being compared to Lleyton Plattels swim from 2017 Summer Nationals.

Split Comparison:

Mijatovic Plattel
100 57.11 58.36
200 1:01.24 (1:58.35)
1:02.47 (2:00.83)
300 1:02.05 (3:00.40)
1:03.25 (3:04.08)
400 1:02.19 (4:02.59)
1:02.91 (4:06.99)
500 1:02.28 (5:04.87)
1:02.82 (5:09.81)
600 1:02.51 (6:07.38)
1:02.92 (6:12.73)
700 1:02.30 (7:09.68)
1:03.24 (7:15.97)
800 1:02.28 (8:11.96)
1:03.55 (8:19.52)
900 1:02.39 (9:14.35)
1:03.07 (9:22.59)
1000 1:02.19 (10:16.54)
1:02.99 (10:25.58)
1100 1:02.49 (11:19.03)
1:02.83 (11:28.41)
1200 1:02.89 (12:21.92)
1:02.43 (12:30.84)
1300 1:03.07 (13:24.99)
1:02.33 (13:33.17)
1400 1:02.29 (14:27.28)
1:01.90 (14:35.07)
1500 1:00.10 (15:27.38)
1:00.29 (15:35.36)

The key to Mijatovic’s race was not going above the 1:03 mark. Mijatovic only did so once, compared to Plattel who did so four times.

Mijatovic now holds the 200, 400, 800, and 1500 freestyle LCM NAG records for the 13-14 age group. Mijatovic broke Thomas Heilman‘s 200 free LCM NAG during a time trial at US Nationals, and re-broke his own NAG records at US Nationals in the 400 and 800 freestyles.

Tonight’s swim was Mijatovic’s first race of the meet. He will have a chance to re-break his own records in the 200, 400, and 800 freestyles this week. He also is entered in the 400 IM.

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9 months ago

Still not as fast as Ledecky this summer.

Steve Wierhake
9 months ago

I met Jesse and one of his brothers (Marco) the summer of 1975 when we were at the Jack Nelson Swim Camp in Fort Lauderdale. The camp was an amazing experience for me – six weeks! I think Jesse was 12 then. It was cool to see him go on to set world records when he grew up. I might have this wrong, but I think he and two of his brothers swept the 200 back at nationals one year.

Reply to  Steve Wierhake
9 months ago

I was at the same camp and Jesse was in my group. Obviously, he could train. We had to do 20 X 100 on 1:20 LC to be in our group. Jesse did his on 1:15 for giggles, I guess. He went by is given name then, Jesus. It was weird to later see him called Jesse. We were 13 actually. One day the whole group had a pressout contest in the diving well – most in a row until your arms gave out. I quit after less than 80 as we had night practice later in the day. Marco did over 300 in a row and had massive blisters on his palms for the rest of the camp.

James Beam
9 months ago

Anya- what are the chances you can find Jesse Vassallo and get an interview with him to talk about his record being broken? I think it would be really cool to hear what he has to say.

9 months ago

(The original) Bobby’s record is in his sights. He’s got it in the bag if he plays his cards right

9 months ago

So much agnst about the performance of the US at these world Champs, the future of US swimming is bright

Bobo Gigi
Reply to  IM FAN
9 months ago

There are plenty of great young talents. But the transition from the junior ranks to the elite level is not always smooth for many young Americans. They will have to work hard, be strong mentally, have the will and make the right choices in terms of coaching and schedules.

Reply to  Bobo Gigi
9 months ago

Heilman williamson diehl derivaux mijatovic to name a few

Joel Lin
9 months ago

Wow. Didn’t think we’d ever see this record broken. Jesse Vassallo swam that race at Olympic Trials and missed making the 1976 Olympic team by one spot.

Reply to  Joel Lin
9 months ago

Reading Vassallo’s Wikipedia page it reads as though he was trying to represent Puerto Rico but was blocked from doing so as you had to live a year in Puerto Rico to be eligible. I wasn’t alive, can anyone confirm or deny?

Joel Lin
Reply to  NCSwimFan
9 months ago

It sure about the precise backstory, but I do recall that a couple Mission Viejo swimmers represented Puerto Rico in international competitions (Jesse Vassallo & Filiberto Colon). The 1976 Olympic pre-dated those entries for Puerto Rico at Pan Ams, Worlds, etc. My memory might be off but I don’t think Puerto Rico was recognized for an Olympic entry. Vassallo had a major knee injury which derailed what might have been a Phelpsian swimming career. Unquestionably one of the most talented free, back & IM swimmers ever.

Vassallo was also credited with being the first to do the underwater dolphin kicks off the walls for backstroke. He did it after his father suggested experimenting with it to avoid the wash.

Reply to  Joel Lin
9 months ago

At the camp, Jesse said that in fact his dad did suggest it but it wasn’t the long Berkoff underwaters. Shorter since he was a distance swimmer. He also told me that he and Marco couldn’t go to breakfast after practice when their dad was coaching them in PR until they made a 50 no breath.

9 months ago

Vassallo was a legend. Can’t believe that record lasted this long.

9 months ago

Vassallo’s record stood for 47 years. That’s 3.35x Luka Mijatovic’s lifespan. Incredible achievement by Mijatovic, and have to tip your cap to Vassallo for setting the bar so high. What an unreal record.

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 and 2023 Women's NCAA Championships writing and doing social media for SwimSwam. Currently, Anya is pursuing her B.A. in Economics and a minor in Government & Law at …

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