Luka Mijatovic Posts Fastest 500-Yard Free Time Ever Among 13-Year-Old Americans

by Riley Overend 10

November 11th, 2022 Club, News

Terrapins SC Senior II Finals

  • Nov. 4-6, 2022
  • Concord Community Pool
    • Concord, California
  • SCY (25 yards)
  • Results on Meet Mobile: “Terrapins SC Senior II Prelims & Finals”

Luka Mijatovic set seven personal bests last weekend in Concord, California, including a 500-yard freestyle victory that made him the fastest 13-year-old boy in American history.

The Pleasanton Seahawks swimmer from Santa Clara clocked a 4:29.84 to win the 500 free, going .06 seconds faster than Nicholas Caldwell in 2007. After shaving 13 seconds off his lifetime best from April, Mijatovic sits just five seconds away from Lleyton Plattel’s 13-14 NAG record of 4:24.79 from 2017. Notably, he’s more than 11 seconds quicker than the next-fastest 13-year-old boy this season.

Mijatovic also became the third-fastest 13-year-old boy in American history with his 3:59.81 in the 400 IM, which earned him a third-place finish. He dropped nearly 14 seconds, posting about a four-second improvement on his opening butterfly split, two-second improvement on the backstroke leg, five-second improvement on the breaststroke leg, and three-second improvement on the freestyle anchor. Mijatovic is now about eight seconds off the 13-14 NAG that Thomas Heilman blazed earlier this year.

Mijatovic’s other new personal bests came in the 200 back (1:53.49), 200 IM (1:54.34), 200 free (1:42.32), 100 free (48.66), and 100 back (54.13).

Raya Mellott recorded four first-place finishes on her way to a pair of nation-leading times in both the 100 breast (1:00.12) and 200 breast (2:10.16). The latter is the fastest time nationally among 15-year-old girls by more than seven seconds, closing in just about three seconds away from Alex Walsh’s 2018 NAG. Mellott’s 100 breast mark is the fastest this season for her age by more than a second. The Crow Canyon Country Club Sharks standout also touched first in the 200 IM (2:05.04) and 400 IM (4:24.03), ranking 16th and 10th, respectively, in the national rankings for 15-year-old girls.

Virginia commit Bailey Hartman hit two new personal bests en route to six victories and one runner-up finish. Hartman went 9:47.75 to win the 1000 free, taking more than five seconds off her previous best to rank as the second-fastest 16-year-old girls nationally behind Katie Grimes (9:29.20). The fellow Crow Canyon prospect also picked up victories in the 100 fly (53.66), 200 free (1:46.67), 200 fly (1:57.36), 100 free (49.83), and 500 free (4:48.85) while setting another personal best with her second-place showing in the 50 free (23.38).

Marre Gattnar of North Bay Aquatics nearly pulled off a freestyle sprint sweep. The 16-year-old took first place in the 50 free (20.12) and 100 free (44.39), but was unable to complete the trifecta in the 200 free with a second-place finish in 1:39.57. Gattnar also brought home a win in the 100 back with a time of 48.53.

Jada Duncan of Wolverine Aquatics placed first in the 50 free (23.13). The 15-year-old also earned a runner-up finish in the 200 back (2:00.75) and took third in the 100 free (51.01), going slower than her prelims time.

Devyn Caples totaled first-place finishes during a successful weekend representing Crow Canyon. Individually, he touched in 9:19.72 for the 1000 free, 1:50.58 for the 200 IM, and 3:55.93 for the 400 IM. As part of the 400 medley relay team, Caples tallied a 57.93 breast split to help Crown Canyon edge an unattached squad by just .19 seconds.

Edward Huang, a member of the California Dolphin Swim Team who is currently committed to Cal, secured the 100 fly title (48.52) at 16 years old. Alto Swim Club 22-year-old Kevin Hao triumphed in the 200 breast with a time of 1:59.82. Fellow Crow Canyon swimmer Ethan Suehiro achieved his first Winter Juniors cut in the 200 breast (2:02.81) at 15 years old.

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Coach Dia Rianda
2 months ago

Congratulations Luka ! That is an incredible accomplishment!

Richard Saunders
2 months ago

Lucky for him – MAs dad already has job

Richard Saunders
2 months ago

Lucky he does not have MA’s Dad!

Richard Saunders
2 months ago

Glad he does not have MA dad!

2 months ago

As someone who struggles to go sub 4:40 even in college, that time doesn’t even seem real to me! What are they feeding these 13-year-olds that go sub 4:30? Kid is a stud. Best of luck to him.

2 months ago

I think he’s fast

2 months ago

Is he the youngest american to ever break 4 minutes now?

2 months ago

Wonder how tall he is

Reply to  Huh
2 months ago

Somewhere around 6 feet

10U Dad
Reply to  Huh
2 months ago

When we saw him at Spring Far Western back in April he was in his last few days/weeks of being a 12 yo. He appeared to be at or close to 6 feet tall then.

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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