Luka Mijatovic Scares 800 Free NAG Record, Becomes Fastest 13-Year-Old American Ever

by Riley Overend 15

April 17th, 2023 Club, News

Pleasanton Seahawks Long Course Senior Open

  • April 15-16, 2023
  • Dolores Bengstson Aquatic Center
    • Pleasanton, CA
  • LCM (50 meters)
  • Results on MeetMobile: “Pleasanton Seahawks Long Course Senior Open”

Luka Mijatovic dropped over 20 seconds in the 800-meter freestyle at the Pleasanton Seahawks Long Course Senior Open on Sunday, becoming the fastest 13-year-old American in the history of the event by a significant margin.

The 13-year-old Pleasanton Seahawks standout clocked a personal-best 8:10.30, absolutely destroying his previous-best 8:30.89 from the Far Western LC Championships last July. Mijatovic scared the U.S. boys’ 13-14 national age group (NAG) record of 8:08.75 set by Evan Pinion in 2009, moving up to No. 3 in the all-time NAG rankings. He’s also now the fastest 13-year-old American ever, and it’s not close as he’s more than 10 seconds quicker than Matthew Hirschberger‘s 8:20.55 from 2012.

800-Meter Free, U.S. Boys’ 13-14 NAG Rankings

  1. Evan Pinion – 8:08.75 (2009)
  2. Lleyton Plattel – 8:09.74 (2017)
  3. Luka Mijatovic – 8:10.30 (2023)
  4. Andrew Abruzzo – 8:15.84 (2014)
  5. Michael Phelps – 8:16.10 (2000)

Fastest 13-Year-Old Americans, 800-Meter Free

  1. Luka Mijatovic – 8:10.30 (2023)
  2. Matthew Hirschberger – 8:20.55 (2012)
  3. Lleyton Plattel – 8:26.93 (2016)
  4. Brayden Capen – 8:27.35
  5. Colin Jacobs – 8:32.11 (2022)

At just 13 years old, Mijatovic is already less than a second away from the World Championships ‘B’ cut in the 800 free and about 17 seconds off the ‘A’ cut. He still has another five years to take a stab at Lorenzo Galossi’s world junior record of 7:43.37, though that’s a ways off for now.

Mijatovic also moved up the NAG rankings in two other events this weekend. He dropped over five seconds in the 400 free, posting a 4:02.14 to improve to 15th all-time in his NAG. In the 200 free, he dropped nearly two seconds to rank 34th in his NAG.

Mijatovic picked up additional first-place finishes in the 200 back (2:13.40) and 200 IM (2:13.69) while adding more lifetime bests in the 50 free (25.48) and 100 free (55.09).

He already owns short course yards (SCY) NAG records in the 500 free (4:24.72), 1000 free (8:59.29), and 1650 free (15:00.95). His massive drop in the 800-meter free gives us an idea of what we might expect the next time he swims the 1500-meter free, where he owns a lifetime best of 16:41.14 from last July. The boys’ 13-14 NAG record in the 1500 free is the oldest on the books, belonging to Jesse Vassallo from 1976 (15:31.03).

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1 year ago

Really looking forward to his 1500 free don’t think he’ll break that nag yet but I do think he’ll break it this summer 100%.

Can’t remember for sure but it sounds like he has a senior national cut and will swim there this summer.

Last edited 1 year ago by PFA
This Guy
1 year ago

The rate of utter mind blowing swims by such young swimmers, week end and week out over the past year or two has just been astonishing. I can’t think of a time in my life where just insanely impressive/ mindblowing age group swims have been so frequent.

1 year ago

Isn’t he like 6’7? Let’s chill and see how he responds when he’s not way bigger and stronger than all his competition.

Reply to  Imagine
1 year ago

6’3 who said 6’7

1 year ago

I think he’s been 4:01. One of the World Cups last fall

Reply to  Riley Overend
1 year ago

Wow, I just checked and you’re right. That’s so nuts how much he’s improved even since then.

1 year ago

Surely that must be the fastest 13 yo ever anywhere?

Reply to  Troyy
1 year ago

Almost certainly. I doubt any other 13yo has even come close to that.

Reply to  Dee
1 year ago

Have now done some digging through the numbers and it looks like the British age group record, held by Matt Johnson at 8.20.06, might have been the previous fastest. He also went 15.36 LCM as a 14 year old, but that remained his PB until retirement in his 20s.

1 year ago

FINA A cut for him by next spring. What’s his sporting nationality?

Reply to  SKOOOOOO
1 year ago

Has to be US if he has NAG Records.

Reply to  SKOOOOOO
1 year ago


Reply to  unknown
1 year ago

Parents are Serbian American but MarkB is right, it is US.

Reply to  RedStar
1 year ago

Next great mid distance freestyle American?

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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