Matthew Hirschberger has broken the 15-16 National Age Group Record in the 1650 freestyle at the 2014 U.S. Winter National Championships by swimming a 14:51.81 in the early heats on Friday. Hirschberger trains with NCAP in the greater DC Metroplex, which has become a hub for age group distance swimming.
That time breaks the distance records of arguably the best male age group distance swimmer in history: one Jeff Kostoff, who has become a legendary name for his long-standing records. Over 30 years ago, in 1982, Kostoff, who is at this meet as an assistant at Indiana, swam a 14:52.39.
“It’s about time!” Kostoff quipped after the swim “I’m proud of him, I got to shake his hand after his race in the warmdown pool.”
Since Kostoff, only three other swimmers in this age group have ever gone under 15 minutes. Aidan Burns came the closest to this record earlier this year in 14:57.07; in 1987, future Olympian Lars Jorgensen swam 14:57.26; and last year, Mission Viejo’s Nick Norman swam a 14:58.76.
Now, Hirschberger has taken the record and refreshed it thanks to a nearly 14-second personal improvement that jumped him from 11th to 1st on the all-time age group list.
Hirschberger also holds National Age Group Records in the 1000 free for 11-12’s (9:38.50), 1000 free for 13-14’s (9:02.37), plus the 200 meter free (2:00.88), 400 meter free (4:12.52), and 800 meter free (8:48.59) all for 11-12’s.