Nerding Out: Updated Long Course Meters NAG Record Progressions

  24 Morgan Priestley | June 17th, 2014 | Featured, National, News

After we published our updated SCY National Age Group record progression list a couple weeks ago, we’re back with an updated version of our long course records.

Much like our short course version, we’ve worked on filling in the holes from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s.  Once again, we have embedded a spreadsheet below from all of the existing data we have available.  In addition, we included the swimmer’s total number of Olympic medals in the righthand columns.

See any errors or omissions?  Feel free to leave them in the comments section, and we’ll address them/extend our gratitude for the assistance.


Again, like we did with our short course yards rankings a couple weeks ago, we examined the number of NAG records set over time, broken down by age group beginning in the 1980′s.  Interestingly, if we look at the total number of records by decade again, we see very different results from our short course record tracking tables:

Since 2010 2000-2009 1990-1999 1980-1989 2008-2009* Total # of Records
17-18 Boys 5 20 10 25 2


17-18 Girls

10 18 11 22 6 61
15-16 boys 8 13 18 28 4


15-16 girls

9 10 8 29 4 56
13-14 boys 11 10 11 19 3


13-14 girls

3 12 11 17 7 43
11-12 boys 10 30 10 22 6


11-12 girls

9 15 27 13 4 64
Total # of Records 65 128 106 175


In summary:

  • The overall number of long course records (474) set since 1980 is nearly 25% less than the number of short course records (617) set in that same time period.
  • The biggest difference between the number of long course and short course records are in the younger ranks (11-12 girls, 11-12 boys, and 13-14 boys).
  • While we’ve seen 143 short course NAG records since the turn of the decade, we’ve only seen 65 long course records in the same time period.  Although we technically have had just four long course summer seasons (we’ve had five short course taper periods), it’s unlikely that we’ll get within 50 of the short course title before the end of 2015.
  • While we saw 52 short course NAG records go down in the “supersuit” era of 2008-2009, only 36 long course records fell in that same time period.
  • The 13-14 girls had easily the fewest number of records fall since 1980, largely because of the absurd standards set by once-in-a-lifetime athletes just a couple years earlier.  Between 1977-1979, Tracy Caulkins, Mary T. Meagher, and Sippy Woodhead set records in 10 of 14 events in the age group, which stood for an average of greater than 20 years.  Five of them lasted for more than 30 years, and three of them still stand.

See anything else of note?  Let us know!

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24 Comments on "Nerding Out: Updated Long Course Meters NAG Record Progressions"

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law Dawg
2 years 4 months ago

Does anyone know what exactly Mr. Dressel has been up to recently? Did he get injured?

2 years 4 months ago

Nope, I thought he had, but I was apparently wrong, last I heard he was just training hard.

2 years 4 months ago

By the time he turns 18, that 100m free could be sub 47.7.

2 years 4 months ago


2 years 4 months ago

Dressel is in any type of sabbatical from swimming?
I thought he was gonna be fighting 100free junior record toe and nail with Matheus Santana.

2 years 4 months ago

Nah, he’s biding his time. Don’t be surprised if he just obliterates it this summer.

2 years 4 months ago

Think someone mentioned he would be competing at the Texas Open in a couple weeks.

bobo gigi
2 years 4 months ago

He will break many 11/12 age group records in SCY and LCM but it could happen much sooner than expected.
If I remember well, he turns 12 at the end of July so he still has more than a full year to destroy some records of that age group category.
Last week he swam:
26.99 in the 50 free
57.83 in the 100 free! Fastest 11-year-old boy since 2000 (start of the USA swimming rankings), probably fastest ever.
2.06.92 in the 200 free! Fastest 11-year-old boy since 2000, probably fastest ever.
4.23.67 in the 400 free! Fastest 11-year-old boy since 2000, probably fastest ever.
1.04.67 in the 100 fly
2.21.65 in the 200 fly! 😯 Fastest 11-year-old boy since 2000, probably fastest ever.
2.33.80 in the 200 IM
5.19.26 in the 400 IM

If you already swam that event at that age of course.

2 years 4 months ago

BOBO – I did not swim 200 fly until I was 12. I went 1:59.98 in the 200 “yard” fly. I didn’t swim meters until 13. I went 2:08 in 200 fly at 14, 2:03 at 15, 2:02 at 16, 1:59.1 at 17, 1:57 at 18, 1:55.6 (my PB) at 22 (all times from 1981-1990)— I enjoy tracking the success of age groupers b/c they seem so much faster and bigger and stronger now. I’m just in awe of them. I can’t wait to see the first 1:49 200m fly. I predict we will by 2024.

2 years 4 months ago

That 1:59.98 converts to around a 2:15 or 16, but that’s definitely within range going from 11 to 12

bobo gigi
2 years 4 months ago

Thanks Mel for your answer.
Great regular progression.

1.49 in long course in 2024? 😯
By a human? 😆
It seems crazy but why not?
Or perhaps you had in mind 39-year-old Michael Phelps who wins at the 2024 Los Angeles olympic games for his second comeback since his “official” retirement in 2016. :mrgreen:

bobo gigi
2 years 4 months ago

In yards Winn Aung has a PB of 2.00.81 swum last April.
11/12 age group records are 1.57.62 in yards and 2.14.40 in long course.
He’s going to crush both of them!

2 years 4 months ago

Except for australian times will be tough to find the best 11 years old times to compare.. to find at 14 world level a long time was needed

bobo gigi
2 years 4 months ago

When I write “fastest ever”, I talk about times made in USA.

2 years 4 months ago

Awesome list! I noticed a few typos, but I am grateful to the people who put so much time and effort into this endeavor! A few thoughts:

1. I have read comments about Michael Andrew being a short course swimmer and stating he hasn’t proven himself in long course, but he has already broken 13-14 records set by decade busters like Anthony Robinson, Noel Strauss, and a guy named Phelps! I’m impressed! Plus, who else has held LC sprint free, back, breast, fly and IM records in the same age group? Maybe Chas Morton and Tracy Caulkins? You could say he’s another Morton and won’t go on to Olympic glory, but there’s a big difference between holding a bunch of records at 11-12 and doing so at 13-14; and he’s about 6′ 5″!

2. I never realized how tremendous Janie Wagstaff was, I should have been more impressed by her!

3. I’m more impressed by Becca Mann now! It’s kind of too bad that she’s around the same time as Ledekey, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she gave her a run for her money in the 1500 free and knocked either Beisel or Dorado off the team in the 400 IM in 2016.

4. It makes me happy to see many of the greatest swimmers in US history are still holding onto records (Woodhead, Meagher, Kostoff, Evans) but sad to see Tracy Caulkins no longer holds a record here. Does anybody keep track of who has held the MOST NAG records, because I bet she wins that title!

5. Wow, the US women are in great shape for 2016 with names like: Manuel, Franklin, Ledecky, Mann, Beisel, Schmitt, Neal, Hardy, Lawrence, Larson, Romano, Smoliga, Bootsma, Pelton, maybe Weitzeil and, oh yeah, Hoff and Coughlin to add a little experience! I would love to see Knutson make a comeback for the 4 x 200 relay so we could have a “who’s who” of the best 200 free swimmers in history on our 4 x 200 Relay! It looks like our biggest weakness is the 100/200 fly. I would love to see Vollmer make a comeback, but otherwise I hope McLaughlin, Hu and maybe Bayer or Mann can pick up the slack.

6. The men are doing well, but the new stars filtering up the ranks are unproven in international swimming to date (Cordes, Murphy, Conger, Nolan, Dressel, etc), so I wish them well. I guess it just has taken longer for the men to develop after the “Phelps Ephect” took hold of US Swimming than the women. We’re lucky stars like Phelps, Lochte, Adrian, Grevers, Clary, Jones, Ervin, Jaeger, Dwyer, McLean and Kalisz sticking around for another Olympic cycle (I know Kalisz is still in college, but I wouldn’t put him in the category with the unproven new guys. Our biggest weaknesses here seems to be breastroke, so I hope Cordes has a REALLY good couple of years leading into 2016!

bobo gigi
2 years 4 months ago

Interesting thoughts.

I agree with most of your comments.

I wouldn’t put Nolan in the same category as Cordes, Murphy, Conger or Dressel. He still has everything to prove in long course. And we wait for 3 or 4 years now.

About US biggest weaknesses OF THE MOMENT, I would mention:

– the 50 free, the 100 fly (without Dana Vollmer), the 200 fly and the 200 IM on the women’s side. But Simone Manuel and Katie McLaughlin can fix these problems in the next 2 years. I’m more concerned about the 200 IM which seems to be an event without young talents who can be ready for 2016. Miss DiRado and Miss Leverenz represent the only hopes for USA. If only Miss Pelton improved her breaststroke, then she could play the medals. But I hope that for several years now and it doesn’t happen.

– the 200 fly and the 200 free on the men’s side.
Since MP doesn’t swim the 200 fly anymore, USA is without a big name to carry that event which has always been a very strong US event in history. Perhaps Andrew Seliskar can fix that problem in the next 2 years.
And in the 200 free, I only see Conor Dwyer as a medal chance in 2016. But with Yannick Agnel, Paul Biedermann, Cameron McEvoy, Sun Yang and Park Tae-Hwan, it will not be easy. And in a long term perspective, USA badly needs new blood in that event. Especially for the relay. Where are the youngsters in that event?

2 years 4 months ago

We’ve got Clary in the 2 fly, he should stick around until Seliskar gets there

bobo gigi
2 years 4 months ago

I don’t see Clary as a medal chance in the 200 fly.
Finalist at best.

bobo gigi
2 years 4 months ago

So sorry for Katie Hoff. 😳
I’ve completely missed her about the 200 IM.
I don’t know if she’s able to swim under 2.09 which represents the minimum mark for a medal chance but her come back has been very promising so far.

2 years 4 months ago

Check out the names in the Male 17 – 18 400 Free. Pretty strong field all the way back to 1969.

2 years 4 months ago

PS: I was “needing out” to see who had made the biggest time drops in setting their records and I noticed an error in the 13-14 girls 200 breast that needs to be corrected as well as the 15-16 girls 100 breast. I also noticed Beth Botsford’s and Kaylin Keller’s names misspelled somewhere.

Wow, Jesse Vassallo broke the 13-14 1500 free record by a wopping 39.85 seconds! No wonder it still stands today! Maybe Tracy Caulkins drop of 24.28 seconds in the 13-14 girls 400 IM is even more impressive. Also, Katie Ledecky breaking Janet Evans 15-16 girls 1500 free record by 15.57 seconds is amazing when you consider it stood for 25 years, plus the fact that Janet had broken the old record by 26.14 seconds already! In a 200 meter event, Tracy Caulkins 10.15 second drop in the 15-16 200 IM was the largest I found. I realize this is skewed because they’re all distance events; I didn’t review 50/100 meter time drops. Finally, Michael Andrew holds all the sprint records in the 13-14 boys, which as I’ve said above is amazing, but all of them were drops of less than a second except his 200 IM record, improving over Phelps’ record by 2.37 seconds! I predict he will win the 2020 Olympic 200IM! Does anybody disagree?

bobo gigi
2 years 4 months ago

You are courageous to make predictions about Michael Andrew. :mrgreen:
Usually I like doing crazy predictions and sometimes it happens as I expected (Katie Ledecky in 2011), but about Mr Andrew I’m unable to predict anything right now.
I don’t see anything in my crystal ball. 🙂
I content myself by watching him develop since 2010 and it’s fun like that!

2 years 4 months ago

No disagreement really, but I’m counting on Simone Manuel to make some good time drops in the 50/100 free by 2016. I’m also hoping Mann, Hu/Bayer will do well in the 200 fly. Without Vollmer, I’m hoping McLaughlin will really shine. I think it’s more realistic to expect improvement from NAG best to international caliber in very young women than men.

I guess I was being generous to Mr Nolan, but he was a NAG level competitor with a lot of the big young stars coming up on the US men’s team.

I feel confident that the US system will churn out some new 200 free athletes, and I think Dwyer is going to surprise us with his Olympic performance. I’m also counting on Bowman to get Luchsinger into 200 fly contention. I honestly think Seliskar will make the team in the 400 IM or 200 fly, but if he made it to the finals, that would be a big accomplishment!

2 years 4 months ago

This is fascinating stuff. I noticed some errors in the medal count columns in the 11-12 boys both Fred Tyler and john Kinsella were on the Gold Medal winning 4 X 200 Free Relay in Munich in 1972. I haven’t checked the other age groups yet


About Morgan Priestley

Morgan Priestley

A recent graduate of Stanford University and Birmingham, Michigan native, Morgan Priestley started writing for SwimSwam in February 2013 on a whim, and is loving that his tendency to follow and over-analyze swim results can finally be put to good use. Morgan swam competitively for 15+ years, primarily excelling in the …

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