14-year old swimmer Reece Whitley, whose home club is the Penn Charter Aquatic Club and spent much of the summer training at the Bolles School in Florida, has taken 200 breaststroking for age group swimmers to ridiculous new levels.
On Wednesday, Whitley was racing back home in Pennsylvania at the Middle Atlantic Senior Champs at Bucknell University and with a swooping blow took the title. He swam a 2:16.48 in the 200 long course breaststroke, winning the race by two seconds and crushing his own National Age Group Record.
He swam the old mark just a few weeks ago at the Bolles School Sharks Summer Classic, where he swam a 2:19.74. The old record was a 2:20.48 belonging to Gunnar Bentz.
Old Record (BSS Summer Classic) 1:06.59 – 1:13.15 = 2:19.74
New Record (MA LC SR Champs) 1:06.50 – 1:09.98 = 2:16.48
The difference was entirely in the back-half. At the 100, Whitley was almost an identical time, but he tore open three seconds faster in the last 100 meters.
This record joins the likes of ones from swimmers like Katie Ledecky and Michael Andrew in the past few years where they’re not only breaking National Age Group Records, but they’re putting them in inconceivable territory.
He’s got well over two years to go after Matthew Elliott’s 15-16 record, which is a 2:14.67. Whitley doesn’t even turn 15 until January, and his teammates tell us that he’s on just a quick two-day rest for these senior champs.
Whitley will be going after Michael Andrew’s 100 breaststroke record of 1:03.83 later in the week as well. At the Bolles meet, where Whitley broke the 200 record previously, he didn’t actually go a best time in the 100, but with this kind of a drop in the 200, it’s hard to see where he couldn’t beat his own personal best of 1:04.33 and come close to Andrew’s record.