17-year old Bolles swimmer Ryan Murphy broke yet another National Age Group Record at the 2012 Winter National Championships in Austin on Saturday, swimming a 1:38.15 in the 200 backstroke. That crushed the old record of 1:40.41, previously held by fellow class of 2012’er Jack Conger, to unify the 100 and 200 yard backstroke records. This gives Murphy an even 10 National Age Group Records in yards throughout the age groups to go along with four in long course. He only turned 17 this summer, so even though he’s a senior in high school he will have a lot of time to raise that number before he turns 19 (much like we saw from Arizona’s Kevin Cordes, who got through the summer after his freshman year before moving out of the age groups).
The difference between his swim and Conger’s is the opening speed – Murphy was out in 47.83, whereas Conger hit only 48.93. That opening 100 from Murphy stands alone as one of the better 100 backstrokes you’ll see from a 17-year old, and he didn’t slow down with 25.1’s on the third and fourth 50’s.
The swim by Murphy, which disappointingly was without a Ryan Lochte appearance in the final, would have easily won last year’s NCAA Championship and is the 4th-fastest swim ever by a swimmer of any age. The only swimmers who have been faster are Lochte and Tyler Clary, who took bronze and gold medals at the Olympics in this event over the summer.
Murphy was pushed the whole way by Russian Arkady Vyatchanin, a training partner of Lochte, who was 2nd just behind in 1:38.22.