Sandpipers Ilya Kharun Breaks Urlando’s 15-16 NAG with 45.59 100 Fly in Austin



  • Meet record: Ryan Hoffer (Scottsdale Aquatic Club): 45.46
  1. Ilya Kharun (SAND), 16 – 45.59
  2. Connor Foote (AAAA), 17 – 46.31
  3. Brian Lee (BC), 17 – 46.81

The Sandpipers of Nevada have a really great thing going right now. The general perception may be that Sandpipers just turns out great distance swimmers, but that’s not really the case. Tonight, 16-year-old Ilya Kharun won the boys 100 fly at the West Speedo Winter Juniors meet, breaking the 15-16 boys NAG in the process. Moreover, Bella Sims won the girls 100 fly, making it a sweep of the fly for the Sandpipers.

In case you didn’t see our post on him, Kharun had an unbelievably successful month of October. He’s been shedding time like nobody’s business, and tonight that resulted in his taking down Luca Urlando’s 15-16 NAG.

Kharun swam a 45.59, clipping Urlando’s mark of 45.62. Here is a split comparison between Kharum’s swim tonight, and Urlando’s NAG swim.

Split Ilya Kharun 2021 Winter Jr West NAG Luca Urlando Previous NAG
50m 21.23 21.42
100m 24.36 24.20

Kharun had more front-end speed tonight than Urlando did back in 2o18, putting up an speedy 21.23 on the opening 50.

The 16-year-old’s improvement curve in the 100 fly has been shocking over the last year. Last December, Kharun swam a personal best of 51.67 at the Las Vegas Super Finals. Let’s take a look at his progression in the last year:

Date Time Meet Improvement
12/20/2020 51.67 2020 UT Las Vegas Super Finals
4/9/2021 48.90 2021 FL GAIN Invitational -2.77
9/25/2021 47.96 2021 CA BCH vs SAND Dual -0.94
11/12/2021 47.13 2021 PC CARS NV State Champs -0.83
12/10/2021 46.50 2021 Speedo Winter Jr West Prelims -0.63
12/10/2021 45.59 2021 Speedo Winter Jr West Finals -0.91

Kharun started out on Sandpipers as a young child, then left for another team. In the spring of 2019, he returned to the team. According to Sandpipers coach Michael Kinross, Kharun “took a little while to readjust to our training and he is a bit of a late bloomer size wise compared to some of the other boys at his age and level.”

“Then COVID hit and he remained in our Age Group/Pre-Senior level track, which by design focuses on the development of the growing athlete. Meaning he was still swimming all events, all strokes, all distances, at all meets, only wearing a tech suit a couple of times a year, and racing at meets not as fresh as many of his age group counterparts.

“Ilya moved into our National groups in January which allowed a little more freedom to focus on more of his primary events, especially in the lead up to Open Water Nationals and Olympic Trials.”

All of that led up to Kharun breaking through at the Sandpipers Pumpkin Invite back in October.

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Find another gear
6 months ago

This boy drank Fanta during lunch before he went that btw…

6 months ago

My ankles would be shattered if I jumped to that conclusion. I hope you’re back on your feet and walking after the holidays!

Distance Per Stroke
6 months ago

How do you go from a 51 to a 45 in a year wtf

Last edited 6 months ago by Distance Per Stroke
Reply to  Distance Per Stroke
6 months ago

At this point man just sit back and enjoy. Kids are always gonna get faster 😭. It’s inevitable

Reply to  Distance Per Stroke
6 months ago

he drinks fanta before races

Chef Jake
Reply to  Distance Per Stroke
6 months ago

Ilya eats a steady diet of 10×200

6 months ago

Wtf is age group swimming this week

Mr Piano
Reply to  Pvdh
6 months ago

We’re gonna see a 14 year old go like 17.5 in the 50 free next year or something

This Guy
6 months ago

There is sooooo much young incredible talent. Good god. They are all just throwing down!

katie’s gators cap :)
6 months ago


Old Timer
Reply to  katie’s gators cap :)
6 months ago

Beating everyone

Reply to  katie’s gators cap :)
6 months ago

beating the odds