Swimming at the Georgia Tech site of the 2021 Georgia Senior Short Course State Champs, 18 year-old Jack Aikins of SwimAtlanta moved to #4 all-time in the 17-18 age group today with a 1:39.85 in the 200 back. Aikins, who’s committed to UVA for this fall, came into today with a lifetime best of 1:40.92.
All-Time Top Performers, 200 Back, Boys 17-18
- Ryan Murphy – 1:37.35 (2014)
- Austin Katz – 1:38.49 (2017)
- Jack Conger – 1:38.75 (2012)
- Jack Aikins – 1:39.85 (2021)
- Shaine Casas – 1:40.04 (2018)
Of the names ahead of him on the list, Ryan Murphy and Austin Katz are both NCAA champions in the 200 back. Murphy won all four years of his Cal career (2014-2017) and currently holds the U.S. Open Record. Katz won the event as a freshman (2018), and may be in contention for another title this year as a senior, Texas A&M junior Shaine Casas, who Aikins just moved past in the 17-18 age group, has been 1:36.64, setting up what should be a fun race between him, Katz, and the rest of the field. Conger, meanwhile, dropped this event after his freshman year at Texas, and switched to the 200 fly, where he’d set the U.S. Open Record twice and win a NCAA champion as a senior.
All that to say, Aikins appears to be a very solid trajectory heading into his college career, and will be one of a relatively small group of college freshmen who will begin their college careers with NCAA qualifying times, much less much less NCAA scoring times. It took 1:39.37/1:40.86 to score at the 2019 NCAA Championships. Additionally, Aikins’ time tonight is faster than the 1:39.98 it took win the 200 back at last month’s ACC Championships.
The 200 back came towards the end of a couple fast days for Aikins, who set lifetime bests in three other events this week. He lowered his 100 breast best from 1:03.44 to 56.40 and his 100 fly from 50.02 to 47.64. He also came into the meet with a lifetime best of 47.49, then dropped to 46.68 in prelims of the individual 100 back. Today, he also swam a 46.05 leading off what Meet Mobile calls a “Mixed 400 Yard Medley Relay,” and seems to have consisted of a single SwimAtlanta boys medley relay and a single South West Aquatics girls medley relay. Assuming that ends up as on official time for him, that would move him to 15th all-time in the 17-18 age group in the 100 back.
Both the 46.0 and 1:39.8 would make him UVA’s fastest backstroker this season, although three UVA backstrokers will get a chance to improve on their times at this week’s NCAA Men’s Championships.
Aikins also swam the 50 free in 19.83, just a bit off of his lifetime best of 19.68, and a swam a 44.29 (lifetime best of 43.27) in the prelims of the 100 free before opting not to swim it in finals.
Full Meet Recap to Follow