Trevan Valena Breaks 35-Year-Old Chas Morton NAG In 200 IM

10-year-old Trevan Valena broke the second-oldest short course National Age Group record on the books with a 2:11.79 in the 200 IM.

The breakout swim came at the TXLA Jingle Bell Splash in Austin, Texas.  Valena swam the session-ending 200 IM on Saturday night, winning not only the 10-and-under class but also topping all of the 12-and-unders in the meet. Valena was 2:11.79 to take down a NAG record set to 2:12.29 by the great Chas Morton in 1982.

On the short course side, there’s not an older NAG record to be found on the men’s side, and the only overall short course NAG set before 1982 was a 1981 Mary T. Meagher record in the 15-16 200 fly. (Meagher went 1:52.99).

Competing for Texas Ford Aquatics, Valena will age up early next year, but does still have at least one more meet as a 10-year-old in January, according to his coach.

“Trevan is the whole package,” said his coach Lindsay Kenney. “Besides the fact that he is busting at the seams with talent; he works hard, he focuses on technique, and he’s a great teammate.

“Trevan is very detail-oriented. He’ll ask me if he should glide for a second or a second and a half on his breaststroke or he will ask what energy system he should use to take him swims out in. These are both very mature and methodical questions for a 10 year old. It’s a lot of fun to talk strategy with him.”

Valena was elated with his swim:

“It felt really, really good when I saw the scoreboard, and my time beat it by less than a second,” he said. “I splashed the water so hard [in celebration] and I was so happy that I got it. I shook hands with the swimmers who pushed me through the event, then I looked at my family with a humongous smile on my face. It was over!”

You can check out race video of his swim below, courtesy of the Valena family on YouTube:

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Chas Morton still has 2 NAGs left after this: the 11-12 100 fly in both SCY (51.85) and LCM (58.74). He was one of the greatest age-group swimmers of all time. Even though the closest he ever got to making the Olympic team was 10th in the 400 IM (4:26.85) at the ’88 Trials, he has proved that a swimmer need not be an Olympian to inspire future generations to new heights. Thank you, Mr. Morton.

Brad Flood

Here, Here to that!

das swimmer

2nd only to MA in terms of Age Group greatness.


Generally speaking (really nothing against Chas Morton), I find some comments pretty bizarre.
I read all these articles about a new Nag record, and understand the importance given on this site (it’s a specialized swimming site..) but I also think that all this emphasis about Nags records is excessive and perhaps dangerous for the kids.
1) Swimming begins, not finishes, at 10&under (or 11-12, and so on);
2) The aim is a balanced, gradual, not accelerated growth of kids capable to keep passion for swimming during their entire life;
3) The aim is peaking over 20 years, not before;
4) I would prefer swimming (not winning, just swimming) at one Olympics than having many Nags records.


IMHO, the “aim” is for young people to learn the value of pursuing excellence in everything they do in life, but specifically in their mental focus and physical fitness as swimmers. MOST athletes, no matter how amazing their performances as AG swimmers, will not achieve Olympic stardom, but it shouldn’t stop them from setting the highest goals for themselves in every practice and working toward their potential, regardless of whether that potential is an Olympic team, a NAG record, or just a heat-winner ribbon at a summer league meet. Celebrate success wherever you can find it and enjoy the process! Congrat’s to Trevan! 🙂


Celebrate success.., in proportion to the result.
I mean: reading some comments seems that a Nag record is almost equivalent to an Olympic win and Chas Morton one of the greatest swimmers ever.
Here we are celebrating a 10&U Nag record.., but at 10 years of age there are tremendous differences with regard to biological growth between a kid and another, and, in my opinion, at this age one should swim more for fun than for trying records, because these records are not so important.
If the coach and the kid have clear this and the record comes, I agree with your words: “celebrate success wherever you can find it and enjoy the process”.


I think it’s possible that you’re imagining that people have said something that they haven’t. No one is claiming or had claimed that NAG is equivalent to an Olympic win and no one said Chas is one of the greatest swimmers ever. You’re making an argument against something no one said.


No one said? Read, for instance, Kingpin’s comment.
Anyway, it doesn’t matter a specific comment.
I admit that I have done a sort of “sociological experiment”: in Italy (where I live) what I’ve written would have been widely accepted, nearly regarded as obvious, at least on paper, theoretically (in the Swimming pool also in Italy Nags records are obsessively sought by too many coaches, kids and parents).
In Usa clearly the competitive side rules, at every age, and like Danjohnrob effectively wrote: “celebrate success wherever you can find it and enjoy the process”.

Scott Morgan

Clearly, he should quit school and go pro. Joke. Congrats and great swimming.

science geek

Some kids are great and it’s their time to shine.

Joe Bagodonuts

I almost feel bad for the kid that got 2nd – just .3 off the 2nd oldest NAG record. Are he and Valena set up for a life of dueling each other?

das swimmer

No doubt in my mind that he does USRPT. Race pace training is changing the next generation for sure. MA has led the way and broken so much new ground.


What leaves no doubt in your mind? THe result? If so you realize that there is more than one way to skin the proverbial cat! Maybe I missed something in the article but the article led to no conclusions on his training regime….. such a weird comment

samuel huntington

oh please, just stop.

Justin Thompson

That’s funny because he’s trolling ?

Lindsay Kenney

Hello, this is Trevan’s coach, Lindsay Kenney.

I can assure you, we are not using USRPT training for our age group program. Our group focuses mainly on kicking, proper technique, and mindful aerobic swimming.

Trevan is just plain talented– I could tell this kid to float for a week and he would still throw down.

Looking very forward to watching his journey through this sport!


Really, the USRPT controversy is starting again? Fundamentals is what develops athletes. USRPT is a training component, as any other “race pace” work. If exclusive use of USRPT were as successful as some would like to comment, why is the only elite example MA?


Kicking training is evident! Good job to all!!!


Congrats to Trevan! Always happy to hear about swimmers at every level achieving their goals and getting faster.

Coach John

good work on your athlete coach! keep up the stellar work!


Who are the 5 people that Downvoted this comment? Coach Kenney, it sounds like you’ve got a great attitude about the swimmer’s talent and attitude. I would go a step forward and say that it is likely you did not train Trevan specifically to hit the NAG record (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong) like several in comments earlier up are implying. It’s a neat goal to hit, and when a swimmer knows they’re close, they’ll focus on it, but the training wasn’t specifically developed only for him to hit this standard, I’m assuming? Sounds like they practice the way any young AG program would… Sometimes you’ve got an uber-talent, and sometimes you’ve got someone who may not… Read more »


I’m sure that Coach Kenney trained him to swim as well as he can, given his ability, which is what all good coaches do. Maybe the goal was to break the NAG record, and is there anything wrong with that? Isn’t it ok to have specific goals to motivate you to get better? For a lot of kids, this might not have been a realistic goal, but obviously it was for Valena. Good for him and congratulations!

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career of almost two decades wasn’t enough for this Minnesotan, who continues to get his daily chlorine fix. A lifelong lover of writing, Jared now combines the two passions as Senior Reporter for, covering swimming at every level. He’s an …

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