Video: Matt Magness Breaks National Age Group Record in 200 Free

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 7

December 16th, 2013 Club, News, Video

Jason Magness, father of the newest USA Swimming National Age Group Record breaker Matt Magness, has posted a video on YouTube of his son’s record-breaking 200 yard free swim at the 2013 Diplomat Holiday Classic on Sunday evening.

On his 13th birthday, though still counted as an 11-12 by USA Swimming, the younger Magness was a 1:45.52 in the 200 yard free, which bettered the 1:46.23 that current high school senior Nick Silverthorn did back in 2008.

In an era, admittedly through some fault of ours, where National Age Group Records rarely ‘sneak up’ on anybody anymore, this was a true out-of-nowhere swim. It was one of those swims where until someone confirmed that it actually happened, it would have been easy to assume perhaps a timing error.

To the contrary, though, this was just a spectacular, breakout performance by Magness, whose best time coming into the meet was a 1:52, and on top of which who was only a 1:51 in prelims.

Seeing the video though, Magness is solid through all portions of his race. He has very good underwaters, and as can be clearly seen in the video, he has a fairly advanced stroke for a swimmer of his age – the best comparison is in the lanes next to him, where there’s a lot more thrashing in his competitors’ strokes.

The most striking technique difference is how efficiently Magness breathes. He has only as much head motion as is absolutely necessary to get his breath – a great lesson for a lot of young swimmers, where often you’ll see a challenge in separating strong body movements from head movements.

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bobo gigi

I must admit the first time I read that news on swimswam, I thought it was perhaps an error.
Thank you for the video. No error at all! Congrats to Matt Magness for an impressive time drop. I don’t think many people could predict that record. And interesting technique analysis by Mr Keith.

Joel Lin

It is so impressive today and so different from a generation ago that kids kick so well. Decades ago you would never see a kid with a balanced 6 beat flutter kick for a full 200 yards. Bravo kid, wonderful stride in the water and a most impressive accomplishment on the record!


Very impressive. Agree his stroke and everything is advanced. but as we all know kids who are this advanced at age 12 (or 13) have far less to gain through technique (and maybe training) than those ‘thrashers’ next to him. Silverthorn is still a nationally ranked swimmer…but now in the breastroke (he was in that fantastic HS race in CA last May). Its always interesting to me to see these kids develop through the years.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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