22-year old Youssef El Kamash, a senior at Grand Canyon University and part of that school’s explosion into full-fledged Division I competition this year, has broken the Egyptian National Record in the 100 meter breaststroke. Swimming on Friday at the TYR Pro Swim Series meet in Mesa, Arizona, El Kamash swam a 1:01.05. That breaks his own National Record of 1:01.31 set at the 2016 edition of this meet.
In 2016, the time was good enough to win the race, while this year he finished 2nd to American teen Michael Andrew (1:00.16). U.S. Olympian Kevin Cordes took 3rd in 1:01.19, followed by Josh Prenot (1:01.28) and NCAA Champion and yards-record holder Ian Finnerty in 1:01.39.
El Kamash has been able to perform very well in long course coming off an NCAA season. In 2016, he was about 6 weeks past his college championship – which was the WAC Championships that year (2018 was the first year Grand Canyon was eligible for the NCAA Division I Championships). This year, it was a shorter 3-week turnaround from the NCAA Championships.
In the 2016-2017 season, where he didn’t swim the NCAA season, he finished 6th in the B Final at the PSS-Mesa meet, swimming just 1:03.75.
El Kamash’s front-half speed made the difference on Friday in Mesa. In 2016, he was out in 29.10 and finished in 32.21; this year, he was out in 28.60 and closed in 32.45. He paid for it coming home, but his half-second drop going out more-than-made-up-for the difference.
He finished 33rd in this event at the 2017 World Aquatics Championships in 1:01.81. He holds all 6 Egyptian breaststroke records.