For the sixth time in her young career, 12-year-old Claire Tuggle has set a National Age Group swimming record.
Tuggle broke the 200 freestyle mark for 11-12-year-old girls on Thursday during the National Club Swimming Association’s Junior National Championships in Orlando, Fla.
Tuggle, the youngest competitor in a 235-swimmer field for 18-and-unders, initially eclipsed Kylie Stewart’s 2009 record of 1:49.64 in the preliminaries with a 1:48.85 to earn a spot in the A final.
Swimming for the Clovis Swim Club, Tuggle lowered the record to 1:47.71 while placing seventh. She was the youngest finalist by four years.
“This is a big meet for her. Being 12 and traveling with the team is a big jump from more localized swimming,” said Claire’s father, Todd Tuggle. “And also swimming against girls much older is a big step, too. We’re just really excited she rose to the challenge this week.”
1:47.71 The National Age Group record time for 11-12-year-olds clocked by the Clovis Swim Club’s Claire Tuggle on Thursday during the National Club Swimming Association’s Junior National Championships in Orlando, Fla.
Tuggle’s time is roughly 3 seconds behind the 200 free NAG for 13-14-year-olds (1:44.55) held by Olympic champion Missy Franklin.
The seventh-grader at Granite Ridge Intermediate also narrowly missed an NAG record on Wednesday in the 100 free, touching the wall in 50.43 seconds, second all-time only to the 50.27 by Franklin in 2008. Tuggle placed 20th overall.
Tuggle will swim the 500 free and 200 breast Friday and the 200 individual medley and 50 free Saturday.
“For someone who’s a 12-year-old kid, being around the older kids, watching that maturity in and out of the pool has been huge,” Todd Tuggle said. “The other athletes and her coaches have had a huge influence on her success.”
While competing for the Yosemite Marlins Swim Club in 2015, Tuggle set five NAG records for 9-10-year-olds in short course 200 free (1:58.20) and 500 free (5:13.74), and long course in the 100 free (1:01.86), 200 free (2:16.30) and 400 free (4:37.41).