Conger’s record-setting night a rare one

Conger’s record-setting night a rare one

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Good Counsel freshman Jack Conger broke Metros records in the 50- and 100-freestyles on Saturday. (Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)
Good Counsel freshman Jack Conger broke Metros records in the 50- and 100-freestyles on Saturday. (Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Anyone that was at Metros on Saturday night witnessed a commanding performance from Good Counsel freshman Jack Conger, who not only won two events but also broke records in both.

Conger knocked off marks in both the 50- and 100-yard freestyles, and that begged the question – When was the last time a freshman set two records at Metros?

A little digging yielded no answer…

Josh Hafkin won two events as a freshman, but fell short of records in both with times of 50.42 in the 100 back (the record was 50.24) and 51.00 in the 100 fly (the record was 49.53). Hafkin would eventually set records in the 50 free and 100 back as a junior, and then break both of those records again as a senior.

(It was Hafkin’s 50 freestyle record that Conger knocked off on the weekend.)

Most recently, Eric Friedland broke two records as a senior in 2008 in the 200 individual medley (1:47.59) and the 100 breaststroke (54.90). Both of those times were blazing fast, knocking off the previous records by at least a second and a half – or nearly four seconds in the case of the 200 IM.

But again, he was a senior, not a freshman – though the two records set by Friedland were the first time since Hafkin that a swimmer had set two records in a meet.

Cara Chuang set one record as a freshman, as did Colleen Law. Liz Kemp won two events as a freshman in 2003 – the 100 backstroke and 100 fly – but did not break either mark. Kate Ziegler in the same year, 2003, finished third in the 200 freestyle and set a record in the 500 freestyle, but even she fell short of what Conger accomplished on Saturday.

VIDEO: Jack Conger wins the 100 freestyle in record-setting fashion (Courtesy

Kassy Kugler won two events in 2002 but didn’t break either record.

The closest to be found went all the way back to 1997, when as a sophomore Molly Freedman set records in the 200 IM (2:03.85) and in the 100 butterfly in 55.18.

Coincidentally, both of those records were re-written on Saturday by Sarah Haase and Danielle Schulkin, respectively.

Beyond 1997 is a question mark, but if anyone can figure out if we’re missing someone, or the last time a freshman set two records at Metros, let us know.


  1. that is so cool that CSN filmed this and had commentators!!! Takin the sport to the next level, I like it

  2. How is it that Conger breaks two records and yet Cara Chuang, who won one even, not breaking the record, and was second in another, was named the Swimmer of the Meet? Something is not right there.

  3. The “Outstanding Performance Award” at Metro’s is awarded in memory of the Metro meet founder Frank Martin. The award goes to the athlete whose single swim is closest on a percentage basis to the current national public high school record. The award is purely objective and is not based on the Metro records, but the national records. There were many spectacular swims in the meet, including the records by Conger, Haase, and Schulkin, but based on the national records, Chuang’s backstroke was the closest. You can find the high school records at:

  4. Sean Stewart from Wootton set meet records in both the 100 and 200 Free in 2008. Same year as Friedland. Both were seniors. It was a great meet!

  5. to SwimMom:
    For the record, Cara Chuang was third in the 200 IM, further reinforcing your excellent point.

  6. Pam Minthorn set two records in the 1988 Metros in the 200 and 500 free as a junior. Then she won the 500 free after starting off the wall in 1989 (read: not off the blocks). Good times.

    And don’t forget little Timmy Herwig for GC in the 1990 meet setting records in the 200 and 500. Both of those stood for around 10 years, although Tim was also a senior.

  7. Recognition and Swim mom read the post from Coach Mark Eldridge The award is based on specific criteria that have nothing to do with where you place…
    “the award goes to the athlete whose single swim is closest on a percentage basis to the current national public high school record.”
    It doesn’t matter how many metros records you set or how much you won by…… perhaps one of you would like to donate the money and the trophy for another award? and then you can poll all the other moms and dads and give the award to the swimmer “who most impresses the parents in the stands”

  8. I think they have valid points. Meet organizers can award however they want, but it is a goofy designation. Call it best swim or something more narrow than swimmer of the meet.

    For the top award to go to a 1st and 3rd place finisher over other double winners, 1st/2nd placers and record breakers makes the sport look like Figure Skating.

  9. are you people dense? The award is not for most valuable swimmer, it’s not for who set Metro records. The outstanding performance award is for the swimmer closest to a national high school record. At US Nationals there is an outstanding performance award, it goes to the swimmer with the most outstanding performance in a single event. If Michael Phelps were to win 6 events with no world records in the meet, but Billy Bob Whomever only won a single event in WR time, Billy Bob would win the outstanding performance award

  10. Yes swim parent, we’re dense. Thanks for enlightening us and furthering the great reputation of psycho swim parents. The original poster said it was a swimmer of the meet award which was the wrong assertion.

  11. to swim parent:
    You can say what you want, but the title of the article says it all. I applaud Chuang for earning the “Outstanding Peformance Award” (the criteria for which begs the question – why not the swimmer closest to the faster of public AND independent school records, as Metros includes both). However, if you were to ask anyone who attended the meet, they would tell you who the real star was, and – hint – his name is not Chuang. Finally, an observation: you seem to be in the minority here.

  12. In addition to finishing third in the 200 IM, I also noticed that Cara wasn’t leading any team cheers.

  13. The name of the award isn’t the “real star of the meet” it’s outstanding performance of the meet. There are criteria for the award, it was awarded according to the criteria. I’m nor denigrating Conger’s accomplishments or anyone else’s, I ‘m simply saying that the award was given to the swimmer that deserved ir according to the criteria. The logic of the other people posting is that the Outstanding performance should have gone to the star of the meet. Does the major league baseball award for most Home runs go to the player with the highest batting average? Does the player who has a .479 batting average win the the recognition for rookie of the year?
    And “Oh my God, Cara wasn’t leading any cheers”… what a terrible human being she is!! She shouldn’t win a trophy, she doesn’t cheer. Why doesn’t Sprint Guy buy a trophy for metros for ” best fast swimmer who cheers a lot” and why doesn’t Recognition buy a trophy for “The Real Star of the meet” and they can decide who gets the award so they can feel important?
    And where did their kids place at metros? … if they even made the meet?

  14. swim parent, take your medication and calm down. Based on the 1:41 post by recognition, I’m pretty sure Sprint guy’s comment was intended as a joke. And why do you assume that everyone who posts at this board has children who swim?

  15. Please remember this is where we should be celebrating the accomplishments of our kids.

    Imagine you are speaking to the children who swam when you type. They are reading your comments.

  16. Maybe I should add emoticons to my posts. And no, I don’t have any children who swim. None I have met anyway.

  17. i think the uneducated massed get it, (overintense) swim parent. Is the award for the best single swim, relative to a national record, possibly? And my kids are in a long line of ‘don’t floats’ so they tried to place at the meet but had to be rescued, just like their ancestors.

  18. to swim parent:
    What is the relevance of your question about where my child placed at Metros? Are you equating one’s swimming acumen with her/his child’s swimming ability? Please … enlighten us.

  19. To all the parents:
    I was a senior this past metros, swimming in the A and B final in two events. Cara and Jack are two amazing swimmer, but if you ask ANY swimmer or coach, they will say hands down Jack should be given this award. not bashing cara’s accomplishment, But this “kid” had, if not the best, one of the best performances in Metros history.

  20. Swim Parent could not be an actual adult — more likely some sophmore boy having a few yucks by impersonating an adult to get some attention. “Where did your kid place at metros?”” Give me a break!!!!! If you are a real parent, I lay 10 to 1 odds right now that your kid quits swimming at or before entering college . . . . Place your bet as the bank is open!

    I had the privliege of seeing King Kong Conger swim summer league for a number of years in the CCSDA — he was amazing from the get go and his success is very well deserved!

  21. It seems obvious to me at this point that there is strong support for a new award at the Metro meet. Something along the lines of a media based award. It could possibly be voted on by the coaches in attendance after the meet was concluded. The Outstanding Performance Award at Metros is already established and has been awarded based on the published criteria for years. The only swimmer who deserves it is the one who meets the criterio.

    Because there seems to be such strong sentiment for a “Swimmer of the Meet” award, I would suggest that those people who are interested in having such an award, contact their high school coaches with a proposal. I am confident that with a well defined process for selecting the winner and enough support from the coaches involved, the meet directors would be more than happy to add this type of award. They are common at many college conference meets and many times include a “Coach of the Meet” as well.

    Finally it seems that this discussion has digressed beyond the point of providing anything positive. Jack’s swims in Metro’s were electifying and spectacular. He is a wonderful swimmer with a very bright future. Let’s celebrate the fact that we’ve gotten to see and enjoy just his first year in Metro’s and that there are three more to come. I can’t wait!

  22. I had not checked this board in a few days, and I have to say I really enjoyed reading last night’s rant by swim parent. In addition to considering additional trophies for Metros next year, maybe we should set up a table and sell a new bumper sticker– “My Child Made Finals at Metros.”

  23. Mel’s comment should end it. This is embarrassing and yes my child swam at Metros and placed top 4 in two A finals. These swimmers are kids after all and they put enough pressure on themselves without the added pressure of these posters/parents. Watch the meets, cheer all efforts, be happy with any results, and never bad mouth other swimmers (children).

  24. If Mel’s comment should end it, why did you feel compelled to add your post? You just couldn’t resist letting us know that your child placed top 4 in two A finals?

  25. Metro’s is nice, but until they combine all the regional schools its just another championship meet that doesn’t mean much beyond the private schools and MoCo public schools. Just sayin.

  26. Speedo – you are spot on………why hold a “team” meet to annually anoint Prep as “the best” (did anyone check out the team score…how anti-competitive). Agree this should be a legit championship instead of this “p—ing” match.

  27. When I dove at METROS we never had the caliber of swimmers like those showcased this past year. JAck and the rest of the Rockville Rays were awesome!

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