SALINAS (KPIX 5) — One swimmer in Monterey County is living up to his super hero name.
This past weekend, 10-year-old Clark Kent Apuada broke Michael Phelps’ record in the 100-meter butterfly. It was a record Phelps set at the same meet in 1995, when he was around the same age as Apuada.
The record stood for nearly a quarter century after being set by the towering, almost superhuman Phelps, perhaps the most prominent name in competitive swimming.
But records are meant to be broken, and Apuada shaved a full second off of Phelps’s time at a swim meet in Moraga.
“Being a Michael Phelps record breaker is amazing, because Michael Phelps is one of the largest swimming icons in the world,” said Apuada.
Apuada, whose family lives in Salinas, has been swimming competitively for four years and said he’s been chasing Phelps’s record for much of that time.
“After my first swim meet, I just felt that motivation to keep swimming. And at that age, I learned that Michael Phelps had a record and I wanted to beat it,” he said.
Shortly after his record was broken, Michael Phelps heard of Apuada’s achievement and personally congratulated him in a tweet.
Apuada is faster than Michael Phelps was at the same age. Combined with his given name, it’s not surprising that people call Apuada “Superman.” His swim coach Travis Rianda said that he is a truly rare talent.
“He’s starting to see what hard work, dedication and truly loving what you’re doing–how contagious that can be,” said Rianda.
Apuada said that his ultimate goal is to swim at the Olympics. In the meantime, he will continue to chase Phelps. He hopes someday to follow him onto the medal stand and into the record books.
“He’s really fast. So, that gives me the fire and the drive to keep swimming and swimming and swimming, and try to be as fast as him… or even better,” he said.