If your name is Clark Kent Apuada, there’s really only one nickname that could work, and on Sunday, the 10-year-old who goes by “Superman” took down a record that had been set by 23-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps way back in 1995.
Swimming at the Far Western Long Course Championships in Moraga, Calif., Apuada finished the 100-meter butterfly in 1:09.38, besting Phelps’s 23-year-old, 10-and-under meet record of 1:10.48 by more than a second.
“That was one of my dreams — to beat Michael Phelps’s record — since I was 7,” Apuado said in the above video.
In 1996, Phelps set the overall U.S. 10-and-under record for the 100 butterfly at 1:08.54, a mark that since has been bested by Carson Foster in 2012 (1:07.24) and then Andrew Rogers, who broke the record twice at a 2015 meet in Texas. Rogers’s 1:05.98 still stands as the 10-and-under U.S. record in the 100 butterfly.
Apuada, a rising fifth-grader who has been swimming competitively for four years, ended up with gold medals in every event he swam in at the meet, winning the 200 individual medley, 50 butterfly, 50 backstroke, 100 backstroke, 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle to go along with his 100 butterfly crown. As for his nickname, Apuada’s mother Cynthia told the Huffington Post that she always liked the name Clark and that her husband’s favorite superhero was Superman, and everything just flowed naturally from there.
“We’re always just telling people his name is Clark. But when they realize his full name, people just call him Superman,” Cynthia Apuada said.
Not to get too far into the (nerdy) weeds here, but Arthur Curry Apuada perhaps would have been a more apt name.
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