For Clark Kent Apuada, the 10-year-old Fil-Am swimmer who broke a 23-year-old record set by Olympian Michael Phelps, the hits keep on coming.
Phelps just tweeted his congratulations to Clark Kent also known as Superman among his friends.
“Big congrats to #clarkkent for smashing that meet record!!! Keep it up dude!!” Phelps enthusiastically said before punctuating it with the hashtag #dreambig.
Over the weekend, Clark competed in the boys 10 and under, 100-meter butterfly at the Far Western Swimming Championship. He won with a time of 1:09:38.
In 1995, Phelps set the record in the same category in the same swim meet with a time of 1:10:48.
Speaking to GMA News Online, Clark’s coach Dia Rianda, CEO of Salinas Aquatic Center, described the fifth grader as “an exceptional young man who has incredible motor skills and he was able to pick that up pretty quickly.”
She adds, “Clark is a straight-A student at his school. He’s very, very high level in the martial arts…I know he’s high belt level in karate and jiu-jitsu and that works for swimming because it teaches him the motor skills that are great for being perfect in the water. He’s a musician also, he plays the piano and he’s actually pretty talented.”
[Breaking] records, she says, are things they don’t focus much on in the swim center, “as we do him improving every time he gets on the pool…the record is always out there as a goal, as something to attain for. It’s something he knew he wanted to do, but it’s nothing that we put pressure on him to do. This was all his idea.”
Coach Dia said breaking Phelps’ record was really special for Clack “because Michael Phelps is his idol.”
Clark started swimming at age 3, advancing to the team at 7 years old. "And he quickly moved out of the novice level and into the age-group level and now he’s training in his own lane, with a couple of other kids that are doing a great job. He’s out there training with high schoolers."
A fifth grader training with high schoolers? Clark is certainly living up to his name: Superman. — With reports from Audrey Mae Domasian/LA, GMA News