Valente shocked the world in January of 2013 when he was a surprise National Age-Group Record breaker at the California/Nevada Winter Sectional. There, he swam a 46.99 in the 100 yard fly to break Mike Cavic’s 12-year-old record for 15-16s: a mark that not even the great Phelps broke.
Since that swim, Valente’s success and name-recognition have skyrocketed. In yards, his bests are:
- 100 back – 49.99
- 200 back – 1:50.63
- 100 fly – 46.69
- 200 fly – 1:44.10
That 46.69 broke the CIF Southern Section Division I Record at the 2014 meet, taking the record away from Kyle Gornay (who beat Valente the year prior, but swam different events in 2014).
Valente has also split 45.37 on a (DQ’ed) relay, and as a sophomore split a 21.86 in the 50 fly on a 200 medley relay.
This summer, he bounded his way onto the USA Swimming National Junior Team and Junior Pan Pacific Team with an Olympic Trials cut the 100 meter fly (52.60). He also hit that standard in the 200 fly (2:00.61). He won gold in both the 100 fly and the 400 medley relay as part of Team USA in Hawaii.
Valente joins a very good butterfly group that already includes junior Maclin Davis (46.37) and sophomore Michael Domagala (46.65).
He trains with the Buenaventura Swim Club in Ventura, California, which is about 65 miles up the coast from USC.
“I chose USC because it’s a great school academically, and because Dave, Chase, and Jeremy really know what they are doing. It’s an ideal program for someone like me, with my events – 100 and 200 fly – the way they train for the shorter things. They’ve had a lot of success at the collegiate, national and international level. I definitely considered this going into an Olympic year.
Plus, Walker Bell and I both committed on the same weekend – he’s one of my best friends, and I’m really excited to be going to USC with him.”