Cristian Quintero is a Venezuelan national team member and NCAA champion from the University of Southern California. Born October 14, 1992 Quintero has competed at numerous international competitions for Venezuela, including the Olympics, Pan Am Games, South American Games and World Championships. Noted as one of the most versatile freestyle swimmers during his time in the NCAA Quintero can swim anything from a 50 the mile, but arguably his best event is the 200 free.
Early on in his swimming career prior to USC Quintero won silver at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics in the 200-meter free, and later in the year won gold medals at the South American Games as a relay member of the 4×100-meter free relay and the 4×200-meter free relay. At the 2011 World Championships, the first of his career, Quintero took 23rd in the 400-meter free and 28th in the 200-meter free.
2012 London Olympics
In 2012 at 20 years old Quintero was selected for Venezuela’s Olympic Team as a member of the 4×100-meter free relay, and an individual swimmer for both the 200-meter free and the 400-meter free. Quintero swam in the preliminary heats of each of his three events.
Quintero joined USC late in the season, but it didn’t stop him from making a dramatic impact at the national level. He finished 2nd in the 500-yard free, just missing the gold, .12 seconds from 1st place. Quintero also anchored the 400-yard free relay that took 4th overall, won the consolation final of the 200-yard free and took 9th in the timed final of the 1,650-yard free.
Studying Mathematics, Quintero returned for his sophomore season and had a stellar year. At the 2013 NCAA Championships Quintero finished 3rd in the 500-yard free and 4th in the 200-yard free, registering two top-four finishes and led off USC’s 400-yard free relay that set a new school record. Quintero proved his importance as he also contributed a 4th place finish in the 1,650-yard free and helped the 800-yard free relay take 3rd place in another new school record.
That summer of 2013 Quintero represented Venezuela at the World Championships, where he took 18th in the 100-meter free 20th in the 400-meter free and 24th in the 200-meter free.
As a junior Quintero won his first NCAA title in his collegiate career. Quintero led off the 800-yard free relay that helped USC win its first NCAA title in the event since 2002, and was the first Trojan swimmer to earn All-American honors in the 100, 200 and 500 free events. In summary of his dominant championship meet, Quintero won the 500-yard free, took 2nd in the 200-yard free and 3rd in the 100-yard free. Although he was within 0.22 seconds of a new school record in the 500 free, Quintero nabbed the record in the 200 free.
For his senior season at USC Quintero was nominated as co-captain, and led his team to a great showing at the NCAA Championships. Moving on from the 5 to the 200 free, Quintero this time around won the 200-yard free at the 2015 NCAA Championships in a new school record. He also took 3rd in the 100-yard free and 5th in the 500-yard free. Quintero was also the lead-off leg of both the 400 and 800-yard free relays that set new school records.