Danny Tucker Sprint Freestyle
Danny Tucker was born December 17, 1991 in Naperville, Illinois. He competed for Naperville Central at the high school level, qualifying for the IHSA State meet in the 50 yard freestyle three times. His senior year, he placed 3rd overall in the 50 free (21.00 in finals but 20.91 in prelims) and anchored the winning 200 and 400 yard freestyle relays to carry Naperville Central to their 2nd ever state championship. He swam on Maverick Swim Club outside of high school season, posting bests of 20.50 and 45.59 in the 50 and 100 yard freestyles, respectively, before heading off to college. Both of those times were earned at the 2010 NCSA Junior Nationals.
As a freshman at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN, Tucker dropped his sprint free times to 20.17 and 44.42. He made his way to the C final in the 50 at the 2011 Big Ten Championships.
Tucker turned heads his sophomore year, earning 25 points for Purdue at the 2012 Big Ten Champs. He jumped up to the A final in the 50, placing 3rd and going the 2nd fastest time in program history (19.66). Tucker won the B final in the 100, good enough for the 3rd fastest time in program history (43.44). He was also a member of both the 200 and 400 free relays. He earned his first NCAA Championships berth on these relays, along with his 19.66 from the Big Ten Champs. Although he did not make finals in the 50 or the 400 relay, Tucker and teammates Matt Friede, Ben Wachtel, and Ben Ziolkowski made finals in the 200 relay. He led off 20.16, and anchored 19.48 after being switched around for finals. Purdue finished 16th in that relay, which was named Honorable Mention All-American. Tucker was named Team MVP for his outstanding performances throughout the season.
His junior year, he continued to improve his sprint free. He was named Big Ten Swimmer of the Week during the week of January 15. At the Big Ten Championships, he scored a team high 34 points, posting a 19.35 in the 50 (.01 off Purdue’s program record) and breaking the program record in the 100 with a 42.84. Tucker added the 100 free and the 200 yard medley relay to his event list at the 2013 NCAA Champs. He came closer to an individual finals berth, placing 20th overall in the 50 and 32nd in the 100. Purdue’s 200 medley relay was anchored in a 19.16 by Tucker, and in the 400 relay he anchored a 42.90, however neither of these relays placed. Once again, Purdue had magic in the 200 free relay, with Tucker leading off in a 19.72 and helping them tie for 13th overall with Tennessee going into the consolation finals. At finals, Tucker again led off the relay (19.95 this time), but his supporting cast of Chuck Destro, Friede and Ziolkowski followed and pushed them up to 11th overall. For the second year in a row, Tucker and Purdue’s 200 free relay earned All American Honorable Mention.
Tucker finished among the top sprinters in the Big Ten, with a 4th place finish in the 50 free (19.53) and a 7th place finish (43.22) in the 100 free at the 2014 Big Ten Championships. He was a part of all relays but the 800 free relay, highlighted by a new school record in the 400 free relay. At his last NCAA Championships, Tucker anchored the 25th place 400 medley relay, 22nd place 200 free relay, and 24th place 400 free relays. He was unable to qualify for any individual events.
National and International Swimming
As mentioned earlier, Tucker achieved his best pre-college times in the 50 and 100 free at the 2010 NCSA Junior Nationals in March 2010.
2013 U.S. Open
Probably the biggest and most impressive swims of Tucker’s exciting sprint career so far were done at the 2013 US Open. His 100 meter free at prelims of 49.26 made him the first Boiler under 50 seconds in that race. He was seeded first going into finals, ahead of big-time NCAA names like Seth Stubblefield (California) and in-conference opponent Derek Toomey (Minnesota). Sixth at the wall after the first 50, he out-split the entire field in finals on the back half and touched the wall at 49.11 to place first. Tucker just missed making the 2013-14 US National Team roster in the 100 meter free.
2014 U.S. Summer Nationals
At the 2014 US Nationals, Tucker couldn’t quite hit the times from his outstanding US Open meet in 2013. He finished with a 23.19 in the 50 for 46th place, and touched at 50.23 to tie for 40th overall.
–Originally developed by Karl Ortegon