Justin Ress in emerging as one of the best backstrokers in the United States. He swam for the Marlins of Raleigh before heading to North Carolina State University to follow in his mothers footsteps. She also swam for the Wolfpack from 1984-1988. In his sophomore season, Ress became an NCAA Champion in the 800 meter freestyle relay.
North Carolina State University
In his freshman campaign, Ress earned All-American honors in the 800 yard freestyle relay after helping the Wolfpack take the silver medal at the NCAA Championships. He was also named the ACC Freshman of the Year.
With one year of experience under his belt, Ress became a national champion in the 800 yard freestyle relay at the NCAA Championships. The team broke the national and U.S. Open record. He also helped NC State to a forth place finish in the 200 yard freestyle relay, seventh in the 400 yard freestyle relay and 12th in the 400 medley relay.
Ress qualified for the 100 and 200 meter backstroke at the 2016 Olympic Trials, where he finished 11th in the 200 and 12th in the 100.
At the 2017 US Nationals/World Championship Trials, Ress earned his first major international call up. A gold medal in the 50 meter backstroke secured his spot on the World Championship roster. He finished in 24.41 to set a new championship record and beat the past two Olympic Champions in the 100 meter backstroke, Matt Grevers and Ryan Murphy, in the process. That time is also the fastest of 2017 so far. He added a bronze medal in the 100 meter backstroke behind Grevers and Murphy in a new best time of 53.38.
2017 World Championships
In Budapest, Ress made the final of the 50 meter backstroke, finishing 6th in 24.77.
2017 World University Games
Because he only swam the 50 Backstroke at the World Championships, Ress also qualified to compete at the World University Games, where he swam more of a full schedule. On Day 1, he teamed up with Maxime Rooney, Ryan Held, and Justin Lynch to take gold in the 4x100m Free Relay, where he split 48.07, the fastest of Team USA. On Day 2, Ress blew the field away in the finals of the 100m back, taking gold by almost a second with a time of 53.29. On Day 4, he was able to strike silver in the 50m backstroke, getting touched out by Ireland’s Shane Ryan, 24.72 to 24.73.