Born Aug. 25, 1995 to parents, Andrew and Chizuko Nakamura Litherland, Kevin Litherland is a member of the University of Georgia’s swimming and diving team along with his triplet brothers Mick and Jay. Litherland is a freestyle and IM specialist currently in his junior year as a Bulldog. He’s a U.S. National Junior Team member even though he has triple citizenship with New Zealand and Japan. Litherland graduated from Chattahoochee High School in Alpharetta, Ga., but he also competed for Dynamo Swim Club. Litherland and his siblings moved to the U.S. from Japan when they were just four years old, and continued to move around the country for a few years before settling in Georgia and attending high school there. Litherland is the Georgia state record holder in the 800m freestyle, and won state titles in both the 200 and 500 freestyle events.
University of Georgia
As a freshman at the University of Georgia Litherland competed at the SEC Championships. He finished fifth in the 500 freestyle, 19th in the 200 freestyle and sixth in the mile. He earned SEC Freshman of the Week after meets against North Carolina and North Carolina State.
In his sophomore year, Litherland returned to the NCAA Championships in the 500 yard freestyle. He improved one place from the year before to finish 12th. At the SEC Championships he finished seventh in the 500 yard freestyle, 13th in the 1,650 yard freestyle and 15th in the 200 yard freestyle.
Litherland won the 2013 U.S. National Junior Championships, and then he earned a spot on the U.S. National Junior Team. Although recently obtaining his U.S. citizenship he represented the U.S. at the 2013 U.S. Open and National Championships.
He qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials finishing 71st in the 1500m freestyle and 81st in the 400m freestyle.
In 2016, Litherland hoped to qualify for the Rio Olympics under the New Zealand flag at the Canadian Trials along with his brother Mick (Jay had already represented the U.S in international competition). The two brothers failed to qualify for the Kiwi team so moved on to the U.S. Trials.
U.S. Olympic Trials
Literland just missed out on the 400 meter freestyle final on the first morning in Omaha by 0.17. He finished ninth in 3:50.69. Later that day he was there to cheer on his brother Jay to qualify for his first Olympic Games in the 400 meter medley final.
In the 200 meter freestyle, Litherland went in seeded 31st but managed to move up 10 places to tie for 21st in 1:49.33. In his final event, he finished 71st in 15:55.19.