Mick Litherland is a butterfly specialist from Alpharetta, Ga., but he was born in Japan and has U.S., Japan and New Zealand citizenship. Litherland, along with his two brothers, Mick and Jay, are freshmen on the University of Georgia Swimming and Diving team. Although his best race is the 200 butterfly, he is also talented in the backstroke and freestyle events. Born Aug. 29, 1995 to Andrew, a chef from New Zealand, and Chizuko, who is Japanese, Litherland and his triplet brothers moved to the U.S. at a young age. Litherland was recruited primarily for his immediate impact in the 200 butterfly – as a freshman he’s already the no. 10 fastest 200 butterfly swimmer in Georgia history. The brothers are the first set of triplets to every swim on scholarship at the University of Georgia, and since the brothers have triple citizenship we could see them at the 2016 Olympics all representing different countries.
University of Georgia
Litherland is in his freshman year as a Georgia Bulldog. He achieved NCAA ‘B’ cuts in the 500 freestyle, 200 butterfly along with the 200 and 400 IM. Litherland competed at his first SEC Championships taking home a second-place finish in the ‘B’ final of the 200 butterfly, 16th in the 400 IM and 30th in the 500 freestyle.
In his second year as a Bulldog, Litherland made it back to the NCAA Championships in the 200 yard butterfly where he finished 14th. At the SEC Championships he finished seventh in the 200 butterfly and 16th in the 400 yard medley.
The Litherland triplets teamed up with other Georgia freshman, Gunnar Bentz, to win the 800 freestyle relay at the 2013 Junior National Championships. Although both his brothers made the National Junior Team, Mick wasn’t far off – he just missed making team when he finished fifth at the Junior National Championships.
2016 U.S. Olympic Trials
After failing to qualify for New Zealand earlier in the year, Litherland was able to compete at the U.S. Trials. He qualified for the semi final in the 200 meter butterfly finishing 15th. Litherland also swam 400 meter freestyle where he finished 27th and was disqualified in the 100 meter butterfly.