Reece Whitley was born on January 3, 2000. A native of Philadelphia, PA., Reece was an avid basketball and baseball player before settling in to become a full time swimmer. Reece swims for the Penn Charter Aquatic Club under coach Crystal Keelan. Both parents are doctors, his mother a Pediatrician, and his father, an ear, nose, and throat surgeon. As an up and coming swimmer who also happens to be African-American, the 6-foot-8, 235 pound young man is turning heads faster than the drops in his best times. His ascension to the top has been almost meteorical.
Its hard to call his record breaking performances “early success” as he is only 16 years old. But his times have been faster than many previous Olympians at the same age. Brendan Hansen stated that Reece’s times are 4-5 seconds faster than his were at the same age. In June, 2014, Reece broke the 13-14 National Age Group (NAG) record in the 200 breaststroke, and he was only 13. In short course yard events, Reece broke the 11-12 year old NAG Records in the 100 and 200 breaststroke and the 200 breaststroke for 13-14 year olds. As a 14 year old, Reece’s breaststroke time qualified him to swim at the US Olympic Trials.
Reece won the 200 breaststroke at the 2015 Speedo Junior National Championships Long Course with a time of 2:12.17. His 200 yard breaststroke time of 1:53.66 ranks him 8th nationally.
Reece recently won the 100 yard breaststroke and 200 IM at the prestigious Eastern Interscholastically Swimming Championships, and placed 2nd in the 50 free. Having added the 200IM to his repertoire, Reece continues to climb the charts, and will likely be one of the most sought after breaststroke recruits for the HS graduating class of 2018.