Distance Freestyler Derek Long Commits to Wyoming

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Distance freestyler and Winter Juniors qualifier Derek Long has committed to the University of Wyoming.

I am honored to announce my verbal commitment to the University of Wyoming! I would like to thank my coaches, teammates, and parents for helping me get to where I am. I’m so excited for my future at Wyoming! Go pokes! 🟡🟤”

Long is a senior at Park Hill South High School in Missouri. At the Missouri High School Boys’ State Championships, Long finished 3rd in the 500 free and 6th in the 200 free. While he finished 2nd in the 500 as a junior, he improved in the 200 free from 2021, where he finished 9th.

Long also competes for the Tsunami Swim Team of Kansas City. At the 2022 West Speedo Winter Juniors meet, he finished in the top 30 in the 1650 free. At the 2022 Speedo Summer Sectionals in Columbia, he finished 3rd in the 1500, 6th in the 400 free, and 11th in the 400 IM. He also made the finals in the 400 free at the 2022 NCSA Summer Swimming Championships, where he finished 11th.

And at the Region VIII Spring Sectionals, Long won the 1650 with a time of 16:01.87

Long has 2022 Winter Juniors cuts in the LCM 400 free and 800 free. He has 2023 USA Swimming Futures cuts in the SCY 500 free, 1000 free, 1650 free, and LCM 1500.

Best short-course yards times:

  • 500 free: 4:32.23
  • 1000 free: 9:28.80
  • 1650 free: 15:37.03

The Wyoming men’s team is a member of the Western Athletic conference. At the 2022 WAC Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships, Wyoming finished 3rd out of 6 teams. At that meet and with his best times, Long would’ve finished 5th in the 1650 and made the consolation final of the 500 free.

Long has the potential to compete with the top Wyoming distance swimmers upon his arrival. For example, at the dual meet against Air Force in November, freshman Charlie Clark led the field with a 9:53.63 1000 free. Long’s best time is 9:28, so if he can come within even 20 seconds of his best time, he could be a top contender at dual-meet distance events.

Clark also has the top 1650 time of the 22-23 season for Wyoming, with a 15:26.35 from late November. While that’s faster than Long’s best time, Long would still have the 2nd-fastest time on the team for this season with his best time. 

Head coach Dave Denniston noted Long’s potential for swimming shorter events, in a press release after Long’s signing.

“Derek is really going to add to our distance group, but I also believe we can find some speed for the shorter events, as well,” he said. “We have had some great swimmers in our program come out of Missouri, and we believe Derek will be another successful addition.”

Long joins diver Bruno Grau, breaststroker Kane Kriz, breaststroker and IMer Andrew Ravegum, and distance freestyler and butterflier Adam Panell in the class of 2027.

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