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Liam Kerns from the Billings Aquatic Club in Montana has verbally committed to the University of South Carolina. A rising high school senior, Koops is scheduled to join the Gamecocks’ roster in the fall of 2021.
Kerns is a very late bloomer in the sport of swimming. As an 8th-grader, at 13, his best time in the 100 yard breaststroke was just 1:18.72 – only a “B” cut on USA Swimming’s Motivational Times scale. A year later, he had cut that down to a 1:07.89 as a freshman, and a year after that he was under a minute as a sophomore for the first time.
Since then, his times have exploded, as he now sits as one of the fastest breaststrokers in Montana history. Kerns is the Montana LSC open-age record holder in both the 100-meter breaststroke (1:03.96) and 200-meter breaststroke (2:20.11), with both times being swum in time trials at Winter Juniors – West in December.
Best Times, and Progression, in Yards:
While he’s still almost 2 seconds away from the 54.35 that it took to make a scoring final in the 100 breaststroke at last year’s SEC Championship meet, the upside for Kerns is enticing for the Gamecocks. The team graduated its top 2 sprint breaststrokers at the end of last season, including SEC Champion in the 100 Itay Goldfaden, leaving them thin in the breaststroke races. They are bringing in a couple of breaststrokers in the class of 2020, including Daniel West (55.5/2:07.4) and Johnny Nutt (55.4/2:01.4), to beef up that group ahead of the 2020-2021 season. They’ll line up alongside rising sophomores Drew Grespin (54.8/1:59.1) and Jordan Yip (55.6/1:57.5) as part of the Gamecocks’ breaststroke group in the 2020-2021 season.
Kerns attends Billings Senior High School, but did not swim for his school as a junior. As a sophomore, he was the state’s Class AA runner-up in the 100 breastststroke, swimming 1:01.00.
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