Last weekend, SwimSwam caught up with Junior Pan Pacs distance freestyle champion Ross Dant at the RAYS Invite in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Dant, who used the meet as a tune-up following an injury earlier this season, told us about his plans to train through the 2018 US Winter Nationals, which will be held in Greensboro, North Carolina, November 28th-December 1st.
Despite the early-season setback, Dant swam well last weekend, winning all but one of his events. Of note, Dant posted solids times of 4:38.01 in the 500, 1:42.94 in the 200 free, 4:03.40 in the 400 IM, and 1:51.24 in the 200 back, where he showcased particularly strong underwaters. Dant held consistent splits throughout the 500, opening up with a 53.3, then going between 56.1 and 56.5 on the middle three one hundreds, to close in a 55.70.
Dant told us that he would not be resting for Nationals, opting to train through the meet and focus on YMCA Nationals in spring of 2019. Dant, who is the YMCA National Record holder in the 1650 with a time of 14:50.97, announced his intention to swim at national powerhouse NC State in early 2018.
With his sights set on Y Nats in April, which will also take place at the Greensboro Aquatic Center, Dant hopes to lower the YMCA National Records in the 500 and 1000 freestyles. In the 500, Dant’s best time stands at 4:18.89, whereas the YMCA National Record sits at 4:18.01, set by Nicholas Caldwell in 2011. Dant’s best time in the 1000 is 8:57.54, whereas the YMCA record is 8:55.55, also set by Caldwell in 2011.
At the 2018 Junior Pan Pacifics Championships in Fiji, Dant claimed gold for Team USA in the 400 meter freestyle (3:52.44) and 800 meter freestyle (8:00.51), as well as bronze in the 1500 meter freestyle (15:30.78), touching just behind silver medalist and teammate Arik Katz, who came 2nd to Dant at in the 500, 1000, and 1650 at the 2018 Short Course YMCA Nationals in April.