Louisiana High School Record-holder Derek Zhang (2022) Verbally Commits to Pitt

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Derek Zhang, a USA Swimming Scholastic All-American from New Orleans, Louisiana, has announced his verbal commitment to the University of Pittsburgh. He will join the Panthers in the fall of 2022.

“I am so excited to announce my verbal commitment to further my academic and athletic career at the University of Pittsburgh! I would like to thank my coaches, friends, and family that have supported me and helped me through this process. Go Panthers!! #H2P”

Zhang is a junior at Lusher Charter School. He is a three-time Louisiana High School Division 3 individual state champion, having won the 100 fly in both his junior and sophomore seasons and the 100 back as a junior. He set the LHSAA D3 record in the 100 fly at the 2019 state meet with 50.61. In November 2020 he took 1.1 seconds off his own mark, lowering it to 49.50. In 2019 his 100 back time of 51.02 was 1.6 seconds under the D3 record but he finished in second place. This season he scorched a 49.55 to win the 100 back with a new D3 record, overall LHSAA record, and pool record. He was .03 ahead of the 2nd-place finisher Christopher Richardson and .05 ahead of 3rd-place Christian Booth. He was named 2020 Metro Championship Swimmer of the Meet.

Zhang does his club swimming with Nu Wave Swim Club. After high school season wrapped up in November 2020, giving him a lifetime best in the 100 fly, Zhang went on to lower his PBs in the 50/100 free, 50/100 back, and 200 fly at 18&U Winter Championships in December. He won the 100 free, 100 back, and 100 fly and came in 3rd in the 50 free, 5th in the 200 fly, and 9th in the 200 back.

Best SCY times:

  • 50 free – 21.53
  • 100 free – 47.38
  • 50 back – 23.07
  • 100 back – 49.44
  • 200 back – 1:52.38
  • 100 fly – 49.50
  • 200 fly – 1:53.33

Pitt will lose Blaise Vera, Armin Remenyi, and Serhii Ahadzhanian to graduation by the time Zhang starts, but he will overlap with current freshmen Marcin Goraj, Cameron Dafoe, Owen McLaughlin, Ethan Neff, and Wesley Kephart and sophomores Adam Mahler, Jered Moore, and Flynn Crisci.

It took 47.93 in the 100 back and 47.23 in the 100 fly to score at 2020 ACC Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships.

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1 year ago

Lots of talent, under Coach Hargis he should a big time point scorer at the ACC meet.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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