NZ National Age Group Record-holder Thomas Watkins Commits to Buckeyes

Thomas Watkins from Wellington, New Zealand has committed to The Ohio State University’s class of 2023 where he will join Chachi Gustafson, Jay Johnson, and Jonah Cooper in the fall of 2019.

“I chose Ohio State because of it’s [sic] phenomenal athletic program, as well as a solid academic program to back it up. What really stood out to me was the great coaching staff, ideal environment, and atmosphere around the entire athletic program at Ohio State. I see a lot of potential there, and can’t wait to get underway in August 2019.”

Watkins specializes in backstroke and IM. He broke the New Zealand 18 years National Age Group Records in the SCM 400 IM and 200 back in October at the NZ Short Course Championships, going PBs of 4:16.12 and 1:55.05 respectively. He also went best times in the 50 back and 100 back. He earned gold in the 50/100/200 back and 400 IM for 17-18 years. Last summer, Watkins represented New Zealand at 2018 Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships and placed 7th in the 400 IM, 8th in the 200 back, and 12th in the 100 back.

Watkins’ converted SCM times (which date from October and are significantly faster than his LCM bests) would make him an immediate contributor for the Buckeyes. His 200 back time would have made A finals at 2018 B1Gs while his 400 IM would have scored in the B final. He’s just outside of scoring range in the 100 back.

Top times:

  SCM (converted to SCY) LCM (converted to SCY)
100 back 53.94 (48.59) 57.27 (50.51)
200 back 1:55.05 (1:43.64) 2:02.95 (1:48.60)
200 IM 2:09.76 (1:54.01)
400 IM 4:16.12 (3:50.73) 4:29.64 (3:57.15)

If you have a commitment to report, please send an email with a photo (landscape, or horizontal, looks best) and a quote to [email protected].


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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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