American swimmer Jack Conger is heading home, or at least closer to home, to join the new post-graduate training group at the University of Virginia. Conger is the first external post-grad to train at Virginia under 2nd year head coach Todd DeSorbo.
Conger was born and raised in Rockville, Maryland, which is about a 2-and-a-half hour drive from Charlottesville.
Virginia coaches say that they’re being very selective about who they are allowing into their post-graduate group, and will intentionally keep it limited to just a few non-Virginia post grads.
Conger won a gold medal as a prelims-only swimmer on the men’s 800 free relay at the 2016 Olympic Games. The 24-year old finished his collegiate eligibility at the University of Texas with the 2017 NCAA Championships. His college career included 17 All-America honors, 14 Big 12 titles, and 9 NCAA titles. That includes a win in the 200 fly, which was also an NCAA, American, and US Open Record (in other words, the fastest time ever). He’s continued training at Texas as a post-grad until now.
“The past five years swimming for Texas have been the best years of my life,” Conger told SwimSwam. “I will always cherish my time swimming for Eddie, Kris, and Wyatt. Now, I am ready to start the next chapter of my professional career in Charlottesville. I can’t wait to be a part of what Todd and Tyler are building at Virginia.”
While swimming high school in the DC area, Conger was primarily a backstroker and 500 freestyler, breaking National High School Records in the 100 free and 500 free. In college, though, he developed into more of a butterflier, and his focus freestyle distance became the 200.
At the 2018 US National Championships, Conger’s results were:
- 100 fly – 51.11 (2nd)
- 200 fly – 1:55.21 (tied for 3rd)
- 200 free – 1:47.45 (6th)
That earned him the right to swim the 100 fly individually (and likely as part of the American medley relay) at next year’s long course World Championships, as well as a consideration for a spot on the 800 free relay. He is also one of 18 men chosen to swim for the U.S. at this year’s Short Course World Championships.
DeSorbo will be Conger’s primary coach, though the entire Virginia staff will be involved in his training.