Olympic Trials Qualifier Jeffrey Newkirk, who is primarily a 500-yards-and-shorter freestyler, has verbally committed to the Texas Longhorns.
“I chose Texas because of the outstanding academics and because I really connected with the team as well as Coach Eddie and Coach Kris,” Newkirk said.
Newkirk trains with Quest Swimming in Virginia – a program that has produced several Division I swimmers in the past few seasons, though primarily with east coast schools.
Newkirk’s best times in yards:
- 50 free – 20.94
- 100 free – 45.61
- 200 free – 1:37.79
- 500 free – 4:30.15
- 200 IM – 1:52.01
It’s in that 200 free where Newkirk has qualified for the 2016 Olympic Trials with a long course best of 1:51.86.
If Newkirk has international inspirations in that long course 200 free, then Texas is a good place to be. The Longhorns have put a swimmer on the American 800 free relay at every Olympic Games since 1984 (though they weren’t all necessarily training at Texas at the time of their qualification).
The Texas men will graduate the two best members of their 800 free relay, Kip Darmody and Clay Younquist, at the end of this season. It will always be a battle onto this relay as a freshman in the deep Texas middle-distance group, but Newkirk will have a shot at doing so. He improved four-and-a-half seconds on his lifetime best in the 200 free as a junior alone.