Former U.S. Junior National Team member Alex Katz is heading closer to home for his sophomore season, transferring from Michigan to the Florida Gators.
Katz was a former standout age grouper for the Sarasota YMCA Sharks, one of a number of outstanding distance/mid-distance swimmers to come out of that program. While with the Sharks, Katz made the Team USA roster for the Junior World Championships in 2013 and the Junior Pan Pacific Championships in 2012.
He was also an Olympic trials semifinalist, placing 11th in the 200 back in 2012.
Katz spent his freshman season with the Michigan Wolverines, though he didn’t come close to his lifetime-bests and didn’t score points at the Big Ten Championships.
But the Florida Gators announced Katz as a new signee for the upcoming year in a press release today.
“We are fortunate to be able to add another talented young man to the team,” Florida coach Gregg Troy said in the release. “Alex has a tremendous skill set and the ability to add to our team in a variety of areas.”
Katz’s Top Times
- 200 back – 1:43.94
- 200 free – 1:36.98
- 500 free – 4:24.99
- 1000 free – 8:57.80
Maybe his most impressive time, though, was the 1:58.83 he put up in the long course meter 200 backstroke at the 2013 Junior Nationals.
Katz fits the mold of a Florida Gator to a “T” as far as event focuses go. The Gators are generally very deep in the 200s of every stroke, and excel in training swimmers through those middle-distances. It appears Katz will start his Gator career right away this fall.