USA Swimming Junior National Team Member Reece Whitley has been selected as Sports Illustrated’s Sportskid Of The Year 2015 after winning two silver medals at the 2015 FINA Jr World Championships. Whitley was one of five young athletes nominated for Sports Illustrated Kids’ ‘SportsKid of the Year 2015’.
The 15 year old towers above his competition at 6’8” and is climbing the national ranking in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke. He is currently the second fastest 15-16 year old 100m breaststroker in history at 1:01.00 and the fastest 200m breaststroker in history at 2:11.30. Whitley will be competing for a spot on the US Olympic swim team this summer in both events.
Little league baseball pitcher Mo’ne Davis was Sports Illustrated’s Sportskid Of The Year in 2014. The 13 year old pitcher made international headlines with her 70mph fast ball. Davis made history last summer as the first girl to pitch a shut out in the 75 year history of the Little League World Series. The other athletes nominated for the 2015 Sportskid Of The Year award included a rock climber, speedskater, track & field athlete and taekwondo specialist. Sports Illustrated accepted votes for the Sportskid Of The Year until October 13th.
Over the summer at the US National Championships, Whitley powered his way to a B-Final win of the men’s 200m breaststroke in a time of 2:11.30 , a new boys’ 15-16 National Age Group Record for the Penn Charter Aquatic Club phenom. His performance at that meet earned himself a spot on Team USA’s Jr World Championship team, where he won two silver medals. His time of 1:01.00 captured the runner-up prize in the men’s individual 100m breaststroke, while his 1:00.82 split earned him another silver as part of the men’s 400m medley relay.
Whitley also holds the 13-14 National Age Group Records in the 100m and 200m breaststrokes.
This morning, Whitley also received a shout-out via social media from the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, and he made an appearance on Good Morning America.
Congrats @_reecewhitley on becoming @SIKids #SportsKid of the Year. We are so proud of you! https://t.co/6QMvobCzP7 pic.twitter.com/Cffoih2PhJ
— The First Lady (@FLOTUS) November 30, 2015