Romanian Olympian and USC All-American Robert Glinta is away from his college program and contemplating turning pro and leaving the NCAA.
USC coach Dave Salo told SwimSwam that Glinta is “contemplating a pro career versus a collegiate career” and that Glinta is currently in his home nation of Romania. It appears no final decision has yet been made, but it could be very impactful to USC’s 2018-2019 season.
Glinta was an All-American in his freshman NCAA season, placing 5th nationally in the 100 back. He also took 19th in the 200 back at NCAAs and led off USC’s NCAA title-winning 200 medley relay in 21.15. Additionally, Glinta was on the 400 free relay (splitting 41.86 in finals) and swam prelims of the 400 medley relay.
Ironically, Glinta wasn’t as essential to USC’s roster last year as he would be if he returns this coming year. Glinta shared backstroke duties with Ralf Tribuntsov last season, but with Tribuntsov graduating, Glinta would be USC’s top sprint backstroker by a wide margin. Glinta was as fast as 44.99 in the 100 back and 1:40.50 in the 200 back this season and projects to swim both medley relays and the 400 free relay as a sophomore.
He’s also a Romanian national record-holder in the 50- and 100-meter backstrokes, with top times of 24.78 and 53.32 in long course. He was a World Junior champ in 2015 and a European Championships bronze medalist in short course last year.