Trials Semifinalist Alex Katz, Big Ten Medalist Ian Rainey Transfer to NYU

Alex Katz, a 2012 Olympic Trials semifinalist, and Big Ten medalist Ian Rainey, who both started their NCAA careers at Michigan, have resurfaced in the NCAA at New York University. Both swimmers are listed as juniors on the Violets’ roster for 2016-17.

Katz started his NCAA swimming career at the University of Michigan, where he competed for the Wolverines during the 2014-15 season. He swam the 500 free, 200 free, and 200 back at the 2015 Big Ten Championships, with his highest finish being 31st place in the 500 free. Following that season, Katz transferred to the University of Florida for the 2015-16 season with the intention of swimming. He did not, however, compete in any collegiate meets with the Gators.

While swimming for the Sarasota YMCA Sharks, Katz was a semifinalist at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, where he finished 11th in the 200 back. He then represented Team USA at the 2012 Junior Pan Pacific Championships and 2013 Junior World Championships.

Statement from Alex Katz:

“I always wanted to go to NYU but lost sight of my priorities towards the end of high school. I’m obsessed with movies and books and felt like I’d be in tune with New York’s culture, yet I only looked D1 when I made my college decisions. That was a mistake, and I consequently felt aimless and weird my first two years away from home. Needing to make a change and fast, I contacted my original dream school, and now I’m here. It’s been great, like catching a second wind. The team and coaches are awesome, have been so welcoming. Making friends has been easier than ever for me. Everyone swims because they like the sport and camaraderie, not because they feel like it’s their purpose for being. They all have other passions on dry land too. And, of course, Ian Rainey is one of my best friends.”

Katz’s Top Times

  • 100 back- 49.47
  • 200 back- 1:43.94
  • 200 free- 1:36.98
  • 500 free- 4:24.99
  • 1000 free- 8:57.80
  • 200 fly- 1:50.83
  • 400 IM- 3:55.77

Rainey, on the other hand, completed his freshman and sophomore seasons at Michigan before transferring to NYU. He was a medalist at the 2016 Big Ten Championships as a sophomore, placing 3rd in the 400 IM. That swim earned him a spot at the 2016 NCAA Championships for the Wolverines. Rainey also placed 6th in the 1650 free and 9th in the 500 free at Big Tens last season. In his freshman season, he placed 7th in the 1650 free at the conference meet.

In the long course pool, Rainey was the 24th place finisher at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, where he also competed in the 1500 free and 200 fly. Prior to his collegiate swimming career, he was also a member of the 2014-15 USA Junior National Team.

Statement from Ian Rainey:

“After taking some time off after Olympic trials, I had time to really reevaluate my goals and my future. I was fortunate enough to be apart of the Men’s swimming and Diving team at Michigan and have no regrets about it. The coaching staff and team is an amazing group of Individuals and i learned a lot during my time there. However,  I was sort of stuck in terms of my options for a major at Michigan, and decided it was time for a change.”

“I had never really heard much about NYU until my brother decided to come here last year. With a semester off at home, I had time to pick out a major I was truly interested in,  Real Estate, while also being able to continue swimming. The combination of athletics and academics at NYU aligned perfectly with where I saw myself. In addition, the coaching staff here, in my opinion, is as good as any program in the country. It has been an awesome experience so far, and I’m glad that Alex Katz decided to come here as well.”

Rainey’s Top Times:

  • 400 IM- 3:45.61
  • 500 free- 4:21.85
  • 1000 free- 9:05.31
  • 1650 free- 15:09.59
  • 200 fly- 1:47.81
  • 200 back- 1:48.29

Both Rainey and Katz just swam for NYU in their tri-meet with MIT and Johns Hopkins, as well as their dual meet with Springfield College. Katz won the 200 back at the tri meet in 1:53.04, and won the 100 back (53.09) and 100 free (47.97) at the dual meet. Rainey touched 1st in the 200 back (1:56.58) and 200 free (1:46.30) against Springfield College. Both swimmers should be valuable assets for NYU as they head towards the postseason.


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Those times are laughable for dual meets time, especially for those two guys. Guess they wanted a lesser focus on swimming and a greater focus on education. Respectable.


If they just joined the team for the spring semester, they have only been training for a short period of time. Would assume they aren’t in great shape.


Actually Alex hasn’t swam since 10/15 after his surgery
Likely out of shape


If they just started swimming for NYU in the spring, they have only been training for a few weeks. Can’t imagine they are in top form yet.

Know It All

So cool, best friends being able to make the transition together. This is the environment US swimming fosters.



About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona and the University of Florida. While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She is now coaching for Loggerhead Aquatics in her hometown …

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