Ultra Swim Swimmer of the Month: Gianluca Urlando

Ultra Swim Swimmer of the Month is a recurring SwimSwam feature shedding light on a U.S.-based swimmer who has proven themselves over the past month. As with any item of recognition, Swimmer of the Month is a subjective exercise meant to highlight one athlete whose work holds noteworthy context – perhaps a swimmer who was visibly outperforming other swimmers over the month, or one whose accomplishments slipped through the cracks among other high-profile swims. If your favorite athlete wasn’t selected, feel free to respectfully recognize them in our comment section.

Coming off a summer of long course time explosions, 16-year-old Gianluca Urlando transferred that speed and more to the short course yards pool in December.

At the Winter Junior Championships – West, the DART Swimming youngster won four events and broke 3 National Age Group records. He put up a whopping 15 swims over the four-day meet, coming up with new personal-bests in all 7 individual events.

His National Age Group records came in the 100- and 200-yard butterflys plus the 100-yard backstroke. He erased some legendary names from the record books in the process: Olympic icon Michael Phelps in the 200 fly and U.S. national champ Michael Andrew in the 100 fly, plus age group standout Destin Lasco in the 100 back.

Urlando also moved into the top 5 in age group history in three more swims: he’s #2 all-time among 15-16s in the 200 IM (behind Andrew), #4 all-time in the 200 free and #5 all-time in the 200 back. Urlando’s time drops were substantial: he cut more than a second in all six events, minus the 50 free, where he cut a half-second and nearly cracked 20 seconds.

And the times themselves? Eye-popping. You can see them in the chart below. We ranked Urlando #4 nationwide among high school class of 2020 recruits. And while the top three (Junior Pan Pacs champs Carson Foster and Lasco and medalist Jake Magahey) have had good summers and fall seasons’ of their own, it’s becoming clear that Urlando has a strong claim to being the most valuable swimmer in the class.

Event Pre-December December Drop
Rank in 15-16 History
100 fly 46.7 45.62 1.08 1st
200 fly 1:42.49 1:40.91 1.58 1st
100 back 46.83 45.66 1.17 1st
200 back 1:43.37 1:42.11 1.26 5th
200 IM 1:46.69 1:42.99 3.7 2nd
50 free 20.43 20.01 0.42 18th
200 free 1:37.50 1:34.38 3.12 4th

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About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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