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.
It’s been an outstanding month of May for high school junior Luca Urlando, in both short course and long course.
Urlando started the month with California’s high school postseason. Though he didn’t compete at the CIF State meet, he did dominate the Sac-Joaquin Section with two new sprint free lifetime-bests and a national public high school record in the 100 fly. Here’s a look at his swims at the Sac-Joaquin meet, between prelims and finals. Lifetime-best swims are in bold:
- 50y free – 19.88 (prelims relay leadoff)
- 50y free – 19.89 (finals relay leadoff)
- 100y free – 43.23 (finals relay leadoff)
- 100y free – 43.59 (prelims relay leadoff)
- 100y fly – 45.88 (National Public High School Record)
- 100y fly – 46.03
- 200y IM – 1:43.87
- 200y IM – 1:43.94
Heading into that meet, Urlando’s lifetime-bests in the sprint frees were 20.01 and 44.47. At the time, we discussed whether those new times made him the new #1 recruit in his class, and most SwimSwam readers supported that idea, at least based on our poll at the time.
Then, at the end of the month, Urlando headed to Canada to swim in the Mel Zajac Jr. International meet. In that long course meters competition, Urlando hit a slew of new personal-bests. Here’s a look at all his available swims from the Zajac meet, with lifetime-bests in bold. (Some swims are still not appearing on live results or Meet Mobile, so this list may be incomplete):
- 200m free – 1:47.56
- 200m free – 1:47.81
- 50m fly – 24.21
- 50m fly – 24.15
- 100m fly – 52.12
- 100m fly – 52.04
- 200m IM – 2:00.94
- 200m fly – 1:58.37
- 200m fly – 1:54.35
- 100m free – 50.59
That 200 fly is the biggest swim, ranking 3rd in the world this season, and #2 all-time among American 17-18-year-olds, behind only Michael Phelps. Urlando is now looking like at true 2020 Olympic Team contender in the 200 fly, with potential to fight for a 4×200 free relay spot. The 17-year-old is also dropping time in a hurry, and if that trajectory keeps up, he could be a medal contender by next summer.
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