Ultra Swimmer of the Month: Matt King

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 was a breakout long course performance last week for Matt King, as the 20-year-old surprised many by winning a pair of national titles in the men’s 50 and 100 freestyle.

Coming into the month of July, King’s lifetime best in both events had been on the books for more than a year—simply due to the fact that he hadn’t raced in the long course pool since the 2021 Olympic Trials.

At those Trials, King clocked PBs of 22.55 and 49.98 in the two events, and now, he’s been faster four times in both races.

The rising UVA junior started things off at the Virginia Senior Championships in mid-July, putting up a pair of lifetime bests in the 50 and 100 free of 22.36 and 48.87, respectively, to put him in a good spot leading into the end-of-month taper meet at U.S. Nationals.

The drops he managed to produce last week In Irvine showed that not only is he a premier collegiate sprinter in the yards pool, but that he’ll also be vying for senior international teams moving forward in long course.

King first clocked 48.33 in the 100 free prelims, a massive personal best and University of Virginia Record that would’ve put him in the mix for a relay spot at the World Championships had he raced the International Team Trials in April.

King then matched Olympic gold medalist Zach Apple with a 48.44 in the final, winning the national title, and then followed up by swimming the first two sub-22 50 frees of his career, culminating with a second national crown (and UVA Record) in 21.83.

King added a lifetime best 23.83 in the 50 fly in Irvine, swimming a time trial.

King’s July Performances

In chronological order, personal bests at the time of the swim

  • 100 freestyle – 49.17 (personal best) – VA State prelims
  • 100 freestyle – 48.87 (personal best) – VA State final
  • 50 freestyle – 22.57 (personal best) – VA State prelims
  • 50 freestyle – 22.36 (personal best) – VA State final
  • 100 freestyle – 48.33 (personal best) – Nationals prelims
  • 100 freestyle – 48.44 (national title) – Nationals final
  • 50 butterfly – 23.83 (personal best) – Nationals TT
  • 50 freestyle – 21.95 (personal best) – Nationals prelims
  • 50 freestyle – 21.83 (national title, personal best) – Nationals final

Training under Cavalier head coach Todd DeSorbo (after transferring from Alabama last year), King revealed he’s only been training once per day this summer, and clearly it’s working for him.

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CHAD
8 days ago

Does this mean Matt gets free shampoo orrrrr??

HOO love
9 days ago

HOOS✌🏼✌🏼

Neffry
9 days ago

So happy to see Matt crush it! Never got the love he deserved while in Washington so don’t be surprised if you see him only get better.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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