US Junior Worlds Team Member Katz Verbally Commits to Nation’s Hottest Distance Group

Alexander Katz graduated this summer from one of the great high school distance programs at the Sarasota YMCA in Florida to one of the great college distance programs in Michigan, after verbally committing to the Wolverines of Mike Bottom (and Josh White, specifically, who leads the distance group).

Katz is really phenomenal through the middle distance events; he’s been 1:36.98, 4:24.99, and 8:57.80 in the 200, 500, and 1000 yard freestyle. He’s got just enough speed, as well, with a 45.4 in the 100 free.

Even with that really phenomenal 1000, though, he doesn’t really stretch to the mile – notable as the 1000 isn’t an NCAA event, but perhaps its Katz’s best event in yards. Recall, of course, that Connor Jaeger had hardly even attempted the mile coming to Michigan, and now he’s one of the best in the world in the 1650 yard/1500 meter frees.

Katz isn’t just a distance freestyler: he’s also been 1:45.1 in the 200 yard backstroke, which was easily Michigan’s weakest event in their national championship season, as well as 1:51.33/3:55.77 in the 200 and 400 yard IM’s.

It will be really interesting, though, to see what exactly Michigan decides to do with that 1000 free. While there’s some uncertainty there, what we do know is that everything that touches the Michigan distance group lately makes huge improvements, so Katz’s future is bright. What’s interesting about the NCAA schedule is that if he decides to swim the 200 free, the 500 free, and the 200 back, the schedule works out about perfectly.

In long course, Katz qualified for the National Team in the 200 free, the 400 free, and the 200 backstroke. He was 4th in the 200 back at the Junior World Championships. He also earned a bronze medal as the anchor of the United States’ 800 free relay at that meet.

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8 years ago

Congrats to Katz! Great grab by Michigan….now get Schooling or Dressel.
With the committments to Michigan from Smiddy and Kopas on the women’s side, it seems that the top talent from Florida has steered away from the Top in state program. The staff that Coach Bottom has assembled at Michigan is Top Notch, including former Bolles coach Rick Bishop. Gonna be exciting to see what develops on the women’s side and continues with the men’s success!!

8 years ago

If his long course times reflected his future success in college swimming, he’d be top 10 in his 500 and 200 back

8 years ago

His long course times are interesting: 1:58 2 back, 4:22 4 IM, 3:53 4 free, 2:01 2 fly, 1:50 2 free.. there’s a lot of potential

8 years ago

His long course times are more revealing: 1:58 2 back, 4:22 4IM, 2:01 2 fly, 1:50 2 free

8 years ago

No doubt he will be successful at Michigan, regardless of the events he swims. Good for him! Alex Katz for president.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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