Why Reece Whitley Has Serious Swim Star Potential: Gold Medal Minute Presented by SwimOutlet.com

Gold Medal Minute presented by SwimOutlet.comReece Whitley is the future of breaststroke for USA Swimming. That’s already agreed upon by 90% of our readers. Sure, he’s got Michael Andrew there, one year ahead, one National Age Group Record ahead of him (in the 100 meter breaststroke), but Whitley’s all about this one stroke…for now.

The towering Penn Charter Aquatic Club phenom – 6 feet, 8 inches tall – owned the media room at his first Arena Pro Swim Series in Charlotte.  For an athlete so young, he handled himself well among the stars, and it’s clear the stars liked him.

Arkady Vyatchanin, Reece Whitley, Nathan Adrian, 2015 Arena Pro Swim Series Charlotte (Photo Courtesy of Rafael Domeyko)

Arkady Vyatchanin, Reece Whitley, Nathan Adrian (Photo Courtesy of Rafael Domeyko)

Whitley’s doing the work in the water. Dropping from 1:03 to 1:01.8 in the 100 meter breaststroke is astounding, and he essentially said he’s gunning for a 1:00 in August. His 2:12.9 National Age Group Record in the 200 meter breaststroke bodes well for the future. Anyone who can train in a 6-lane, 25 yard pool with age groupers, then face-off with pros in a 50 meter pool and final in his first truly elite meet, merits serious attention….from NBC.

Whitley should final at the US Olympic Trials in Omaha.  He’s on track.  SwimSwam already took the poll, asking readers if they thought he could make the 2016 Olympic Team.  21% said yes.  The percentage is low, but 1 in 5 swim fans feel he has a real shot. I think it’s legimate considering Whitley’s rate of improvement.  Finaling at US Trials would be enough, a huge success. Moreover, participating at US Trials is enough given the valuable experience he’ll gain. Whitley, provided he remains healthy and passionate for the sport, is a cornerstone player on the 2020 and 2024 Olympic squad, but…just for fun…

What do you think it will take to make the 2016 US Olympic Team in 100m and 200m breaststroke, and what do you think Whitley will clock in those events?  


This is a Gold Medal Media production presented by SwimOutlet.com. Host Gold Medal Mel Stewart is a 3-time Olympic medalist and the co-founder of SwimSwam.com, a Swimming News website.

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5 years ago

I think it’ll take 59 low or 58 high for top 2 in the 100.. For the 200 I think around 2:07-2:09 and I think Reece as a great chance at doing that, since he is at 2:12 now.

Reply to  Gold Medal Mel Stewart
5 years ago

I can see Prenot, and Whitley making the 200 and I think Andrew and Cordes could in the 100,,,

Reply to  hswimmer
5 years ago

cordes has a 2:07… but he can be unpredictable. If hes having a good meet, the 200 is all his

Lane Four
Reply to  hswimmer
5 years ago

HSSWIMMER – I gave you a thumbs UP but it registered as a down number. It won’t change back. You actually have eight positives instead of seven. Just wanted you to know that.

Lane Four
Reply to  Gold Medal Mel Stewart
5 years ago

Anyone remember a certain kid who dropped his time by chunks to make the 2000 Olympic team and then continued dropping all the way into the Olympic final? And the USA had THREE of those youngsters….Phelps, Piersol and Crocker. I do believe that Reece has enough time to surprise us all by Trials. Never ever underestimate a young kid whose arc is shooting straight up. I truly believe Reece can make the team. Doing it is another ball of wax but I believe in him. Anything he does will not surprise me – except winning the gold in Rio. GO REECE!

5 years ago

I bet Reece turns into a speed machine as he gets stronger, but at 15 he is better suited to the 200.

He should work on his dolphin kicks, too. It’s only a matter of time until FINA allows unlimited dolphin kicks in breaststroke.

5 years ago

I believe Reece will make it the 200 br. I 100% believe in him and that he has what it takes.

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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