Reece 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.
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.