Swimmers Star on National Stage
Incoming Freshman Jonathan Rutter Sets YMCA Nationals Record
NEW HAVEN, Conn.- In the final weeks before they return to campus for the fall semester, several Yale swimmers have excelled at elite swim meets across the nation.
Incoming freshman Jonathan Rutter broke his own meet record in the 200-meter breaststroke at YMCA Long Course Nationals in Indianapolis on July 29, winning the event handily. His time of 2:15.96 was a two-second improvement from his 2013 record, and nearly 3.5 seconds faster than this year's second place finisher. Rutter took third place in the 100-meter breaststroke, finishing in 1:03.59. He swam for the Powel Crosley, Jr. YMCA Tiger Sharks of Cincinatti.
Derek Kao, another incoming freshman, competed at USA Swimming's Speedo Junior National Championships in Irvine, Calif. Kao, a California native, finished 17th in the 200-meter breaststroke and 25th in the 100-meter breaststroke. He swam for Brea Aquatics, his club team.
August 6 marked the start of the Phillips 66 National Championships, USA Swimming's premier annual meet. Kao, Rutter and junior Brian Hogan will compete alongside Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and many other Olympic medalists and world record holders in Irvine this week.
Hogan began competition on Wednesday with the 1500-meter freestyle, finishing 39th with a time of 15:50.51. He is scheduled to swim the 200, 400 and 800-yard freestyle races.
Kao and Rutter raced each other in the 200-meter breaststroke on Thursday. Rutter finished 28th with a time of 2:15.92, even faster than his YMCA Nationals record. Kao took 62nd place, finishing in 2:19.87. The two will face off again in the 50 and 100-meter breaststroke, and Rutter will swim the 200-meter IM as well.
Tim Wise, the Robert J. H. Kiphuth Director of Men's Swimming and Diving, has encouraged these swimmers to challenge themselves with these summer meets.
"Having our guys participating at the highest level meets for which they qualify is what we aspire to do as a program. We are excited to help our athletes reach these levels," Wise said.
Live results and other information about the National Championships can be found at usaswimming.org.
-Report by Josh Mandell '16