Wilimovsky Seeks Second Event at Rio Olympics

15-Wilimovsky, Jordan


Jordan Wilimovsky, who has already qualified for the Rio Summer Olympics in the men’s 10,000-meter freestyle, continued his quest to qualify for the 1500-meter swim by winning that event in Mesa, Arizona, last month.

Competing in the Arena Pro Swim, an elite meet that featured Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky, Wilimovsky not only won the event, but also swam 14:53.12—his lifetime best and the world’s fifth fastest time this year.

The current top 1500 swimmer in the U.S. is Jaeger Conner, who has a time of 14:41.20. The United States can enter only two swimmers in this event. The world record (14:31.02), which is 30 lengths of a 50-meter pool, was set in the 2012 London Olympics by Chinese swimmer Sun Yang.

The U.S. Olympic Trials will be held June 26 through July 3 in Omaha, Nebraska.

Wilimovsky, 21, who lives with his family in Sunset Mesa, qualified for the Olympics last July by winning the men’s 10K open water race at the FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia. He swam 1:49:48.2, closely followed by the Netherlands’ Ferry Weertman. Sean Ryan, 22, also made the U.S. team by placing fourth in1:50:03.3. Wilimovsky is only the second American to ever win the 10K world title.

The 5-foot-9, 145-pound swimmer took his senior year off from Northwestern University to train for the 2016 Olympics. “At school, you have to focus on classes and the collegiate season, which is in a short-course pool,” he told the News earlier. “At home I can just train in a long-course pool, which is how they race internationally, and focus more on swimming.”

In March, he was also named as a semi-finalist for the AAU Sullivan Award, which since 1930 which has honored the outstanding amateur athlete in the United States.

Wilimovsky, the sole swimmer, was joined by Derrick Henry (Alabama football), Deshaun Watson (Clemson football), Christian McCaffrey (Stanford football), Keenan Reynolds (Navy football), Ben Simmons (LSU basketball), Nirra Fields (UCLA basketball), Kelsey Minato (Army basketball), Breanna Stewart (University of Connecticut basketball), Mikaela Foecke (Nebraska volleyball), Ashleigh Johnson (USA Water Polo), Jordan Burroughs (USA Wrestling), Adeline Gray (USA Wrestling), Jamie Greubel Poser (USA Bobsled), Andrew Benintendi (Arkansas baseball), Brittany Bowe (USA Speed Skating) and Simone Biles (USA Gymnastics).

“The AAU James E. Sullivan Award is unique in that it allows us to recognize the most elite amateur athletes across every sport imaginable,” said Melissa Willis, the AAU Sullivan Award National Chair.

The award went to Reynolds and Stewart at the New York Athletic Club on April 10.

Wilimovsky, who lives with his parents, Rolf and Wendy, and younger brother Alec, started his swimming career at the Palisades-Malibu YMCA pool (since abandoned) in Temescal Canyon. He now trains with Team Santa Monica.
Jordan Wilimovsky training for the Olympics. Photo: Mike Lewis

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