MOUNT HOOD, Ore. — With eyes set for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Swim Trials, Seattle University junior Jack Neton took a significant step forward in that process after capturing a gold medal in the 200-meter Breaststroke on August 1, while competing at the USA Swimming Futures Championships.
“I’ve been working really hard in the long course so it was rewarding,” Neton said of the experience.
A native of Long Beach, Calif., Neton comfortably took the top of the podium, beating the field by at least 2.55 seconds en route to notching a personal best time (2:19.61). He qualified for the final event with a preliminary round time of 2:22.47 good enough for a third-place finish.
Despite a solid outing in the preliminary race, Neton had some reservations heading to the final event, though was pleasantly surprised with his gold medal-worthy performance.
“I obviously went in wanting to win, but with my prelim performance I didn’t expect to win, especially not by that margin too, so when I touched the wall it was great feeling. Breaking the 2:20-mark is a big milestone, so that was definitely an added bonus and it was also pretty cool because it was kind of a local meet so Craig [Nisgor] was able to distribute the medals."
Seattle U head swimming coach Craig Nisgor echoed Neton’s feelings of excitement.
“It was great to see Jack accomplish a goal that he had set at the beginning of the summer. He worked hard to train the way he needed to put himself in a position to win [the 200 Breaststroke] at Futures. I thought he swam a good preliminary race and then we talked about what he needed to do to get ready for finals. In the finals he executed the race perfectly and it was exciting to watch him pull away from the field in the back half of the race. This race was a great accomplishment for Jack and our program and we are excited to see what next season will bring!”
Following the acquisition of his gold medal, Neton is aware of how much is still left from qualifying for next June’s event in Omaha, Neb.
“After this race I’m only 1.6 seconds off from qualifying for Olympic Trials, but going into this season I know I’ll have the opportunity to work on it and try to cut a half-second off each lap, but qualifying is the ultimately goal.”
Neton also competed in the 100-meter Breaststroke while at the USA Swimming event. Although he did not have similar success, Neton still progressed in his greater goal by posting back-to-back personal bests, going 1:06.77 during the preliminary race before shaving .26 seconds in the finals.
Neton and Redhawks officially open the 2019-20 campaign on Saturday, Oct. 12 when they compete in the Logger Relays in Puget Sound, Wash.