A bright, young star from the Saint Ignatius swimming & diving program will compete against some of the best in the country this week.
Tyler Hong will swim in USA Swimming's 2018 Speedo Winter Junior Championships this week, taking part in three events.
The meet will feature the best swimmers in the country from 24 states, from Maine to Mississippi and everywhere in between. Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, North Carolina will host the meet.
"It will be interesting to see Tyler compete there," said Head Coach Mike Lehto. "The goal for Tyler is to get a second swim. In other words, for him to qualify for the finals in at least one of the events. He's used to the idea of being at a big meet, so now he'll look to take it to the next level and qualify for the final."
Hong's first chance to do so will come on Thursday. Hong will swim in his first race on Thursday morning around 10:30-11 a.m. – the 200 IM. Hong enters as the 21st seed out of 166 swimmers based on his qualifying entry time.
Hong will then swim in two events on Friday – the 400 IM and the 100 back.
Hong will race in the 400 IM around 9:45-10:10 a.m. on Friday morning. The sophomore enters as the 26th seed out of 130 competitors. Hong will battle in the 100 back around 11:45 a.m.-noon. Entering the race, Hong is seeded 33rd out of 142 boys.
"Tyler is one of the most versatile swimmers we've had in our program," Lehto said. "You look at his accomplishments as a freshman, setting two school records and competing at States. Coming in as a freshman, he had that ability, and you knew he would be a good talent. His work ethic is good, too. Tyler has a feel for the water. Some have it, and some don't. Some swimmers just don't have that natural feel for the water, no matter how hard they try. Tyler is special because he has both a great work ethic and a feel for the water."
Wildcats fans can follow the race in real-time at the link below. Several other swimmers from Ohio – from schools such as Toledo St. Francis, Hudson, and Solon – will be participating in the meet.
Best of luck, Tyler! We'll be cheering you on from Cleveland!