senior Christian Yeager hit the Olympic qualifying time in 200-meter backstroke last weekend at Georgia Tech.
The boys high school swim season is just two meets old, but Yeager is in mid-season form.
The two-time Nassau-Suffolk CHSAA champ in the 200 individual medley, Yeager swam independently Dec. 3 at the 2011 AT&T Winter National Championships in Atlanta.
There Yeager turned in a personal-best in the 200 back, finishing in 2 minutes, 4.88 seconds. The U.S. Olympic qualifying time in the event is 2:04.99. The Olympic Trials are in Omaha in June 2012.
“I want to go and swim well,” Yeager said. “I want to make a name for myself.”
Yeager, of Huntington, has been . The St. Anthony’s boys swim team won the Catholic league title when Yeager was a sophomore. And Yeager won meet MVP honors as a junior last season.
The 200 back is not a high school event in New York state. So Yeager, who took up the event as a 14-year-old, rarely gets to compete.
But Yeager is close to the state record in the 200 IM (it's the same event Michael Phelps owns the world record).
“That would be a great goal for this year,” Yeager said the state record.
He’s been swimming since the age of 4, beginning at the Huntington Bay Club. Now he swims with Long Island Aquatic Club and often trains out of Eisenhower Park.
“My backstroke was never particularly fast but I always swim it forever,” Yeager said. “I never tired. So I gravitated toward the 200 backstroke.”
Those years of training are beginning to pay dividends. Yeager is no longer just a relentless swimmer – he's Olympic fast.