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@GTSwimDive Summer Notebook

Aug. 11, 2015

THE FLATS – Incoming freshman Joseph Portillio headlined a solid showing for Georgia Tech at both the Phillips 66 United States Nationals and the Speedo U.S. Junior Nationals held recently in San Antonio, Texas.

Here’s a recap of the Yellow Jackets’ summers both domestically and internationally:

PHILLIPS 66 U.S. NATIONALS (San Antonio, Texas)

  • The Yellow Jackets had three in action at the U.S. Nationals to begin August — Ricky Lehner, Alex Kimpel and Ben Southern.
  • Lehner finished 69th overall in the 100 breast (1:04.34).
  • Kimpel was 37th in the 200 breast (2:18.09), missing a berth in the finals by just two seconds.
  • Southern also missed a spot in the finals of the 200 fly by less than two seconds, clocking in at 2:01.26 to take 37th overall. He was 52nd in the 100 fly (54.75).


  • Incoming freshman Joseph Portillo was strong at the Junior Nationals in San Antonio, recording a pair of individual top-25 finishes.
  • He placed sixth overall in the 200 breast, clocking in at 2:18.57 to achieve a National Cut. Portillo was even faster in the prelims, putting down a 2:18.29, which was third-best in the prelims and bettered his U.S. Trials cut. He reached the C-final of the 100 breast, placing 21st overall in a time of 1:04.52. He touched in 1:04.38 in prelims.
  • Portillo also swam the third leg of the 400 medley relay that placed fifth in 3:48.17.


  • Three more Yellow Jackets earned spots in the United States Olympic Trials in July, bringing the total number to eight.
  • Brad Oberg (100 back), Alex Kimpel (200 breast) and Mark Keaveney (100 back) each accomplished the feat in action this summer around the Southeast.
  • Oberg qualified in the 100 back with a 57.05, leading off the 400 medley relay at the South Carolina Long Course State Championships.
  • Kimpel’s qualifying time in the 200 breast of 2:18.31 came at the Georgia Long Course Senior State Meet, as did Keaveney’s in the 100 back (57.02).
  • Keaveney holds dual Irish/American citizenship and his time also qualified him for the Irish National Team. These three join Andrew Kosic (50 free), Mark Sarman (100 fly), Ben Southern (100 fly, 200 fly), Joseph Portillo (200 breast) and Ricky Lehner (100 breast) that had previously earned spots. The U.S. Olympic Trials will be held next summer in Omaha, Neb.


  • A trio of current and former swimmers competed at the FINA World Championship last month in Kazan, Russia. Rising senior Yuval Safra, from Israel, recorded a 26th-place finish in the 5K Open Water event and was 12th in the world in the 25K Open Water race. Former Yellow Jackets
  • Nico van Duijn and Andrew Chetcuti were also in action for their native countries of Switzerland and Malta, respectively. Chetcuti was 46th in the 50 Free (23.43), and in the 100 free, he won his heat and took 63rd overall in a time of 51.35.
  • van Duijn was 29th in the 100 fly (52.94) and swam on both the 400 free relay and 400 medley relay for the Swiss.



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