Kevin Cordes: Is Olympic gold in his future?

This is about Kevin Cordes. Yes, THAT Kevin Cordes. Still no idea? He’s that 19 year old from Naperville, Illinois. No clue? Well, I am guessing that come August of 2016 when we are glued to NBC’s coverage of the Rio Summer Olympics, you will know his name.

Last month, Cordes put an exclamation point on a breakout NCAA Swimming Season during the US National Swimming Championships, winning both the 100 and 200 meter breaststroke. Good for him, right? But who pays attention to swimming in a non-Olympic year? Well, given the level of performance and his ties to the Grand Canyon State, we should.

For the 100 meter breaststroke, Cordes broke a personal obstacle, finishing the 100 meter event at 59.99 seconds. Cordes not only broke the one minute mark for his first time but also completed the third fastest 100 breaststroke in the world this year. Not bad for a 19 year old. This accomplishment was overshadowed by his own performance in the 200 meter breaststroke, where he flirted with a world record, swimming at or below world record pace until the last 20 meters but still crushing his competitors.

What links Cordes to us is that his aquatic accomplishments were attained while donning his University of Arizona swim cap, where he just completed his freshman year. Go Cordes! Go Cats!