Junior World Champion Taylor Abbott Headed To Tennessee

Taylor Abbott Tyler Fenwick

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Taylor Abbott has one of the strongest list of accolades among the USA Swimming junior national team, and he’ll be taking his distance freestyle talents to the University of Tennessee next fall.

Abbott is a junior world champion in the 5K open water swim, earning the gold medal in 2014. He almost earned a second junior world title this summer, leading the pack in the 1500 freestyle at the junior world championships before being overtaken by Brandonn Almeida in the final stretch. Abbott swam a personal best 15:16.35 to earn the silver medal.

Abbott will likely work with Tennessee’s associate head coach Tyler Fenwick on his skills in the pool and open water. His contribution to Tennessee in the pool will be immediate, as he is likely to score at the SEC championships in the 500 free and 1650 free. His best time of 15:01.46 in the mile would have ranked 26th at last March’s NCAA championships, so it’s likely he could find himself at the Big Meet as a freshman in 2017.

That year could also see Abbott contending for a spot on the world championship open water team. He was 10th at this year’s nationals in the 10K and 14th in the 5K.

The 1000 free is another strong event for Abbott, with a lifetime best 9:03.63 to his credit. The 1000 free is only swum in dual meet competition at the Division I level, but his prowess in that event could mean big points when it matters for the Volunteers throughout the season. He has a best time of 1:41.16 in the 200 free, which will likely improve and give him the potential to participate on Tennessee’s 800 freestyle relay.

Abbott was second in the 1500 free and third in the 800 at last summer’s junior nationals. He placed eighth in the 1500 free at senior nationals to earn his spot on the junior world championship team. He competes for Nitro Swimming in Austin, Texas, where head coach Tim O’Brien was just awarded USA Swimming’s Developmental Coach of the Year.

1 comment

  1. Michael Stott

    A shout out to his club team and coach would have been nice.