Junior Worlds Team Member Arik Katz Sends Verbal to Harvard

Photo Courtesy: Arik Katz

2019 World Juniors team member Arik Katz verbally committed to Harvard for the class of 2024. Katz is primarily a distance freestyle swimmer from Sarasota, Florida and swims club for the Sarasota Tsunami Swim Team under head coach Ira Klein. He is notably the younger brother of NCAA Champion Austin Katz of Texas. Katz was one of the best recruits in the high school class of 2020 that had remained uncommitted.

Katz was one of the best distance swimmers in the class of 2020 as he finished in the top eight in both the 800 and 1500 free at the 2019 World Juniors in Budapest representing the United States. He was a 15:07.68 in the 1500 placing fifth and scored a best time of 7:57.23 in the 800 placing eighth. His 1500 in Budapest was slower than his best time that he swam at US Nationals earlier in the summer at 15:05.93 in placing fourth.

Katz also was 12th in the 800 at US Nationals and 23rd in the 400.

At the 2018 Winter Juniors East, he was second in the 1650 (15:01.92) and was 12th in the 500 (4:25.41). That meet was just a few weeks after he won the Florida 3A state title in the 500 with a 4:23.32, also placing runner-up in the 200 with a 1:40.06. Katz finished seventh in the 400m free at Juniors Nationals in 2018 and is a 12-time Florida Senior Championship finalist over the past two years.

He would have scored in the top eight in the 1650 at the 2019 Ivy League Championships and would have been in the B-Final with his best 500 time. He is currently a senior at Venice High School in Venice, Florida.


Arik Katz’s best times (LCM)

  • 200 free: 1:53.30
  • 400 free: 3:53.78
  • 800 free: 7:57.23
  • 1500 free: 15:05.93

Arik Katz’s best times (SCY)

  • 200 free: 1:37.96
  • 500 free: 4:23.32
  • 1650 free: 15:01.92
  • 400 IM: 3:53.69

Katz has burst onto the scene in recent years, consistently shaving off major time each season. Over the past two years, he has dropped six seconds in the 200 free (three in LCM), 10 seconds in the 500 free (seven in LCM), 11 seconds in the 1000 (23 in LCM), and 16 seconds in the mile (27 in LCM).

Katz will be joining a stacked Harvard team next year that will have two-time NCAA champion Dean Farris and Ivy League champ Raphael Marcoux back on the roster after Olympic redshirt seasons. The Crimson are coming off the most successful season in school history by winning their third straight Ivy League title and placing eighth at NCAAs, their highest finish since getting 11th in 1998.

Harvard notably produced Ivy League champion Brennan Novak, who was eighth in the 500 at NCAAs last season as well as Logan Houck, who was 20th in the 1650. Both Novak and Houck have graduated, leaving Harvard searching for a new miler after Zack Snyder graduates in May. Katz will be a perfect replacement as he will join a distance group that includes Corban Rawls and Mahlon Reihman, who are both around Katz’s speed in the 500 but neither of them swam the 1650 at the Ivy League championships last season.

Katz will be joining a Harvard team in the fall of 2020 along with junior national champion Dylan Rhee.

*IVY LEAGUE DISCLAIMER:* A “verbal commitment” does not guarantee admission. An Ivy League coach cannot guarantee admission but can only commit support in the admissions process.

If you have a commitment to share, please send a photo and quote via email to hs@swimmingworld.com.

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