LumaLanes Performance of the Week: Justin Ress Makes A Statement In Taipei

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

This week’s Performance Of The Week, sponsored by LumaLanes, goes to American Justin Ress, who captured a gold medal in the 100 backstroke at the 2017 World University Games on Monday in Taipei, Taiwan.

The American led from the start and never looked back, flipping at 25.82 and coming home in 27.47 to take the gold in 53.29. That outpaced second place finisher Kosuke Hagino by almost a full second, a dominant statement for Ress’ first individual international medal. You can take a look at Ress in action in the video below:


Ress is a rising junior at NC State and has been part of that program’s consistent rise over the past several seasons. At just 19 years old he won his first U.S. National title this summer in the 50 backstroke, earning him a spot on the World Championship team and, at the time, giving him the fastest time in the world for the event (24.41).

In that race Ress beat out two Olympic champions, Matt Grevers and Ryan Murphy, and was just outside of qualifying for Worlds in the 100 back when he finished third behind them in 53.38. While his time from the World University Games is just off his best, what’s more significant is his first taste at the top of the podium on the international stage. The United States has a long, storied history in the backstroke events, and at just 19 years old Ress is poised to step in to continue that legacy as we head into this Olympic quad.

Ress also captured gold on the first night of the meet in the men’s 4 x 100 free relay, producing the fastest split on the relay (48.06) that included Olympic gold medalist and teammate Ryan Held.

Congratulations Justin Ress on earning Swimming World’s Performance of the Week!

Special Thanks to LumaLanes for sponsoring Swimming World’s Performance of the Week.

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Author: James Sica

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James Sica is the Men and Women's Assistant Coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an assistant coach at CMU in Pittsburgh, PA (2015-2017), a volunteer assistant coach with the Harvard women’s program (2014-2015) and an assistant with the Ithaca College men's program (2012-2014).

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