Nick Albiero Etches His Name Into Louisville History Books With Emotional 200 Butterfy NCAA Title

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Photo Courtesy: Mike Comer / NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Nick Albiero has been swimming at the Ralph Wright Natatorium at the University of Louisville ever since he can remember. Now his name will be on the wall as a national champion for the University of Louisville after winning the 200 butterfly in Greensboro on Saturday night.

“When we first started, there were no ACC banners or NCAA champions. So now that my name is going to be on there, it’s pretty cool,” Nick Albiero told Swimming World.

The University of Louisville started honoring its national champions in swimming and diving in 2012 when Carlos Almeida won the program’s first title in the 200 breaststroke nine years ago. Since then, the Cardinals have had an individual champion every single year. Joao de LuccaKelsi Worrell and Mallory Comerford have their names etched in history on the walls of the natatorium, and now they will add one more name this year – Nick Albiero, who has seen the program grow first hand with his dad Arthur being the head coach of the program since the fall of 2003.

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Photo Courtesy: NCAA Media

“It means everything. I see those names – Carlos Almeida and Joao de Lucca, every day when I’m swimming at practice. They’ve motivated me when I got to watch their careers, and even the females Kelsi and Mallory, it inspired me. To be able to join that group is amazing and I’m so honored to be a part of that.”

Louisville will have some decisions to make regarding the national champion banners now that Albiero and the 200 medley relay are coming home as national champions, potentially needing to free up space to display everyone on the wall.

“I think there’s enough room,” Albiero said with a laugh. “I don’t know how many spots are left…maybe they can do hanging banners on a wall. I don’t know what the relay is going to look like because we’ve never had one!”

It is a good problem to have for a program that matched its highest ever finish in fifth place for the second straight NCAAs.

“It’s awesome and I’m so happy I was considered a captain this year and a leader for this group. My freshman year we came in and wanted to be top ten, and we were ninth, and that was awesome. And to go from ninth to fifth and then not having last year, and getting fifth again…this is the tradition we are setting for the teams to come. It’s really exciting.”

For Albiero, he had trailed nearly the entire 200 butterfly race to Cal’s Trenton Julian, but used a strong final kick out to win the national title.

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Arthur & Nick Albiero. Photo Courtesy: Mike Comer/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

“I specifically work on underwaters every day. It’s in our warm up and in our main set and that’s what I really utilize, especially for short course. I knew I was going to have a chance if I kept within striking distance at the 150 and 175. I just put my head down and hoped for the best.”

Nick Albiero has played an instrumental role in Louisville’s rise now as a national power, and shared an emotional hug with his dad Arthur after the 200 butterfly.

“After the race I pretty much started crying. We are both pretty emotional guys and we gave each other a hug and the tears were coming down. It means everything to have him on deck. He knows my swimming better than I do. He knows me better than I know myself and I’m so grateful he is on this journey with me and that we get to do it together.”

1 comment

  1. avatar
    Rick Hill

    Nick could not be more proud of you and I know the Alumni feels the same way!

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