Short Course Yards American Record Holder Ian Finnerty Announces Retirement

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Short course yards American record holder Ian Finnerty confirmed a surprising retirement on social media on Sunday three months ahead of the delayed 2021 Olympic Trials. Finnerty announced he will be taking a position in Atlanta at Red Bull to pursue his professional career out of the pool.

Finnerty wrote on Instagram:

“Friends & followers, I have decided to step away from the sport. I made this decision around 2 months ago while Alabama Swimming went through changes in coaching staff. However, this isn’t the only reason for my retirement.

“I have many other passions and hobbies in life that I wish to pursue, and I have been wanting to do so since the Olympics were originally postponed. Thank you to all the people that have helped me along the way during my 12 year career. I am excited for the next chapter of my life, which will bring me to Atlanta in the summer for a position at Red Bull.

“These are some of my favorite pictures from the last decade. I am eager to watch my friends, teammates, and competitors compete at the upcoming games. Best of luck to everyone.”

Ian Finnerty won three individual NCAA titles at Indiana University in 2018 and 2019, winning back to back titles in the 100 breaststroke in those years, as well as becoming the first man to break 50 seconds from a flat start in that event. Finnerty was also the NCAA champion in the 200 breaststroke in 2018 and also swam the breaststroke leg on Indiana’s NCAA winning 400 medley relays in both 2018 and 2019. His efforts helped Indiana win its first relay at NCAAs in 41 years.

Finnerty is also the former American record holder in the 100 breaststroke in short course meters, setting that at the International Swimming League last season. Finnerty spent two seasons with the DC Trident where he ended 2020 22nd in the league in the 200 breaststroke and tied for 16th in the 100 breast.

In 2019, Ian Finnerty won the 100 breaststroke gold medal at the 2019 World University Games which put him 23rd in the world that year (59.49) and third in the United States behind Andrew Wilson (58.93) and Cody Miller (59.24), which makes this retirement surprising being so close to the delayed Olympic Trials.

Finnerty signed with TYR and had made the move to train in Tuscaloosa with former Indiana coach Coley Stickels, who resigned from his position at Alabama this season, in the lead-up to the 2020 Trials. His best 100 breast time in 2020 was a 1:02.85 from January 2020 which put him 11th nationally.

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