After shaving four seconds off his 100-meter backstroke time Thursday, Hart High School and Canyons Aquatic Club swimmer Kyle Brill has secured his spot at the Olympic Trials in June.
Brill said he now hopes to continue to improve his times and compete in a handful of other events — with the breaststroke being his strongest — in hopes of advancing on past the June “Wave 1” round.
He will be joined by fellow CAC teammate Iza Adame, who qualified for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials (Wave I) in the 100-meter breaststroke in the summer of 2019.
On Tuesday, Brill, a 17-year-old UC Santa Barbara commit, said when he saw his qualifying time, which was a 56.58, making it under the Wave I cut of 56.59 by one-hundredth of a second, he said he was shocked.
“I don’t know what tipped me off first, whether it was my coach cheering or me seeing the time … but I was obviously super excited that I was barely able to get under,” said Brill. “I will hope to be able to go faster, because I know that it’s going to take a few more weeks of recovering and training to get an even faster time. But I hope that I will be able to push that time a little farther.”
This year’s Olympic Trials are being conducted differently due to COVID-19 concerns, Brill said. Set to take place in Omaha, Nebraska, Wave I will allow those who qualified for the Olympic Trials to compete in Wave II later in the summer, which includes those who had the fastest times throughout the country.
Brill is one of only two men to achieve an Olympic Trials standard time in all of Southern California this year.
The young swimmer said he had his coach, Kevin Nielsen, and his teammates to thank for his continued success and improvement, and that while his times right now might be a little bit slower than some of his competitors who are more experienced at the international level, he considers just being invited to the Olympic Trials an honor in itself.
“I’m far from being an Olympic hopeful, but I’m heading in the right direction,” said Brill, in response to how he’ll stack up against the competition of America’s best swimmers. “But I think it’s a complete honor to swim at a meet that’s considered very serious, and just the venue is going to be an experience.”