Courted by every high-major college swimming program in the country, Gonzaga Prep senior Daniel Roy recently whittled down his list of suitors.
Roy, a wunderkind in the 200- and 100-meter breaststroke, is now considering four schools with a combined 38 national men’s swimming titles: Texas (13), Michigan (12), Stanford (eight) and Cal (five).
Each is academic-rich and rife with tradition, but Roy, who boasts a 3.7 grade-point average, is particularly interested in another element the four schools have in common.
“Their swimming programs have all produced Olympians,” said Roy, who visited Michigan last week and heads to Cal next. “That’s the big goal. That’s what I am setting my eyes on for the next three years, to make the 2020 Games.”
The 17-year-old is already on the cusp of Olympic-level swimming.
When the 5-foot-8 Roy won the 200 breaststroke at the World Junior Swimming Championships in Indianapolis last month, he clocked in at 2 minutes, 10.77 seconds, a national age-group record.
He edged Reece Whitley, a 6-8 swimmer touted as the next big thing in USA swimming, in the process. Both were teammates on the USA Junior Team.
That mark ranks Roy sixth in the country, regardless of age, and 37th in the world.
“A lot of hard work went into that to preparing for (the World Junior Championships),” Roy said. “When I finally reached that level, I was proud of how I stuck to it. I trained my butt off to get there.”
Roy also won in the 100 and 200 breast at the Speedo Junior Nationals in New York in August, among a handful of other titles this past summer.
Roy, cited by Swimming World Magazine as “the stud teenage breaststroker you’ve never heard of” is often traveling across the country – sometimes the globe – to compete in the premier meets.
His training is done primarily on his own. Roy is a member of the King County Aquatic Club but only makes the trek to Seattle during three-day weekends, holiday breaks and the summer.
The club gives him a daily regimen to complete at the Spokane Club pool. Roy often logs around 24 hours of training a week, including dry-land training.
His next big pursuit is the Swimming World Cup in Tokyo in November, where he will continue his pursuit for his golden standard.
“It takes 2:07 to make an Olympic team (in the 200 breast),” said Roy, who often keeps in touch with such Olympic swimmers as Matt Greevers. “I’d like to be there by the end of my sophomore year of college.”