Ryan Harrison produced an outstanding performance at the weekend when he claimed the 200 yards freestyle title at the South Eastern Championships in Gainesville, Florida.
The Londonderry-man, who is based at the University of Tennessee, touched for gold in a stunning time of 1:32.38, which makes him the fastest 200 swimmer in the US Collegiate system, which has numerous budding Olympians.
“I just went out and used the game plan my coaches and I went over beforehand,” said Harrison.
“Coach Lars Jorgensen prepared me well and I just went out there and stuck my head down and swam like I should have.
“I knew there was going to be some tough competition, but I was confident in my preparation.
“It was really fantastic to see my team-mates jumping up and down — it felt good to earn points for my team. I've been waiting all year for this so I'm just really happy that I was able to win and help my team.”
Harrison's time was a new Tennessee record and he also broke the UT record for the 500 yard free. The previous 200 free record was held by 2008 Olympian Jonas Persson. UT's head coach John Trembley said: “Ryan was brilliant in prelims and in finals. He swam an amazing race and is not only an SEC champ, but he owns another school record.”