Tags: Education News & School Sports
Seated from left, Kevin, Jay and Mick Litherland become the first set of triplets to sign with the University of Georgia. With them, standing from left, are CHS Athletic Director Milo Mathis, CHS head swim coach Ron Loula, parents Andrew and Chizuko Litherland, Dynamo Swim Club coach Nancy Williams and CHS Principal Tim Duncan. (click for larger version)
December 18, 2013JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – Chattahoochee High School varsity swimmers Kevin, Mick and Jay Litherland have signed national letters of intent to swim for the University of Georgia. In doing so, they became the first set of triplets ever to join a Bulldogs program.
"We are extremely excited about having these three young men join us," said Georgia coach Jack Bauerle. "They are all great swimmers, and they are highly thought of in the swimming world nationally.
"Each one is a talented young man, and they will have a profound effect on our program – particularly at the NCAA level," he said. "They all had extremely successful summers, and they are all on their way up. I am looking forward to seeing what they do for Georgia and for themselves."
The triplets, who have been swimming competitively since they were 7, set several state records in Florida prior to moving to Georgia in 2008.
That success followed them to Dynamo Swim Club and, later, to Chattahoochee. Of the 11 records listed on Chattahoochee's swim and dive website, eight belong to at least one Litherland.
All three are four-year lettermen as well as senior team captains. All three have been named team MVP. The brothers, swimming for Dynamo, qualified for the 2012 London Olympic Team Trials. Each is well-rounded in every stroke, but each has his own specialty.
Not surprisingly, they have their sights set on Rio in 2016. What's more, they could each swim for a different country if they so choose.
As U.S. citizens, they naturally can swim for the United States. Or they could swim for the homelands of their Japanese mother and New Zealander father.
Right now, the brothers are focusing on their last high school swim season and the dream of a 6A state championship bid for Chattahoochee.
That would be a fitting close to their long list of accomplishments as the Litherlands enter UGA next fall.
Jay, a member of the U.S. National Junior Team in the individual medley events, was the bronze medalist in the 400 individual medley at the Junior Nationals. He came in sixth in the 400 individual medley in the World Junior Championships and was seventh in the 400 individual medley in the FINA World Cup.
With two state records and three high school marks, Jay is ranked No. 2 in the 400 individual medley, No. 4 in the 200 individual medley and holds top-10 rankings in the 1,000 freestyle and the 200 backstroke.
Kevin, another member of the U.S. National Junior Team in the 1,500 freestyle, was the bronze medalist in the 800 freestyle in the U.S. Open and in the 1,500 freestyle at the Junior Nationals.
He holds the country's top time in the 800 freestyle and has top-15 national rankings in the 400 and 1,500 freestyle and the 400 individual medley. Kevin set two state records and two high school marks.
Mick, a finalist at the Junior Nationals in the 200 butterfly and the 400 individual medley, set one state and three high school records.
He is ranked No. 7 nationally in the 200 butterfly and has top-25 rankings in the 400 individual medley and the 800 freestyle. Mick has also been recognized as a Scholastic All-American.