Austin Katz qualifies for 200 back finals at Olympic Trials

By Jim Brockman , Herald-Tribune

Assuming he was able to sleep Thursday night, Austin Katz went to bed with the dream of a lifetime legitimately within his grasp. The dream of every young American swimmer.

The 17-year-old member of the Sarasota Sharks and winner of multiple state gold medals for the Riverview Rams qualified for Friday night's final in the 200 backstroke after turning in a pair of stunning performances Thursday at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials.

The top two finishers in tonight’s race will earn a berth on the U.S. Olympic swim team.

Katz ripped through the water at Century Link Center in Omaha, Nebraska, in a time of 1 minute, 57.79 seconds in one of Thursday night’s semifinals, good for 6th place overall in a field of 114 of the nation’s best swimmers.