Aug. 4—GREENSBORO, N.C. — Cumberland native Daniel Diehl won five events at the YMCA Nationals held in July at the Greensboro Aquatic Center, his 200M backstroke performance was the third-fastest by a 15-16-year-old swimmer in U.S. history. He also won the 100M freestyle, 200M freestyle and 50M backstroke and 100M backstroke. He set YMCA national records in all five events.
Diehl has become one of the top swimmers in the country who competed in two events at last year's U.S. Olympic trials. He was the youngest competitor in the two events he competed in, the 100M backstroke and 50M freestyle. He finished 58th in backstroke and 31st in freestyle.
"He did really well there, I thought against competition that's national as supposed to local," Diehl's coach Brian Dowling said.
Earlier this year, Diehl broke the men's 16-and-under 100M backstroke record. His time of 53.59 seconds made him one of four Americans to swim the event in under 55 seconds.
"It was a good feeling when he broke that record," Dowling said.
Diehl has worked with Dowling since he was 11 years old. Within a year, Diehl broke Michael Phelps' 200M individual medley state record. Dowling said it took about a year for him to realize Diehl was a special talent.
Dowling said he feels "pretty good" about Diehl's chances to qualify for the 2024 Olympics in Paris. The U.S. Olympic Trials will take place from June 15-23, 2024 in Indianapolis. Next up for Diehl is an opportunity to represent the US at Junior Pan Pacific Championships in Hawaii from August 24-27.
Correction: The story "Daniel Diehl wins four events at YMCA Nationals" published on August 3 had two factual errors. They have since been corrected.
Jordan Kendall is a Sports Writer for the Cumberland Times-News. Follow him on Twitter @JKendallCTN.