Mitchell Ledford of Treasure Coast Swimming qualified for the 2021 (2020) USA Swimming Trials in the 100m butterfly event. He qualified at the Senior Cup International meet in St. Petersburg, Florida, on March 26, 2021, at only 16-years of age, which is quite young for a boy to make those time standards. Ryan Lochte didn’t qualify until he was 18.
Ledford was quite poised as he swam in the prelim session between Olympians Ryan Lochte and Caleb Dressel. He actually beat Lochte in the prelim swim.
In the prelim session, the swimmers swam yards events. There Ledford swam a 46.95 in the 100 butterfly. This time broke a ten-year-old/ 15-16 age group Florida Swimming Record held by decorated Olympian Joseph Schooling.
He swam meters in the finals session, which are the only qualifying times permitted for Olympic Trial time standards. His time of 53.79 qualified him for the 100 butterfly.
Next, Ledford will compete at the USA swimming Olympic trials June 4th -7th in Omaha, Nebraska.
Ledford is a student at Sebastian River High School, and he has three older brothers who also swam with Treasure Coast Swimming and SRHS. One went on to swim at the Air Force Academy, and the other two swam at the Coast Guard academy. All three boys’ specialty stroke is the butterfly—all with goals to break the previous one’s records, which they did.
“It has been great coaching all of them; they are all extremely dedicated, and hard-working kids who have gone on to great feats,” Scott Barlow, a coach at Treasure Coast Swimming and SRHS, told Sebastian Daily.
“As a coach, it’s so fun to be at this level again. A little background, I’ve had the most decorated female Florida High School swimmer who went on to break American records, swim on three international teams, pan pac, world championship, and ultimately was a gold medalist at the Athens games. It’s exciting to be back in this element, and it’s awesome to be a part of Mitchell’s amazing journey,” Barlow added.