"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 NCAAs level. 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, where success followed them to Dynamo Swim Club and, later, Chattahoochee. Of the 11 records listed on the CHS Swim and Dive website, eight are held by at least one Litherland. All three are four-year letterman as well as current team captains. All three have been named team MVP. All three, swimming for Dynamo, qualified for the 2012 London Olympic Team Trials. And all three – well-rounded in every stroke but each with his own specialty – have their sites set on Rio in 2016. What's more, all three have a trio of nations they could choose between to potentially represent: The U.S. as well as the homelands of their Japanese mother and New Zealander father.
But, first, all three are focusing on their last high school swim season and the dream of a 6A state championship bid for Hooch, a fitting addition to the long list of accomplishments the Litherlands will be taking with them to UGA next fall.
Jay, a member of the United States 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 and No. 4 in the 200 individual medley and holds top-10 rankings in the 1,000 freestyle and the 200 backstroke.
Kevin, a member of the United States 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 been recognized as a Scholastic All-American.
Pictured with them are standing, from left, CHS Athletic Director Milo Mathis, CHS Head Coach Ron Loula, parents Andrew and Chizuko Litherland, Dynamo Swim Club Coach Nancy Williams and CHS Principal Tim Duncan.