- Gunnar Bentz
- St. Pius X Catholic High School, junior
Swimmer Gunnar Bentz hopes to see rings in his future.
“Like any other swimmer, my main goal is to be an Olympian,” Gunnar said.
He may have a shot. This past June, Gunnar placed 12th in the 400-meter individual medley at the Olympic Trials. In August, he won a bronze medal in the 400-meter medley at the Junior Pan-Pacific Games as a member of the Junior National swim team.
He recently joined seven other swimmers to compete on the European leg of the Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA) Swimming World Cup Tour in Moscow.
In order to participate in this event, Gunnar had to qualify as one of the top 50 swimmers in the world. According to swimnews.com, Gunnar’s 400-meter individual medley time is 38th in the world, only 12 seconds behind Olympian Ryan Lochte and just 10 seconds behind Olympic superstar Michael Phelps.
Gunnar believes he did well at the World Cup Tour, placing fifth in the 400-meter medley there.
An Atlanta native, Gunnar has been swimming since he was 3. He currently swims at the Dynamo Swim Club.
A former national age group record holder in the 200-yard and 200-meter breaststroke, Gunnar holds several state age group records. He holds the 13-14-year-old and 15-16 year-old age group records in the 200-meter individual medley, 400-meter individual medley, 100-meter breast stroke and 200-meter breast stroke.
Gunnar also is a member of the 15-18-year-old age group state record 200-meter, 400-meter and 400-meter medley relay teams.
Gunnar is proud to be a swimmer because it means he’s part of a sport “different than any other sport.”
“It requires, in my opinion, more mental discipline than physical strength, which I find makes it unique,” he said.
Gunnar hasn’t decided where he wants to go to college. His top choices now are Stanford University or the University of California at Berkeley. Wherever he goes, he hopes to continue swimming competitively.