Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Charlotte kid who beat Phelps

Have you ever heard of Jared White?

Unless you are a total swimming nut, it's doubtful you have. White, from Charlotte, just finished his sophomore year at Auburn. He's a good college swimmer, but not a high-profile one like Ricky Berens (also of Charlotte and now of Texas).

Yet White beat Michael Phelps Saturday morning in a 50 freestyle heat. Yes, a 20-year-old Charlotte kid swimming for Mecklenburg Aquatic Club beat Phelps.

It was only a preliminary race, and the 50 freestyle is one of Phelps' weaker events. But it's not White's best race, either -- he's considered more of a backstroker.

Both White and Phelps made the 50 final with their swims -- White with a career-best time of 23.04 in the heat and Phelps at 23.24. But Phelps isn't going to swim that 50final tonight. As he had tentatively planned the past few days, he instead will swim the final of the 100 backstroke, where he had the second-fastest time in the morning prelims to backstroke king Aaron Peirsol.

Phelps, incidentally, would have no chance to win that 50 free final. He qualified eighth-fastest. He is not a sprinter -- at least not yet.

Meanwhile, it's been a big meet for Jared White, who is a relative unknown but also made the final of that 100 backstroke. This is a kid who basically walked on to the Auburn swim team this season (after an unsuccessful freshman season at Minnesota, he transferred) and helped lead the Tigers to a national championship.

I'll have a story on White and his win over Phelps in Sunday's Charlotte Observer.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great article! Congratulations Jared and good luck to you in the future, you're making Charlotte very proud!!!

Anonymous said...

Everyone knows the 50m Free isn't his event...

Anonymous said...

Phelps was beat in another prelim that was shown on the news yesterday afternoon. You don't have to be a swim "nut" to know you don't race your best in a prelim. This blog post would be more interesting if you were talking about the finals. *snooze*

Anonymous said...

White "of Charlotte". Did he go to High School in Charlotte (like Berens) or did he move here to swim at MAC? Why don't you list his school, too?

Anonymous said...

I know Jared, and coached him for a little while. He went to Hickory Grove High School. VERY TALENTED!!

Lee said...

I gotta agree with other, we all know Phelps wasn't worried about the "heats" Gratz to the guy that beat him but this isn't even a story IMO

Scott Fowler said...

Guys: This is Scott. I'd generally agree with an earlier post that beating Phelps in a prelim isn't that newsworthy, as he normally cruises into finals without worrying if he's second. However, it was obviously different in the 50 free. Phelps was trying his absolute hardest and admitted as much. He was only going to swim the event once anyway -- no 50 free final for him tonight, as he has scratched out of it. So this wasn't a "cruise" for Phelps -- this was a sprint. And a Charlotte kid few have ever heard of beat him.

Anonymous said...

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen Jared in forever, but I think people who are commenting here saying it isn't post-worthy aren't looking at this for what it is: an outstanding effort on both swimmers' parts, and a clear winner. People who say it isn't post-worthy or "ZZZZZZ" (see above), are ignorant and just don't want to admit that maybe there's someone better than the almighty Michael Phelps.

Anonymous said...

War Eagle!

anonymous said...

Jared White is something else. He is a force to be reckoned with. Just look at his NCAA results.

Carl said...

Good story! Anyone who thinks a local kid beating the greatest swimmer of all time (in his prime) is not newsworthy is kidding themselves. Congrats to Mr. White!

Anonymous said...

I have to say, I have been following Michael Phelps in the news - in and out of the pool - since Beijing, curious to see how he would handle being one of the most popular athletes in the world with multi-millions in endorsements.

I'm a little surprised at the lack of interest in the stories on Phelps and UltraSwim in the Observer. I live in Mecklenburg County, read the paper online everyday, and not once - since Phelps got here on Thursday - have I seen a story about Phelps or the meet listed in the "Most Viewed Stories" tab on the side of the web page.

Same with the New York Times Sports section, which has been covering the meet extensively. Only once, when a profile of Phelps was written about a week ago, did a Phelps story make the NYT "Most Emailed in Sports" list, though they've done numerous stories since then. It's similar with the Washington Post. Not much interest there either.

What does this mean? Honestly, I think it means people don't dislike Michael Phelps, but they have no real interest in following him until he swims in 2012 in London. They'll root for him then, but they don't care what he does in the next three years up to then. He's not Tiger Woods where people are going to keep up with what he's doing all year long.

Which is why I'm interested to see what his remaining endorsers do with him since he's not really drawing much interest.

Anonymous said...

There is no way this is front page news outside the sports section.

We give jocks enough glory as it is.

Anonymous said...

So clicking on the headline for the Panthers' game in 2010 brings up this post from 2009?

Great job C.O.