Q&A with record-breaking Arizona swimmer Kevin Cordes
Four-time All-American breaststroker Kevin Cordes became the fastest 100-yard and 200y-breaststroker alive last week, shattering the American records in both events while competing for Arizona in the NCAA Championships. The Arizona Daily Wildcat spoke with Cordes about his accomplishments.
How does it feel to be the fastest 100y and 200y-breaststroker in the nation and be the American record holder in both?
Cordes: It feels pretty good. It’s something I have been working toward my whole swimming career, and now to say that I have those records is pretty unbelievable.
What was it like to win individual titles in your two main events and in the 400y-medley relay?
Winning the 400y-medley relay was probably my favorite part of the meet. Just being with those guys and really coming together to win a national title was awesome.
Did you expect this level of success when you went into NC’s this year? What was going through your mind during competition?
I was really just focused on trying to help out my team as much as I can, repeating the 100 and just moving up with my times. I didn’t have too much on my mind, but I was hoping to break some records.
Has setting these records prompted you to start to look a little further on into the future? Why or why not?
Yes, but I’m not prepared to look too far into the future. The next thing I want to focus on is qualifying for World’s this summer.
What do you see yourself doing after you graduate? Are you planning on continuing to swim professionally after you obtain your degree?
I see myself swimming. I want to take it to Rio and really see what I am capable of.
What do these records that you now hold mean to you?
It’s still sort of sinking in, but it means a whole lot to be able to compete for the UA and be surrounded by the type of team that we have. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
How did being part of the Arizona team contribute to your performance at the NC’s this year? Do you think there is something special about being part of this specific team that gave you any advantage?
Absolutely. It was awesome being a part of this team. We came together and placed third when a lot of people thought we weren’t going to place as high. We really came together and rallied around each other.
You’ll just be a junior next year. What other accomplishments do you hope for as part of the Wildcats next year and the year after?
I hope for us to be able [to] improve from this year, place higher in the final standings and continue to win relays.
What advice would you have for prospective swimmers thinking of making their home at the University of Arizona?
I think Arizona is a great place to train. I love it here and don’t know why anyone would want to go anywhere else.