Not many American teenagers will have a better European summer trip than Wyatt Davis. He swam once Wednesday night and came away with two medals.
The 18-year-old from Carmel High School won a bronze medal in the 100-meter backstroke in the World Junior Championships at Budapest, Hungary.
Davis later earned a gold when the United States won the 400-meter mixed medley relay, featuring two boys and two girls in all four strokes. Davis was not in the final, but because he swam the opening backstroke leg in morning prelims, he gets the same medal.
This is the seventh junior worlds – for girls 14-17 and boys 15-18 — since 2006. The previous edition was at Indianapolis in 2017.
The only other male medalist from Indiana was Chesterton’s Blake Pieroni, who won a bronze in the 800 freestyle relay in 2013.
Thomas Ceccon of Italy won gold in the 100 backstroke in 53.46 seconds, a record at junior worlds. Nikolay Zuev of Russia took silver in 53.59.
Davis’ time was 54.14, or .03 ahead of Mewen Tomac of France. The other American in the final, Will Grant, was fifth in 54.46.
“Feels awesome. Felt like everyone did an awesome job in that final,” Davis told USA Swimming.
His previous best was 54.46 in Tuesday’s prelims. His pre-meet best of 54.73 made him the No. 7 seed.
His time ranks No. 5 on the all-time U.S. list for boys 17-18 behind Ryan Murphy, 53.38 in 2013; Michael Taylor, 53.77 in 2016; Grant, 53.89 in Wednesday’s mixed medley; Jack Conger, 54.04 in 2013. (Murphy and Conger combined to win four gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics.)
Davis has won five high school state titles, including 3-for-3 in the 100-yard backstroke, in which he holds the state record. He will have more medal chances in the 50- and 200-meter backstrokes, plus the boys medley relay.