Yong will join the Tritons for the 2013-14 season. The Irvine native achieved a World Championship Trials mark at the Speedo Junior National Championships in Indianapolis, Ind., this past August, swimming 2:20.04 in the 200-meter (long course) breaststroke and narrowly getting under the 2:20.09 standard. The time would have been good enough to send him to Omaha, Neb., for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials just five weeks prior. Yong is the first swimming prospect of that caliber that UCSD has ever signed out of high school. Falcon and Macedo qualified eight Tritons to the 2012 Olympic Trials, the most in program history.
A breaststroke specialist, Yong adds to an already-stellar UCSD breaststroke contingent on the men's side led currently by junior captain Nicholas Korth. Korth, himself an Orange County product out of Valencia and Hart High School, won the 200 breast as a freshman at the 2011 NCAA Division II Championships and swept both the 100 and 200 distances over an all-Division I field at last month's Arena Invitational in Long Beach.
Yong is now a senior at Irvine's University High School. He most recently competed at the Speedo Winter Junior National Championships in Knoxville, Tenn., Dec. 6-8, where he made the consolation final (2:02.30 prelims, 14th) of the 200-yard breaststroke and placed 12th with a lifetime-best time of 2:02.06. Yong matched his best mark in 100 breast prelims, swimming 57.63, and also lowered his fastest time in 400 individual medley prelims, going 4:02.67.
As a junior, Yong guided University to the Pacific Coast League (PCL) championship back on May 4, dethroning five-time defending league champion and host Corona del Mar. He led a one-two Trojan finish in the 100 breast, racing 58.68, to help seal the title for Uni and head coach Tom Norton.
University's record-holder in the 100 breast (57.63), Yong is also part of the Trojans' school-standard 200 medley relay (1:35.68, 2012) and 400 free relay (3:10.42, 2011). He competes for the Orange County Waves club program.
"Zach is one of the most talented and versatile athletes we have signed at UCSD," remarked Falcon. "He will bring depth to our breaststroke and individual medley group. His mom is also a Triton, so it is great to carry on the family tradition."
"We are excited to have such a strong class for next fall following the early signing period," added Macedo. "Zach Yong will be an incredible addition to the already strong breaststroke and individual medley groups. Zach has had success on the national level already with his club program, OC Waves, and will arrive with immediate NCAA contributing potential."
Following a month off from competition in December, the Triton swimming and diving squads dive right into action in the new calendar year with a busy January that features six home dates, beginning Jan. 5 at noon against Cal State East Bay (women only) and Grand Canyon. The UCSD women and men are ranked first and third, respectively, in the CollegeSwimming.com/College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) national rankings for the NCAA Division II.
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