Former Heritage High School and Arizona State University swimmer, Daniel Comforti, has refined his physical and mental approach in the pool after a personally disappointing U.S. National Swimming Championship performance last year.
Now he’s ready to put that training to the test.
Comforti, 22, will compete in the 200-meter individual medley and 100- and 200-meter breaststroke events at the U.S. National Swimming Championship at Stanford University in Palo Alto, which began Wednesday.
“I have some pretty lofty goals in mind I hope to hit, if not come close to,” said Comforti. “I have been working my tail off this summer and am pretty excited for what I can do. Last summer it was pretty disappointing, from a personal standpoint.”
Comforti finished 18th in the 200-meter individual medley, 26th in the 100-meter breaststroke and 39th in the 200-meter breaststroke at last year’s event, but he enters the 2019 competition looking to prove that he’s a changed competitor.
He’ll enter the 200-meter individual medley seeded 16th out of 100 competitors, and 44th out of 95 competitors in the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke events. His individual medley qualifying time (2:02.10) is just a few seconds behind top qualifier Abrahm DeVine (1:57.41); his 100-meter breaststroke time (1:02.49) is a few ticks off of top seed Devon Nowicki’s 59.48; and his 200-meter breaststroke time (2:16.31) trails number-one seed Daniel Roy’s 2:09.50.
U.S. National Team spots are awarded to swimmers with the top-six times in each event for the year — meaning that swimmers are looking to finish in the top six or top eight at the National Swimming Championship to position themselves in contention for the squad, Comforti said.
Heading into the event, Comforti says he’s not so focused on the leaderboard as he is on improving his times and floating into the race finals.
He’s been perfecting his stroke and improving his physical and mental strength as a return member of the Brentwood SeaWolves club team after graduating from Arizona State earlier this year.
“It’s been awesome to watch him grow and achieve through whatever adversity came his way,” said Danny Comforti, Daniel’s father. “He is proof that, with hard work and perseverance, you can accomplish anything you want.”
If Daniel succeeds at the U.S. National Swimming Championship, he’ll add to an already impressive swimming resume that includes a slew of notable high school and college achievements.
He was an eight-time All-American as a four-year member of the Patriots swim team, breaking the school records for the 100-meter breaststroke and 200-meter individual medley, and finishing fourth in both those events at the 2015 state high school swimming championships. He went on to stand out at Arizona State, earning U.S. National Swimming Championship qualifying times three out of four years. He qualified for the NCAA Championships his junior campaign as one of the nation’s 30 best Division I swimmers, and he helped the once-struggling Sun Devils swim team rise to become the nation’s seventh best, also in his junior season.
But Daniel feels his work in the pool is far from finished. He’s been steadily improving his times each year and has lofty goals on the horizon. He hopes to qualify and then make a splash at next summer’s Olympic trials. However, he must first show that his training has paid off at the U.S. National Swimming Championship.
“I am about as ready as I can be,” he said. “It’s all about working on the details now — every little aspect of my swim — and making sure I am on point and staying focused.”