Big performance at NCAAs puts Giller in elite company
Robby Giller of Wilton found himself among some impressive company after his performance at this past weekend’s NCAA men’s swimming and diving championships.
The 2017 Wilton High graduate, now a freshman at the University of Virginia, turned in one of the fastest times ever for the 400-yard individual medley in the 17-18 age group.
His time of 3:41.56 puts Giller fifth on the USA Swimming All-Time Rankings for the 17-18 age group, ahead of former world record holders Michael Phelps (now seventh) and Dave Wharton (sixth), and one spot behind current world record holder Ryan Lochte.
He accomplished the time at the NCAA preliminaries, dropping more than three seconds off his previous best time, 3:44.72, which was 22nd on the all-time list.
In the finals, Giller was 15th in a time of 3:42.52, earning All-American honorable mention. He became the first Virginia freshman to earn All-American honors since 2013.
His time in prelims also put him second on Virginia’s all-time list in the 400 IM. Over the course of the season, Giller dropped eight seconds off his time.
The national age group record in the 400 IM is held by Andrew Seliskar with a time of 3:37.52, set in 2015.
The NCAA championships were held March 21-24 at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center in Minneapolis, Minn.
Giller also qualified for the NCAA championships in the 500-yard freestyle and 200-yard backstroke. He placed 26th in the 500 free (4:17.36) and 32nd in the 200 back (1:41.95).
The Virginia men's swimming and diving team finished 29th in the team standings with 19 points.
Giller also helped Virginia finish third at the Atlantic Coast Conference championships last month, the team’s best finish in five years. He was tied as the team’s top point scorer at the meet, making the A finals in all three of his events.
Giller placed fourth in the ACC in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:41.11, which ranks second in UVA history. He dropped more than three seconds off his seed time.
He also finished fourth in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:15.70 that is the fifth-fastest performance in UVA history. It was a 16-second drop off his seed time coming into the meet.
Giller also made the A final in the 400 IM, placing sixth with a time of 3:44.72. It was a drop of 3.61 seconds off his seed time.
A longtime member of the Wilton Y Wahoo swim team, he helped the Wahoos win the 2016 YMCA Long Course National Championship with a first-place effort in the 400 IM and three other top-five finishes.
Giller also was the national champ in the 800 freestyle at the 2015 long course Y Nationals.
At the 2017 YMCA Short Course National Championships, he placed second in both the 500 and 1000 freestyle, setting new Wahoo and Connecticut resident records in both events.