By Brian Savard
DEBRECEN, HUNGARY –
Marton Keri (Budapest, Hungary/Mocricz Zsigmond Gimnazium), who competed for the State University of New York at New Paltz men’s swimming team in 2012-13 as a study-abroad student from Dundee University, wrapped up competition at the 2013 Hungarian National Swimming Championships on Saturday, June 29th, in Debrecen, Hungary. Keri competed in the 50 breaststroke, the 100 breaststroke and the 200 breaststroke at the four-day championship meet, which also helped determine Hungary’s roster for the 2013 World Swimming Championships.
Keri qualified for the meet by virtue of converting his short-course yard times from his swims during the 2012-13 season at New Paltz.
He began the meet by swimming to a 20th-place finish in the 100 breaststroke on day one, clocking a time of 1:09.61. Day three featured Keri’s second event of his program - the 50 breaststroke - and he cruised to a 24th-place finish with a time of 31.80. Finally, he wrapped up the meet with his strongest event - the 200 breaststroke - on day four and took 16th with a time of 2:32.30.
"Nationals was a great experience for sure," Keri said. "The swimmers were a little faster than I expected them to be. It was a four-day meet, and I competed in three events. It was in Debrecen, which is the second-largest city in Hungary. We had many foreign swimmers as well, including Olympic champion Chad le Clos from South Africa, who won the 200 butterfly in London 2012 after beating Michael Phelps. We also had some Hungarian Olympic gold medalists - Daniel Gyurta and Eva Risztov - who both won gold in London. In addition, there were several Olympic medalists, world champions and European champions. Training with [head coach] Scott [Whitbeck] was the most important thing that helped me to reach this level, and I am really thankful for him. Adjusting to a long-course, 50-meter pool was the most difficult thing after only swimming in 25-yard pool all year. I think this is why I could swim my best times."
Keri made an indelible impact on the program during his one season at New Paltz, setting a program record in the 200 breaststroke and earning Second-Team All-SUNYAC honors. Keri’s 200 breaststroke time of 2:06.32 at the 2013 SUNYAC Championships met NCAA provisional qualification and is the second-fastest time in the event in the conference’s history.