BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- While her friends were likely in class back in Alabama, Rhyan White was busy winning a medal for her country at the Summer Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 on Monday night.
The University of Alabama freshman is one of eight swimmers representing the United States at the Games and won the swimming team’s first medal of the Games when she scored bronze in the women’s 100-meter backstroke.
White’s competition started Sunday morning, the first day of competition in Buenos Aires, when she won her heat by nearly a second, swimming 1:00.58 in the Natatorium. Later that night, she was second in her semifinal, finishing in 1:00.94 and easily advancing to the final.
Monday night, Russia’s Daria Vaskina won gold in 1:00.45, followed by Australia’s Kaylee McKeown, a world silver medalist herself and sister of Olympic silver medalist Taylor McKeown, who finished in 1:00.58. White was second at the halfway mark but would be just barely passed by McKeown and settle for the bronze 0.02 seconds behind her. The fourth-place finisher was 0.65 seconds back.
White’s strong start to her freshman year and collegiate career with the Crimson Tide follows a high school career at Academy for Math, Engineering & Science that included qualifying for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Swimming and winning the 100 and 200 backstrokes at the 2017 Mount Hood Sectional.