Brahma alumnus makes swim history

Making headlines with his impressive victory at the 2022 Phillips 66 National Championships, Diamond Bar High School alumnus Kevin Vargas swam the ninth fastest time in American history for the 400-meter individual medley.

Representing the La Mirada Armada Club, Vargas took home the championship, breaking his personal record by over five seconds with a 4:11.45.

“All my teammates were jumping up and down for me and it was a moment I wouldn’t trade for anything else,” Vargas said.. “It felt like something I had been looking for since I started swimming.” 

During his tenure at Diamond Bar High School, the alumnus broke several records in CIF Division IV, as well as school records including the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard breaststroke. However, it is not because of his high school career that he began swimming on a national scale.

“When I was at Diamond [Bar], I didn’t really have any spectacular swims,” Vargas said. “I was good, but I wasn’t one of the best.” 

What propelled him to attend the next level was his club swimming, which ultimately allowed him to become recognized and attend University of Florida as a part of their swim program. Joining their Division I swim team, Vargas trained all summer, swimming alongside great athletes and other nationally recognized swimmers. 

“Swimming in Florida is fantastic, some of the best training that I have done in my life, it was the only reason I was so successful this past summer,” Vargas said. “Our support staff is near perfect and I love my teammates who push me to being the best version of myself.” 

Achieving this accolade has opened up many new opportunities for Vargas to compete at the next, international level.

“[My short term goal] would be to make an international team this coming year, meaning there is a selection competition that takes place to select teams for the World Championships, Pan American Games, or World University games,” Vargas said.