Swimming has taken Edgewood High School graduate Zach Apple all around the world over the better part of a decade.
Now, the 24-year-old is destined for Japan after qualifying for the Tokyo Summer Olympics.
Apple, a 2015 Edgewood graduate, clinched his spot in Tokyo with a rummer-up finish in the 100-meter freestyle during the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials in Omaha, Nebraska on June 17. Apple finished in 47.72, just behind Caeleb Dressel's winning time of 47.39. Apple's second-place run qualified him for the 4-x-100 freestyle relay.
Apple also finished 5th in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:46.45 to qualify for the 4-x-200 meter free relay team. Fellow Cincinnati native Carson Foster also competed in the 200-meter freestyle, finishing 8th. Foster was also third in the 400 individual medley while brother, Jake, finished fifth. Jake also was sixth in the 200-meter breaststroke.
Apple will head to Tokyo aiming for more championships to add to his resume. Prior to the pandemic, Apple won two gold, one silver and one bronze medals at the 2019 World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, where he helped the men's 400-meter relay team set a meet record and the mixed 400 free relay team set a world record.
At the 2019 World University Games in Naples, Italy, Apple captured individual gold medals in the 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle and helped the 400- and 800-meter relay teams and 400 medley relay team win championships.
In 2017, he won a gold medal at the World Championships in Budapest on the U.S. men's 4-x-100 free relay.
At Edgewood, Apple was the Ohio High School Athletic Association's state runner-up in the 100 freestyle and was fourth in the 50 freestyle in 2015. He was named the Southwest Ohio Conference swimmer of the year as a senior.
When the Western Kentucky University swimming and diving was suspended for five years in 2015 following a hazing incident, Apple headed south to Auburn, where he stayed for three years and was a first-team Southeastern Conference.
As a senior, he transferred to Indiana University. He earned seven All-American honors at the NCAA Championships and won a championships in the 400 medley relay with a time of 2:59.70.