Arguably America's greatest distance freestyler and among the world's best in the individual medley, Erik Vendt is one of USC's greatest swimmers ever and is in his first year as a fifth-year assistant coach on the Trojan staff
Vendt is a 2000 Olympic silver medallist in the 400m IM, a two-time World Championship medallist, two-time Pan Pacific medallist, a Short Course World Championship medallist and a six-time U.S. national title winner.
He is the American record-holder in 1500m free (scm), the former American record-holder in 1500m free (lcm) and was the first American to break 15 minutes in the latter event.
During his four-year stay at USC (2000-03), he was a five-time NCAA title winner, 13-time All-American and seven-time Pac-10 title winner. He won two NCAA titles as a senior in 2003. He won three Pac-10 titles at the 2003 Pac-10 Championships, the first Trojan swimmer to do so since 1977, which gave him seven for his career.
Vendt was the 2002 NCAA Swimmer of the Year as a junior, winning NCAA titles in the 400y IM and the 1650y free. He was the NCAA Championships individual high-point scorer with 57 points, the most for a Trojan since John Naber had 60 in 1975. At the 2002 Pac-10s, Vendt won his third and fourth Pac-10 titles.
At the 2002 U.S. Summer Nationals, Vendt went under the existing world record in the 400m IM in 4:11.27, but was edged by Michael Phelps' 4:11.09. At the 2002 Pan Pacific Championships, Vendt took a pair of seconds in the 400m IM and the 1500m free. At the 2002 Short Course World Championships, Vendt won a bronze medal as part of the 800m free relay, swimming the second leg.
Vendt won a silver medal in the 400m IM at the 2001 World Championships and at the 2001 U.S. Spring Nationals, he won a pair of national titles in both the 400m IM and the 1500m free.
Vendt capped his 2000 season by winning a silver medal in the 400m IM and reaching the finals of the 1500m free at the 2000 Summer Olympics. Before that, he became the first American ever to go under 15 minutes in the 1500m freestyle (lcm) when he went 14:59.11 at the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials. Earlier, he set a U.S. record in winning the mile en route to three All-American honors at the 2000 NCAA Championships. At the NCAAs, Vendt won the 1500m free (scm) in an American-record time of 14:31.02.
Vendt had a decorated career during his stay at Boston College High in Dorchester, Mass. He came to USC with two national titles to his credit, both coming at the 1998 U.S. Summer Nationals. At the 1999 U.S. Spring Nationals, he posted a trio of second-place finishes and he raced in three events at the 1999 Pan Pacific Championships. Vendt was a 1998 Goodwill Games silver and bronze medalist and had three second-place finishes and a third at the 1998 U.S. Spring Nationals. In 1997, he reached the finals of the 1500m at both the U.S. Spring and Summer Nationals.
Vendt is an avid Boston sports fan. For his most thrilling moment in sports, he said (in 2000), "I'm still waiting for the Red Sox to win a championship."