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TJ Pittenger

TJ Pittenger is a competitive swimmer from Palmetto, Georgia.  During High School, he was a Georgia Class 6A state champion in the 50 freestyle and competed at the 2020 Toyota U.S. Open in Huntsville, AL.  TJ  swims for the University of Georgia Bulldogs. 

Georgia Bulldogs

Tavanh TJ Pittneger

Tavanh “TJ” Pettinger was born in Orlando, Florida, but grew up outside of Atlanta. His mother was born in Vientiane, Laos, and immigrated to the United States.  His grandfather is originally from Pakxan while his grandmother is from Savannakhet. 

TJ ‘s father wanted him to learn to swim at a young age and he quickly took to the sport. “I tried a few different sports out but decided to stick with swimming,” said TJ.  He had an explosive high school and club career as a teenager. He qualified for and competed at the 2020 Toyota U.S. Open in Huntsville, Alabama, swimming against some of the best athletes in the nation including Olympic Gold medalist Ryan Held.  During his senior year at Northgate High School, he won the Georgia 6A state championship in the 50 Yard freestyle. Sprint freestyle swimmers are in high demand at the elite college programs due to the fact that they are needed in individual events and both the medley and freestyle relays and after graduating from Northgate High TJ went on to swim for the University of Georgia.  The Bulldogs are considered one of the top college programs in the nation and have produced numerous Olympians including Jay Litherland, Nick Fink and Gunnar Bentz.  

As a 2021 high school graduate TJ is believed to be the first male Lao American to swim at the NCAA Division I level in college.  His cousin, Steven Insixiengmay, will join him on the Georgia Bulldogs roster in 2022.   

About this Article

Information for this article is from and TJ Pittenger. Photos are courtesy of the Pittenger family.

Last Updated: November 27, 2021

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