High school swimmers in Omaha metro compete for Olympic swim team

Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 4:55 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Five swimmers from Omaha metro area high schools competed for a chance to make the Olympic swim team this morning.

The CHI Health Center is all dressed up and ready for the big show. This is where swimmers from across the county will compete for a chance to make the Olympic swim team.

It was hard for swimmers to stay in shape to compete at a high level because of the COVID outbreak taking most of them out of the pool. Because of COVID restrictions for many of the swimmers, having fans in the stands actually watching in person was uplifting.

“It was nice to hear a lot of noise and a lot of cheering. Preparing for the race definitely made me more nervous. I think those kind of things help get you ready and know that you’re here you’re at one of the biggest stages in swimming,” said Luke.

“Knowing my family, my friends, my doctor, my teammates were all watching cheering me on either on TV or in person is a pretty special feeling,” said Elkhorn South graduate, Ryan Patterson.

Council Bluffs Lewis Central graduate Mykenzie Leehy qualified fourth in the Women’s 100 Freestyle. She was very happy to have her parents watch her qualify for tonight’s final.

“It was really nice having them here, I mean they haven’t seen me swim for like over a year and a half and some people haven’t seen me swim for years because most meets are away so I’m like overjoyed with happiness and everything,” said Leehy.

This year’s swim trials say a lot about swimmers from the Omaha metro area.

“For people in the Omaha area, I hope it makes them realize you don’t have to be from California or Florida. If you want to be good, anywhere from the midwest, you can find good teams, you can find good competition and you can keep improving from.”

“Hopefully this will inspire the younger generation of kids to see that coming from Omaha because, in the past couple of years, we haven’t had too many people make it to the trials so now they’re seeing more and more people from the Omaha area are making it. Hopefully, then it will inspire them to train harder and know that they can get there,” said Millard West graduate, Mateo Miceli.

Nate German-Pray and Mykenzie Leehy will swim in the “A” finals of Wave 1 tonight. Luke Barr advances to the “B” final.

Finals get underway at 7 p.m.

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