Trying for the Olympics

At an overbright pool placed inside a huge stadium, with thousands of people watching, three Oakwood swimmers stood on the dock, waiting to begin their respective races.

Brock Turner (11), Cliff Goertemiller (12), and Patrick Mulcare (10), who all swim for both the Dayton Raiders club team and the Oakwood Swim team, qualified for the Olympic Trials in Omaha, NE the week of June 25-July 2 this past summer. None of the students made it to the Olympic Team; but all said it was a great experience.

“You realize that you’re there, you know you will compete but you know that you can’t beat the Olympic athletes,” Mulcare said. “It’s hard to go fast when there’s a lot of previous Olympians there.”

Mulcare, Turner, and Goertemiller  all swim under the same team and the same coaches, Kevin Weldon and Gary Galbreath. All were pretty happy that they had qualified, since they are still in high school and most of the people there were either Olympians or college students. According to Mulcare, only about 20 percent of the people there were still in high school.

“I was super happy when I found out I qualified,” Turner said. “I knew it was rare, and I had trained for it all season.”

While he entered the trials in high school, Mulcare actually qualified for the trials in 8th grade at Junior Nationals Long Course in Palo Alto, CA. Goertemiller and Turner both qualified during high school at Junior National meets.

All of the swimmers said that they were nervous before swimming, which affected their times. While all had extremely good times to qualify, the end times were not as good as the boys wanted them to be.

Goertemiller swam his mile in 16:00.51, unlike his trial qualify time  of 15:44.69. Mulcare swam the 400 IM in 4:36.38 and his 200 IM in 2:06.18. Turner swam his 200 free in 2:04.68.

The boys had different opinions about why their times were slower.

“The pool was different. It was like they just dropped it in the middle of a basketball court,” Goertemiller  said. “Usually I’m nervous before a meet and nervousness helps me swim faster.”

The other boys cited nervousness as a factor in their slower times. Mulcare’s first event overwhelmed him.

“Nothing I could have imagined could have prepared me for how big the meet was,” Mulcare said.

Although they did not qualify for the Olympics, the boys are pleased with the fact they went to the Trials.

Mulcare said, “You can look at it as just another meet but it’s more to swim for experience than for time.”

By: Lee McClory

mcclory.eileen@oakwoodschools.org

Oakwood swim coach Jennifer Jervis (left) talks with Olympic trial
athletes Brock Turner(11) (center) and Patrick Mulcare (10) (right) in
between classes in Jervis’s French room Sept. 7. Turner and Mulcare
along with teammate Cliff Goertemiller (12) went to the Olympic
trials last summer with their club team coach from the Dayton Raiders,
but they also swim at Oakwood swim meets. Neither Mulcare nor Turner
nor Goertemiller qualified for the Olympics, but all rank it as a good
experience.

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