“This time around it was a whole lot more relaxing, I’d say,” Young said. “Having those first two junior nationals under my belt, it helped me take it in a lot better.
“I think the biggest thing to take away from this is motivation.”
Charles Todd, the head coach for both the CCAC and Dalton High’s swimming and diving program, was there to see his pupil shine.
“There were a row of college coaches. After the meet, they talked to me,” Todd said. “They can’t recruit him (per NCAA rules) but they came up and told me, ‘Nice swim. We have him on our radar.’ So that helps motivate him to come back and begin training hard for next year. He can do this again as a 16-, 17- and 18-year-old. He can go to three more Junior Nationals and climb up that notch.”
To qualify for the finals each night at the national meet, swimmers had to be among the top 24 during preliminaries during the meet’s day session. The fastest eight advanced to the “A” final, the next eight made the “B” final and the remaining eight went into the “C” final. Swimmers could change their ultimate place within their group during the finals, but go no higher or lower than those eight — for instance, a swimmer could enter the “C” final with the 24th-fastest time but finish as high as 17th.
Last week, Young’s preliminary swim in the 100 backstroke (57.28) was seventh best, good enough for the A” final. In the 200 backstroke preliminary, Young had the 19th-best time of 2:04.75, qualifying him for the “C” final, and it was another Olympics Trial qualifier. He missed the finals in the 100 butterfly.
“He had a real strong performance on the preliminaries,” Todd said. “He ended up getting two Olympic Trial cuts. At night, his times were a little slower. That was still his fastest meet to date.”
However, it could’ve been better, Todd said.
“This was an outdoor pool,” he said. “In Indianapolis, it was an indoor pool. For backstrokers, it’s a lot easier to find something on the ceiling to line yourself up like a bar or ceiling line. In Irvine, we swam at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. and the only thing you could line yourself up with is pretty blue skies and sunshine.”
Young is now looking to the 2013-2014 high school season. Dalton won the Class A-5A state title last winter, and without Dale back this season, Young and senior Taylor Mathis will be the two biggest names returning as the Catamounts aim for a repeat performance.
“I think this really helps me get motivated and look forward to next season,” Young said.