Panama City Beach, FL---The United States Olympic Swim Team is being decided this week in Omaha Nebraska. Among those there, the first Bay Countian to ever take a shot at the U.S. swim trials.
I'm talking about Mosley senior-to-be, and Panama City Swim team member Michael Duderstadt. Even though he's a longshot to make the Olympic squad, Michael will take his shot in the 200 meter breaststroke after qualifying for the trials up at Auburn a few weeks ago.
"Its nice to have a home grown Olympic qualifier to come out of this area.' says PC Swim Team Coach Jonathan Kaplan. "Its a tribute to all the volunteers and the coaching staff that have done a good job to help grow this team and put us in a position that we can have someone at that caliber of a level to come out of the program. And its gonna be exceptional for him when he goes off to Omaha because hes gonna know that he has a lot of people back in Bay county that are supporting him.
Duderstadt knows he is in Omaha representing more than just himself!
"It means so much, its just an honor to know I have a whole team behind me and its just not me going up there and racing. And it just helps you mentally a lot, just knowing that theyre behind you.
The trials began Monday with the likes of Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte swimming in the pool in Omaha, they have 22 Olympic medals between them, including Phelps 14 golds.
"Its just an honor knowing that I'm gonna be at the same meet with two of the greatest swimmers in history." says Duderstadt. "And even more, the greatest swimmers in the world. Its just crazy."
Hes gonna be star struck," adds Kaplan "but at the same time hes also gonna realize that he does belong there, because he is at that level now.
Given Michael's just 17 and just now getting to that level, well he's an extreme longshot to make the Olympic team. Kaplan says that certainly won't minimize what all this means.
"The opportunity is gonna be pretty exciting because hes actually going to see firsthand the United States Olympic team be assembled, and hes gonna be a part of that. But more importantly its gonna give him the experience necessary to be prepared in 2016 when he might actually have a shot at making the team."
And we'll show you Michael's prelim come Thursday, we wish him the best of luck.