Former Douglas High School swimmer Brandon Young was in Douglas briefly last Thursday and Friday visiting family before flying out Saturday for Omaha, Neb, where he will swim Thursday in the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Former Douglas High School swimmer Brandon Young is in Omaha, Neb. this week swimming at the U.S. Olympic Trials. He will attempt to finish in the top two and earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. Bruce Whetten/Douglas Dispatch
Young, 18, son of Alfred and Linda Young of Douglas, is then headed off to the University of Utah in August where he will swim on a full ride athletic scholarship once the trials are over. Between the end of the trials and the time he reports to Utah he will continue to train in Tucson.
Young said there are 134 swimmers in his 200-meter breaststroke event. He is currently ranked 113th and only the top two swimmers will make the Olympic team.
“I try not to think about it,” Young said when asked how he felt knowing he was a week away from the trials. “When I do think about it I get super nervous.”
After graduating from Douglas High School in May Young relocated to Tucson where he stayed with family while training with the Ford Aquatics team absorbing knowledge from some of the world’s best breast strokers who he trained with on a daily basis. Young’s father said he would not be surprised if the top two swimmers came from Brandon’s team.
“That’s the kind of talent he’s training with,” his dad said.
Young’s best time in the 200 breaststroke is 2:20.22 and the Olympic qualifying time is 2:20.79.
The former DHS swimmer said while making the Olympic team would be a dream come true his realistic goal is to go to Omaha, soak up the experience, work on improving his time and learn all that he can so in four years he can have a better shot at finishing in the final two.
“This is the biggest meet in the country,” he said. “The only meet bigger than this is the World (Games) or the Olympics.”
Young will first swim in the prelims which are ironically held on his dad’s birthday. And depending on how he does there he could advance into the semifinals which would then be followed by the finals.
Young’s parents will not be able to make the trip with him. His dad says they plan on watching the trials on television.
Brandon’s father said both he and his wife are very proud of what their son has accomplished to get him to this point.
Young has received a lot of publicity as a result of his success in the pool where he won four state championships as well as the Huber Cup at graduation which goes to the top male graduating student.
“This all began here at the Douglas Aquatic Center with the Douglas Dolphins and Michelle Cardenas,” his dad said. “This didn’t start without her help. She was his first coach and she will always be his first coach. Donna Savill and Michelle both helped him a great deal once he got to high school.”
Brandon’s father said to qualify for the Olympic Trials is honor enough and what he does in the four years will show where he stands compared to everybody else.
“No one expected him to do this well,” his dad said. “When he was a sophomore and he won his first state championship nobody expected him to win. As a junior he wasn’t supposed to win. There was a kid that was faster than him and as a senior nobody expected him to win two and he won two and he did it on one leg. He had a pulled groin at the state meet.”
A record 67 and a half of event coverage will be televised; 43 on NBC Sports Network and 24.5 on NBC will feature 10 sports, including live primetime coverage of trials for diving, swimming, gymnastics and track & field, as well as events for wrestling, water polo, field hockey and others.
Young is expected to be in the pool sometime Thursday afternoon. The heats will be shown on the NBC Sports Network station.
“I feel the best I’ve felt in the water,” Brandon said. “I feel I’m ready. … It’s just a matter of getting into the water and doing it and not thinking about it.”