By Katelyn Massarelli
With the Summer Olympics just around the corner, athletes all over the country are preparing for the Olympic Trials taking place in Omaha, Nebraska. Among the swimmers competing for the spot on the U.S Olympic team, swimmer from TBay Brandon swim club, Christin Rockway, is preparing to compete amongst some of the best swimmers throughout the country.
“I’m excited to go and race,” Rockway said, “It’s going to be a new environment since I’ve never swam in the the same pool as other Olympians.”
Ending her sophomore year of high school at Tampa Catholic soon, Rockway’s swimming career is just beginning with three Olympic Trial qualifications. She now qualifies to compete in the 400 yard Individual Medley (IM), 200 yard IM, and the 200 yard Butterfly. Though Rockway isn’t setting her sights on the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, her goals are set high to make the USA Swimming National Junior Team for 18 and under swimmers and begin training for the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Swimmers for the National Junior team are picked yearly and are given the opportunity to travel around the world to compete against other swimmers. Along with increasing the intensity of training at practice and home, Rockway is constantly working with TBay Brandon Head Coach Dave Gesacion when preparing for the Olympic Trials and meeting her goals.
Gesacion has been coaching Rockway for six years now and will attend the Olympic Trials with her. Being a former swimmer himself, according to Gesacion going to the Olympic Trials is completely different environment from a usual competitive meet. He came up short making it to the Olympic Trials, but has watched the trials before and coached multiple swimmers who went on to compete at the Olympic Trials, only one other swimmer of his being 16 years old like Rockway.
“Being able to coach [Rockway] from 10-years-old and watch her year after year and seeing it come to fruition is unbelievable,” Gesacion said.
According to Rockway, Gesacion has been supportive and helpful in her journey to the Olympic Trials and coming up with effective training to meet her goals.
The Olympic Trials will be going on from June 26-July 3 and the Television airing and Webcasts will be shown across NBC networks. Visit www.usaswimming. org under the events tab.