Spokane Teenager Looking to Make a Splash at Olympic Trials - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Spokane Teenager Looking to Make a Splash at Olympic Trials

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On land, Daniel Roy is barely old enough to drive, but in the pool, Roy's drive has taken him to the top of his sport at the young age of 16.

"I've gotten to that point where a meet is just a meet," says Roy. "Omaha is a different story."

Omaha is where this year's 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials are happening, where Roy is swimming against the best the country has to offer.

He won his heat in the 100 meter breaststroke on Sunday, finishing 74th total out of 135 swimmers. On Wednesday, he'll be back in pool for his best event, the 200 meter breaststroke. The top two athletes in each event qualify for the Olympic Team and will represent the United States in Rio in August.

"I'm not looking for anything big, maybe just say semifinals at my first Olympic Trials," Roy says of his goals in Omaha. "That would be a really big goal and a really big achievement if I do it."

For Roy, a spot on this year's Olympic team may be unlikely, but he's one of the top young swimmers in his events. Although as he admits, it wasn't always that way.

"When I was 14, I went to my first Junior Nationals. I got beat really bad and I didn't feel like doing that again. I'm not a good loser. I trained and got within a second when I was 14-and-a-half. Practice makes perfect I guess."

"He finished close to last place in his best event, the 200 breaststroke," Roy's coach Kalen Darling recalls. "That really motivated him. Once he saw that level of swimming, and saw there are thousands of other people that are faster than him, I think that turned a switch on."
 
There are no longer thousands of people faster than Daniel Roy. He's now the second fastest 16-year-old in his best event, the 200 meter breaststroke.

"He just kind of took the next step, qualifying for this meet, the next meet, it's kind of a step system," says Darling. "Once he was done dominating at one level of competition, he moved on to the next. He's done a really good job of progressing at a fast rate in the last three years."

The next steps Roy has his sights on are the Junior National team, some top college programs, and maybe even an Olympic Team spot in 2020.

"I don't like getting too ahead of myself. You've got to set a goal, one step at a time. I believe in one step at a time, you can't just jump from place to place."

For now, the place he's at is pretty good. As he continues to grow in the sport, there's no question his work ethic and drive will be there to push him every step of the way.

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