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Local athletes competing in USA Swim Trials

Swim trials screen grab
Posted at 6:50 PM, Jun 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-04 20:08:53-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Swim Trials began Friday in Omaha and several local athletes are competing; they say it's surreal being here at home.

“At first it didn’t really feel like I was at a big meet like this because I was at home, hanging out with friends and cooking home-cooked dinners, and its super relaxing being at home,” Luke Barr, Papillion La Vista High School graduate.

“You don’t have to travel, so you don’t have the stress of thinking you forgot stuff, you have everything right here so it’s a lot easier mentally than having to travel halfway across the country,” Nate Germonprez, Westside High School student.

This is the first time their fans have been able to cheer them on in person due to COVID restrictions, making that home pool advantage even better.

“You can hear them when the athletes are walking out from their heat,” JB Barr, Inspire Swim Team Coach said. “You can hear that. It’s great support. It means a lot to the swimmers, so we really value having the trials here in Omaha.”

“Going up behind the blocks, having it be loud, I just try to focus on myself I guess but knowing my family, friends, doctors, teammates were all watching was a pretty special feeling for sure,” Ryan Patterson, Elkhorn South graduate said.

“I remember walking out the 100 back and right behind the blocks where all of my family members cheering me on,” Germonprez said. “It’s was cool to see them, kind of embarrassing, but still cool and it helped me get in the right attitude.”

They all recall sitting here in the stands a few years ago, dreaming of their turn to compete. Now they hope their hard work inspires others.

“I hope it helps them realize you don’t have to be from California or Florida if you want to be good,” Germonprez said. “Anywhere from the Midwest you can find good teams, you can find good competition.”

“Hopefully it will inspire them to train harder and know they can get there,” Matteo Miceli, Millard West graduate said.

Related: Omaha ready for economic impact of USA Swim Trials

For more information on the swim trials: https://www.nbcolympics.com/

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