Nic Fink accomplished all of his goals with his very first swim at the United States Olympic Trials in Omaha last week.
Fink, a Morristown resident and rising sophomore at the University of Georgia, advanced to the semifinals of the 100-meter breaststroke, the first of three events in which he’d qualified. Going up against former Olympic gold medalists like Eric Shanteau and Brendan Hansen, Fink also had a personal best of 1:01.53 in the prelim.
“The first swim is usually all nerves,” said Fink, who finished 11th in the semis in 1:01.14. “You walk out into the stadium, and it really gets your nerves going. You’re really excited, because you’ve been waiting all summer for that one minute in the pool. The second race, you think about it and use the strategy you’ve set aside for it. That first race was really fun.”
Hansen (59.68) and Shanteau went 1-2 to earn the Olympic berths in the 100 breast.
Fink also had a personal-best 2:13.89 in the 200 breaststroke, just two hundredths of a second out of a second semifinal berth. He had another PR of 2:03.69 in the 200 IM.
All Daily Record Swimmer of the Year Luke Papendick of Kinnelon, Kyle Madley (Madison), Greta Leberfinger (Chatham), Jillian Altenburger (Mendham), Jeffrey Gomez (Morristown), Paul Nolle (Delbarton), and Abby Fisher (Kinnelon) also competed at the Olympic Trials.
“I’ve come a long way from swimming in the neighborhood when I was eight,” Fink said. “I was swimming against these heavy hitters in the breaststroke world. It’s really an awesome accomplishment.”