June 25, 2012
Twenty-five men's swimmers with Michigan ties will be in the pool at the 2012 USA Swimming Olympic Trials, which kicked off Monday (June 25) in Omaha, Neb. Among the contenders to make the team is sophomore Sean Ryan, a two-time NCAA All-American in both the 500-yard and 1650-yard freestyle events. Ryan is slated to compete in two events at the trials, carrying the No. 4 seed into the 1,500-meter freestyle on the final day of action. He needs to finish among the race's top two to punch his ticket to London.
MGoBlue.com chatted with Sean during his preparation for the Olympic Trials.
Explain the transition from swimming short-course yards to long-course meters.
"The transition from short course yards to long course meters isn't too bad for me. I'm naturally more of a long-course swimmer, so I really don't mind it. The transition is hard mainly because we switch right after NCAAs, coming off rest it takes a while to get back to where you're feeling really good in the water again."
How does training at Michigan year-round help you in preparation for Olympic Trials/Olympics?
"In my opinion, we have the best distance group in the country. With Connor Jaeger, Ryan Feeley and I, we have three guys who very well could end up on the U.S. National Team in the mile after this summer. That being said, Michigan is obviously the ideal place to train since all three of us are great competitors during training. Also the coaching of Dr. Josh White and Mike Bottom has helped all three of us get to the level of being contenders on the national scene."
How is it having two other Michigan teammates push you in training and or practice?
"I feel like having my teammates pushing me in and out of the pool is really what makes Michigan special. I could do the same the practices at home or at different times, and I wouldn't get the same kind of quality training. Every day there is someone to race at practice, and that's really invaluable. My teammates don't just push me in training either; during school, we hold each other accountable and support each other academically, and they push me achieve more than I thought possible in the classroom."
Do you feel less/more pressure since you are a member of the Team USA Swimming Team?
"The title of being a member of the U.S. National Team doesn't itself put pressure on me, but by default being a member of the U.S. National Team means there is a little bit more pressure. I'm on the national team because I was ranked in the top six in the country for the 1,500 meter, so I am feeling some pressure because I know I could make the team."
What is the biggest difference between the NCAA season and training for the Olympics?
"The biggest difference between training now and training during the NCAA season is that the training now is much more individual. We still act as a team and obviously train together, but at the end of the year it is all about individual swims. Making the Olympic team is about swimming fast individually rather than trying to win collegiate championships, which are all about scoring points for the team effort as individuals don't matter it's all about the team."