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Olympic Impact: CW Age Groupers Raise Bar during Summer 2008

You don't have to participate in the Olympics to benefit from them. That's the opinion of many Club Wolverine age group swimmers who are not only reading about record-breaking swims, they are adjusting their own goals and inching the bar a little bit higher.

“Allison Schmitt's performance on the Olympic level has proven that so-called ‘unattainable‘ goals really are possible,ý said Mike Everett, 15, who at one time practiced with Allison, a CW member who qualified for the U.S. Olympic team in the 200 freestyle. “She has inspired me to raise the bar of my own expectations,ý he said, adding that he is dedicated to practicing all year long in order to achieve his goal of swimming in college.

He also plans to swim smarter, shifting his dolphin kick into high gear. “I've been impressed by how much mileage Olympic swimmers get off the walls. It's a reminder to me to work on my dolphin kick when I practice,ý he said.

                                                                                                                   
CW age group swimmers are watching the success of CW Trialists and Olympic athletes and raising the bar on their own goals. They'll be watching the Olympics and hope to carry what they learn into their own swimming.

CLUB STRENGTH BREEDS INDIVIDUAL SUCCESS

Mike Swain
, 17, also was inspired by Allison Schmitt's success. “Watching a fellow swimmer compete on the Olympic level makes that possibility more reachable for me, too,ý he said.
Swain is encouraged by the fact that Club Wolverine fielded over 40 athletes at the Olympic Trials June 29-July 6. “It's an indication of how strong our club is. Their success carries over to others on the team. Now I have higher goals, too,ý he said, adding that he hopes to place in the top 16 of the 200 breast stroke at a U.S. Open event this summer.
Anna DeMonte, 13, said the enthusiasm of Olympic swimmers is contagious. “After watching them compete, I'm definitely more focused,ý said DeMonte, whose goal is to make a USA Junior National LCM time in the 400 IM.
She also gained a few tips from watching Olympians. “I noticed that the swimmers who stay in their own lane mentally do well. For example, Michael Phelps was behind the first half of the 200 butterfly in the semi-finals of the Olympic Trials, but he didn't become pre-occupied with his place. He kept swimming his own race and ended up finishing first.ý