Warren County high school student qualifies for Olympic Swimming Trials
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – A Greenwood High School student now qualifies for the Olympic Trials after meeting the time requirements for the 100-meter breaststroke Sunday morning.
One local swimmer is making great strides toward the Olympics with his strokes in the pool.
“I mean it’s always been a goal. I feel like a lot of swimmers have this goal, but it’s not really, it didn’t seem like it could be a reality until like this year and then really not until this weekend,” said Shourds.
That goal? Becoming an Olympic Trial Qualifier, a title 18-year-old Luke Shourds earned over the weekend.
It’s a title not earned by many. In fact, his coach, Neil Romney, has been coaching for 32 years and has seen just two of his swimmers qualify ever.
“I think he may be the only Warren County swimmer who has qualified for trials ever as a high school student ever,” he said.
Although, Romney says there may have been one decades ago that he is unaware of.
Luke is one of just over 1,200 trial qualifiers in the entire country.
“It’s a remarkable achievement. I was just shaking my head when he texted me thinking he got it because after two tries and this was basically, the meet was over and this was a last, what they call a time trial, it wasn’t even the regular meet line up so. He just never said no. He never said ‘I’m satisfied with that,’” said Romney.
Shourds has been swimming since he was nine-years-old.
He said for others who may just be starting out swimming, the most important part of swimming is to work hard and take time to enjoy the sport.
“If you just start, just have fun with it, get to know your teammates, push each other. Once you start getting into it more, start being more intentional about what you are doing. But at the beginning, definitely just have fun with it,” said Shourds.
Romney said, even when covid had everything shut down, Shourds found a way to swim and weight lift to stay in shape and continue his training.
“It’s been a long year, definitely different and it’s been hard. But for something like this to happen at the end of the season makes it all worth it so [I’m] really excited about it,” said Shourds.
Qualifiers will be held in June to find out if Shourds has what it takes to actually become an Olympic Swimmer for the United States.
He said if he doesn’t make it this year, he will train harder and try again in four years.
Shourds has already committed to swimming for the University of Louisville and is excited to get his college career underway.