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Fargo swimmer qualifies for Olympic trials

Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 8:38 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - With the 2020 Summer Olympics set to start in 51 days, Olympic trials are taking place to officially name this year’s Team USA representatives; including the Olympic swimming trials in Omaha, Nebraska. Amongst the hopefuls, a Fargo product that’s made a once lofty goal, a reality.

On most days, you’ll likely find Eric Anderson in the pool.

”It’s a lot, it’s probably, minimum, an average of 3.5 hours a day,” Anderson said from the pool.

The Fargo product has been swimming forever but it was high school where he says he chose to make it his focus and where he set a goal that once seemed so far off.

To qualify for the Olympic Trials.

”Going into Freshman year I wanted to qualify by the end of high school,” Anderson explained.

Coming into his senior year this year, Anderson was just half a second from the qualifying mark and so the race was on.

”A lot of the times it looked like a pretty lofty goal that you might not be able to achieve but you’re just shooting for it just to go for it.”

And he did, at meets across the midwest, Anderson shaved hundredths of a second off his time race by race.

All the while, battling changing restrictions from COVID.

The restrictions would cut his typical swim time in half, but that was an improvement from when they weren’t allowed to swim at all.

“We did a lot of dry work and lifting because the weight rooms opened up before the pools,” Anderson recalled. “You couldn’t do any of the normal things that we had to do so in those two hours we really had to push and actually get some serious work done.”

But the pandemic also oddly helped, because the trials should have been last summer but were postponed. Leaving the door open for Anderson.

He took full advantage of a focused and specific regimen the last couple of weeks.

”We changed everything and went all the sprinting, all the details,” Anderson said of his training. “We were working on the small things and just focusing on how we can get better in those small things and that’s what I think really put it to the next level.”

Anderson qualified in the 50m freestyle at the TYR Cup last month. His time, 23.03 seconds.

.16 seconds faster than he needed.

”It was pretty awesome because I saw my placing, and then I saw everyone else’s time and there were a lot of times in that meet that actually made the exact cut that I was going for.”

Always hungry for more, still Anderson has taken the time to appreciate this moment. Once just a dream, that he himself made a reality.

”It’s more of a life lesson than anything, it means you can put your mind to something and you can achieve it if you really want,” Anderson said “You just have to put in the time and the work.”

Anderson will swim Monday in Omaha as part of the Wave I meet. The top two qualifiers in each event at the Wave I meet will go on to qualify for the Wave II meet June 13-20 and the Olympic team will be selected from there.

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