UK swimmer competing for spot in summer Olympics

Lexington, Ky.(WKYT) The start of the 2016 Rio Olympics is just over a month a way. This week students from the University of Kentucky Swimming team is are trying to make their dreams come true in Omaha taking part in the Olympic trials.

Before they headed out WKYT's Amber Philpott caught up with the team and one member who has already made history at UK and now has her sights set on Rio.

To be the best in your sport you have to put in the time. In swimming, lap after lap can pay off.

This past season all that pool time paid off big for a University of Kentucky swimmer. Danielle Galyer picked up the first swimming title in Kentucky Wildcat history.

To say that 20-year-old Galyer had a great junior year in the water would be a huge understatement. It was that one 200 backstroke race that propelled her into UK history.

"It was cool, my family was in the stands and we had quite a few girls there and my coaches were there. It was fun to share the moment with my teammates who helped me get that far," said Danielle Galyer, senior UK Swimmer.

Galyer who is humble about her win has helped elevate UK's swimming status in the NCAA.

"We want to be a consistent national power in swimming at UK, Danielle has now opened up the doors for us in terms of recruiting by bringing in higher caliber athletes in here," said UK Swim Coach Lars Jorgensen.

Swimming since she was 5-years-old, she tried giving it up.

"I got in year round when I was 7, I actually hated it so I quit. My mom made me finish out the year," said Galyer.

She toughed it out, and has been on a path to winning ever since. A fourth place NCAA finish her sophomore year set her up for the title win.

"I swam pre-lims and finals next to Missy Franklin who is the reigning Olympic champion in the event so that was pretty big for my confidence to kind of help me believe I belonged there," said Galyer.

Galyer now has her sights set on the 2016 Rio Olympics. When we caught up with her last week, she and nearly thirty teammates were preparing for the Olympic trials in Omaha.

"I think she has an excellent shot of being competitive in Omaha," said Coach Jorgensen.

Galyer admits she never really thought about the Olympics or too far in the future at all. She says she is sticking to what she knows and only looking down the swim lane in front of her.

"I think I'm going to focus on my race, be confident in my practices and just swim the way I want to swim . If that means I end up going to Rio then great, if not I know I did the best I could."

Galyer competed Monday, swimming in the 100 backstroke. She set a personal best making it to the semis, but not the finals. She will compete Friday in the 200 backstroke and hopes to make it to the finals for a shot at the Olympics.



 
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