Lessons learned for Taylor at Olympic trials

Lucas Punkari

With his eyes set towards 2016, Fort Frances Aquanaut Donovan Taylor planned to use the 2012 Olympic swimming trials last week in Montreal as a learning experience.
Despite his best result being a 47th place in the 400m I.M. last Tuesday, the 17-year-old Taylor picked up numerous lessons that he plans to build upon, not only for four years from now but for next fall when he begins his collegiate swimming career at Indiana University.
“It was a different experience from anything I had been to before, and I really enjoyed it,” he enthused.
“I had a little bit of a hard time getting my head wrapped around some stuff, and I had couple of swims that I was hoping I would do a little better in, but they went how they went,” he reasoned.
“For the future, I just need to remember to have fun with an event like this and [not to put] too much pressure on myself, otherwise you will blow your opportunities.”
Following the 400 I.M. on Tuesday, Taylor was 72nd in the 100m backstroke on Wednesday, 97th in the 100m butterfly on Saturday, and then 77th in the 200m I.M. on Sunday.
“I wasn’t too thrilled with my 100s, and the 200 I.M. is probably the one race that I wasn’t too happy about,” he admitted.
“I know I can go much faster than that, but my gas tank ran out in the last 100m or so.”
Taylor, however, was impressed by his effort in the 400 I.M., taking a second-and-a-half off of his previous personal best time.
“I was surprised by that,” he remarked. “But to be honest, I still would have liked to have it go even lower.
“I felt there was less pressure on me going into that swim, so I felt more relaxed going into it, and the run itself went a lot more comfortably than I expected it to be.
“Looking ahead, I’ll be working on some things during training here to get ready to prepare myself for the senior nationals in Edmonton in July,” Taylor added.
From a coaching perspective, Dawnn Taylor also was pleased with how the week went, especially with how her son handled himself in his first time at the Olympic trials.
“You could tell that the pressure got to a lot of swimmers there, and I think there were more tears than cheers for those first-time swimmers,” she recalled.
“There were kids from Toronto and those areas that are used to being at the top all the time [who] were unable to pull it off at the trials, and those guys that thought they would do really well ended up not doing all that great.
“For us, it was a great experience to learn about how you eat, how you sleep, and how you attack a meet like this,” Dawnn Taylor added.
“And that’s going to be great heading into the senior nationals.”
Next up for Taylor is a meet in Kenora next weekend, where he’ll be swimming with nine other Aquanaut teammates, before the entire squad travels to Thunder Bay for the May Invitational on May 25-27.