Cedar Park swimmer Taylor Abbott is headed to Hungary later this summer to compete in the Junior World Open Water Swim Championships.
“Most juniors in high school don’t get to have this opportunity, don’t get to do the things that this team gets to do. Real excited for it, really proud to represent my country, ” said Abbott.
Abbott qualified for worlds by winning the 5k in the 18-and-under division at the Open Water National Championships in June.
“It was amazing. I was kind of in shock. I didnt’ want to coold own. I just wanted to run around, wait for the results to come out, wait to get my medal and everything.”
Open water swimming is a new venture for Abbott, though. He’s only been training for it for a year, and first started doing it to train for normal pool races.
“It’s a lot more strategy. It’s not just you’re in your own lane. You’re getting hit, you’re getting beat up, you’re beating up other people. You can draft, you can flip over his back, you can do whatever. So you really have to fight for it, and I think that’s a lot different than pool swimming.”
“Taylor is a natural distance swimmer. It’s pretty exciting and Taylor’s really gravitated to it, and he’s put himself in the hunt where now he can talk about being a contender for the Rio team in open water.”
One big difference from open water swimming versus in a pool: Nature.
“I swam a meet in Florida, there were cautions about aligators in the lake. I just know if I see one, I don’t have to be the fastest guy, I just don’t have to be the last guy.”
Abbott will begin his junior year at Cedar Park High School later this month.