Jonathan Alder swimmer Eli Stoll is pictured before a meet. Stoll said his Olympic Trials experience was a valuable learning experience. (Journal-Tribune file photo)
A Jonathan Alder High School swimmer recently came up short of qualifying for the United States Summer Olympics team.
Eli Stoll, however, said the experience of competing in the Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb. was “awesome.”
“It was very much a great experience,” said Stoll, who will be a junior at JA in the fall.
Stoll qualified for the Olympic Trials in the 100 backstroke with a time of 55.89.
He finished in the upper half of the 60 Trials candidates with a 24th place time of 56.60.
The U.S. Olympic team advanced two swimmers per event for the Summer Games, which will begin on July 23.
Stoll, who has been swimming competitively since the age of 8, said the trials provided valuable lessons.
“You realize there are always better swimmers than you out there,” he said. “You just have to keep training in order to be among the top.”
While Stoll has competed for his high school and club (Greater Columbus Swim) teams for a number of years, the Olympic Trials were undoubtedly the biggest stage of his career.
“The atmosphere in Omaha was crazy,” he said. “There was this big scoreboard and a lot of lights.
“It was a little intimidating, but also a lot of fun.”
Stoll had a stellar 2020-21 campaign for the Jonathan Alder swimming team.
He captured Division II district championship honors with a new record time of 49.30 in the 100 backstroke.
Stoll also finished as state runner-up in the event with an effort of 49.15.
His high school times were based on a short course in yardage.
The Olympic Trials times were in meters.
Stoll also holds club team records in the 200 backstroke (1:47), 200 butterfly (1:49), 100 butterfly (49.6), 100 backstroke (49.10) and 200 IM (1:50).
He will compete in two meets with the Greater Columbus team this summer.
Stoll will swim in the youth nationals in Virginia toward the end of July.
The sectional meet will be held in Geneva, Ohio, in August.
Those meets, plus all of his off-season swimming and weight training, should prepare him for his junior season for the Pioneers during the 2021-22 winter campaign.
He will also have his eyes focused on the 2024 Olympic Trials.
“I want to get back to Omaha,” he said. “I’m not sure yet, however, what events in which I may compete if I qualify for the Trials.”