Local teen competes for U.S. Paralympics Swimming Championships

Austin Olive participates in recent swim championships.

Yucaipa teenager Austin Olive recently attempted to qualify for the U.S. Paralympics Swimming Championships in two events but came up a little short.

The 17-year-old, who is a member of the Yucaipa Swim Team, was trying to use his home pool to his advantage at the U.S. Paralympics California Classic swim meet Sept. 15-16 at Crafton Hills College.

He will try again this weekend at a swim meet in Fontana. It will be his last chance to meet a qualifying time for the national championships in December, according to his aunt, CoraFaye Olive.

In order to qualify for the national championships in Tucson, Ariz., swimmers must meet Can-Am, or Canadian-American, qualifying times, CoraFaye explained. Austin attempted to qualify in the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle, while also competing in 50 backstroke, 50 breaststroke and 50 butterfly at the California Classic.

In the 50 freestyle, Austin needed to clock 34.10 seconds, but came in at 34.22.

In the 100 freestyle, he was six seconds off the 1:12.60 qualifying standard. Both the 50 and 100 free times were personal bests.

“It was a big drop in time, but not quite good enough,” CoraFaye said about her nephew.

The Yucaipa family is hoping for better things this weekend in Fontana because Austin has been able to swim at the qualifying standard.

“He did clock the 50 free in 30 seconds last summer,” CoraFaye said, “but that was in practice, not at an official meet.”

After getting disqualified in the 50 breaststroke, at the California Classic, Austin swam times of 48.08 in the 50 backstroke and 46.80 in the 50 butterfly. Those events are not part of the national championships, but they were also personal best times for Austin.

Austin competes at the S10 level in the 50 and 100 freestyles.

Austin has Hypohidrotic Ectodermal Dysplasia, a rare genetic condition that causes issues with his teeth and a limited ability to sweat. He cannot maintain or regulate his body temperature. However, swimming in a pool helps him maintain his body temperature, CoraFaye said.

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