“Gosh, this is what you live for. Just the way, when everybody is cheering -- It just feels good to have everybody shouting your name,” said Josh Matheny, swimmer.
Josh Matheny knows all about the big stage.
The 18-year-old from Upper St. Clair dreams about competing on the biggest stage of all, the Olympics.
“I kind of want that now. It’s definitely made me hungry to see,” said Matheny.
The young swimming star got a taste of competing for Team USA when he participated in the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 100 meter breaststroke.
Matheny fell short of making the team, but his coach, Dave Schraven, says he should be in a prime position to compete in the 2024 Summer Olympics.
“He has a special talent and you can start to see the national rankings as he gets older. He keeps climbing in the national rankings,” said Dave Schraven.
Not only is Matheny climbing the charts, he is setting a lot of records.
“I hold the meet record at the Junior World Championships in the 200 meter breaststroke,” said Matheny.
Schraven and Matheny have worked hard to keep the momentum going, especially during the pandemic, but it has been challenging.
“I’ve probably trained in six or seven states in the past year. I have flown all the way out to Arizona for a couple of weeks, just because that’s what was available,” said Matheny.
Matheny will be attending Indiana University in the fall and is scheduled to train with one of the top breaststroke coaches in the world.
And while balancing his athletic career and college won’t be easy, Josh is focused on winning an Olympic medal.
“Just waking up at 5:30 a.m. when you just want to hit the snooze button and go back to bed ... In the moment, it is really difficult ... But, I found it is 100% worth my time,” said Matheny.
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