Jake Magahey’s swimming success will take him to Budapest, Hungary, later this month.
The Mill Creek senior was announced Thursday by USA Swimming as one of the members of Team USA for the FINA World Junior Championships, which features the best under-18 swimmers competing at the state-of-the-art Danube Arena. He is the only Georgian on the men’s team for the five-day event, scheduled for Aug. 20-25.
Magahey earned the spot based on his performance at the recent Phillips 66 National Championships in Palo Alto, Calif.
“It was very hard to make (the World Juniors roster),” said Chris Davis, Magahey’s coach at SwimAtlanta. “You have to be first or second in your event and there are a lot of fast swimmers out there now. What’s interesting is the first event he made (the roster) in was the 100 free. Here’s a miler (distance swimmer) who made in the 100 free and now he thinks he’s a sprinter.”
Magahey will swim two individual events, the 100 freestyle and the 400 freestyle, and for two U.S. relays, the 400 free relay and the 800 free relay.
He also was on the U.S. Junior National Team last summer, earning three medals (one gold, one silver, one bronze) at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships.
“(Magahey) had such a wonderful, great experience last year that he killed himself to try and make it again this year,” Davis said.
After reaching the Junior Worlds goal, Magahey has a bigger one for next year. He wants to make the U.S. Olympic Team at next summer’s U.S. Olympic Trials.
“(Magahey) doesn’t get intimidated,” Davis said. “I think he sees himself racing with the big dogs and he doesn’t get nervous or intimated in a meet with those guy. (At Phillips 66 Nationals) was the first time at nationals where in a lot of heats he was in the outside lanes, where you are not as relavent as those guys in the middle lanes.
“But he still hung, made it back to finals and had really good swims in the finals. A lot can happen in a year. He’s got a year to goal-set and try to make the Olympic team.”
Magahey is ranked as the No. 3 recruit nationally in the Class of 2020 by SwimSwam.com. He committed earlier this year to the Georgia Bulldogs.
As a high school swimmer, Magahey has been dominant for Mill Creek, racking up state titles, county championships and records. His most noteworthy performance in high school competition came at this year’s state meet, when he broke a national high school record in the 500 free that had stood since 1983.