Casey Chung went down to Texas and landed in the Olympic Trials.
The former standout Skyline swimmer, who won back-to-back state titles in the backstroke for the Eagles, is headed across the street to the University of Michigan for the next chapter in her swimming career.
But next summer will come another chapter, one few get to write.
Chung made an Olympic Trial cut in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:02.48 during her trip to Texas with Club Wolverine. Not only did it not come as a surprise but it was something Chung had her eye on.
“Getting the cut was my biggest goal going into the meet,” she said.
The trials are held in Omaha, Neb., June 2020 before the Olympic Games.
Club Wolverine won the meet held at Texas A&M University in College Station against some of the elite clubs in the nation.
Chung also competed in the 50 and 100 freestyle along with the 100 and 200 backstroke. She swam a personal best in the 100 free and 200 back along with her Olympic Trial cut in the 100 backstroke.
She also anchored the 400 free relay (third place) and swam backstroke on the 400 medley relay (second place).
With all of these great performances one would think Chung earned an “A” for the trip down south. One would be wrong.
“I would give myself a B-plus on how I did,” she said. “Obviously, I’m very happy about getting the Trial cut, but I could have been more consistent with my swims. The day after I got my trial cut I swam pretty poorly because I was too excited to sleep.”
Club Wolverine Coach Gunnar Schmidt was obviously pleased and excited for his talented swimmer.
“You don’t see a lot of swimmers under the age of 18 at Olympic Trials,” he said. “Over the last two years we have seen her commit to her process and lead our team by example. We are proud of her accomplishments but also excited for her future on Club Wolverine and now the University of Michigan.”
Chung has been swimming with Club Wolverine since she was 11 years old.
“One of my proudest accomplishments is how far I’ve come,” she says. “At one point in time, I didn’t even have a state cut. It’s kind of cheesy to say, but if you told me someday I would have an Olympic trial cut I would’ve said, ‘you’re crazy!’
“One of my favorite moments is when CW won NCSAs this past summer. We had a huge senior class and it was a great moment to see them so happy at our last meet together.”
She said the trip to Texas was “super fun.”
“It’s always great to travel somewhere warm in the middle of Michigan winter,” she said. “We took a group of high school girls to the meet and we ended up winning the girls’ side of the meet! I love team travel meets because I always make the best memories.”
Chung said winning the meet was a bit of a surprise considering most of the other teams there were larger in numbers.
“I was kind of shocked that we won,” she said. “Compared to other teams, our group was considerably smaller so I didn’t expect it. The best part was that we won by only one point. It blows my mind to think that if any person had touched even .1 slower and dropped a place, we could have lost. It was truly a team effort and every swim mattered.”
What matters now to Chung is getting ready to be a Wolverine.
“I verbally committed to swim there last November,” she said. “I’m so excited. It’s always been a dream of mine – I’ve had a Michigan Swim & Dive poster hanging in my room since 2011. When I was younger I didn’t think I could swim in college but I still wanted to go to school at Michigan. I hope to someday qualify for NCAAs in college and to represent Michigan well.”
Chung wanted to say a special thanks to a special coach.
“Gunnar is way too humble to ever say this but he is why Club Wolverine has had so much success,” she said. “His leadership and dedication to the program goes so far beyond the average expectations. I don’t think I would be the swimmer I am without his coaching.”
And one more special “thank you.”
“I’m thankful that my parents (Laura and Ken Chung) don’t put any pressure on me,” she says. “It’s probably one of the reasons I’ve been able to do the sport for so long because I’ve been self-motivated. They want me to do my best, but on my terms, not theirs.”