Hello swimming enthusiasts! With summer in full swing and the Rio Olympics just around the corner, there is so much going on in the swimming world. Today, we will take a look at an Olympic rookie, the twenty-four-year old Melanie Margalis from Clearwater, Florida.
Born in 1991, Melanie Margalis grew up in Clearwater, where she attended Countryside High School and was a club swimmer for St. Petersburg Aquatics. As a high schooler, Margalis swam the fastest 200-yard IM in the state of Florida.
Although she is primarily a breaststroker and IMer, Margalis has a wide range of talent, and is not afraid to swim different events. In 2009, for example, she claimed the state championship in the 500-yard freestyle.
Swimming capabilities run in the Margalis family. Her older sister, Stephanie, swam at the University of South Carolina, and her older brother, Robert, was an NCAA champion at Georgia.
Since Robert Margalis had been so successful at Georgia, Melanie Margalis decided to follow in his footsteps and become a Bulldog. She studied fashion merchandising while becoming a standout college swimmer. By senior year, Margalis was making swimming headlines. As the team captain, she swam second in the 200 IM, third in the 400 IM, and fourth in the 200 breast at the NCAA Championships.
Interestingly, Margalis never envisioned herself as an Olympic swimmer. Although she was always surrounded with Olympic hopefuls like Robert Margalis and Megan Romano in her childhood, and even more Olympic hopefuls at Georgia, she never thought of herself as one. Now she has earned herself a spot on the 2016 Olympic team!
Margalis qualified for the 200 freestyle, 200 IM, and 100 breaststroke finals at Olympic Trials last month, but decided to scratch the 100 breast to focus on her other two events, which happened to be on the same night. She swam to a sixth-place finish in the 200 freestyle, earning her a spot on the 800 freestyle relay. Later on that night, Margalis came from behind to edge out Caitlin Leverenz for second place in the 200 IM, with a time of 2:10.11.
It will be exciting to see what Melanie Margalis can accomplish in a few weeks!