For Andrew Seliskar, the third time was the charm in achieving his ultimate goal and dream.
The former McLean resident and member of the McLean Marlins summertime Northern Virginia Swimming League team recently qualified for the Summer Olympics by earning a spot on the men’s 4×200 freestyle relay. Seliskar made the team at the men’s U.S. Olympic Trials by virtue of strong finishes in the men’s 200 freestyle race (fourth in 1:46.34) and 200 individual medley (sixth in 1:58.35).
He did not qualify for the games in any individual races.
For years, even when he attended and was setting records for the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology boys swim team, Seliskar’s goal was to qualify for the Olympics. He made unsuccessful attempts in 2012 and 2016, but didn’t give up.
Even when the 2020 games were postponed a year ago because of the pandemic, Seliskar, 25, kept focus of his dream.
“I am always preparing for the trials and the Olympics, that’s why I keep swimming,” Seliskar said.
Seliskar has been a standout swimmer for years, setting team and league records for the Marlins and Jefferson, where he won state championships and set a national prep record in the boys 100-yard breaststroke.
He won many big NCAA races and set records in college at the University of California – Berkeley. He earned a spot on the U.S. National team and he now swims professionally.
Living on the West Coast now, Seliskar still has extended family in Northern Virginia, saying he often thinks about his years swimming with the Marlins teams, and he keeps in contact with a coach from the team, which he joined at age 4 or 5.
“That league and those [NVSL] meets helped me develop as a racer, and to learn about the importance of going to practice every day and enjoying being in the water,” Seliskar said.
As far as beyond the 2021 Olympics for Seliskar?
“I can always see myself swimming – competitively, professionally or even just for fun,” he said.