EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – A Bronxville swimmer who trains at the Badger Swim Club in Larchmont will be taking his talents to China in August as he gets set to represent his country on the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing.
Bronxville native Patrick Conaton is one of three men – and six swimmers total – that will don the red white and blue from Aug. 17 through Aug. 22 at the Youth Olympic Games at the Nanjing Olympic Sports Center in China.
He will swim in the 100 and 200-meter backstrokes, the 100-meter freestyle the 100-meter butterfly and 200-meter individual medley. Conaton is joined on the squad by fellow nominees Patrick Mulcare, from Oregon and Fresno native Justin Wright.
The recent Fordham prep graduate - where he won four state swimming championships - will continue his career at Stanford University this fall. He said he is excited to square off against some of the top talent in the world while wearing his country’s colors.
“This is definitely a stepping stone. I’ve always wanted to make a USA team, but hopefully this is the first of many. I have my whole college career ahead of me at Stanford,” he said. “(I’m looking forward to) competing at an international level against the top swimmers from around the world, as well as the overall atmosphere and culture of the games.”
According to USA Swimming, the nominated athletes were selected based on the world rankings of times posted in Olympic events at one of six meets between July 2013 and May 2014. By virtue of his top-six finishes in both backstroke events at the Speedo Junior National competition last year, Conaton was named to the team.
Although he had to sign several forms that alerted him that he was in the running for a nomination, Conaton only found out about his selection through a friend.
“I only read about it. A friend of mine called me and said he saw it. I knew I was in the running and had to sign a bunch of forms ahead of time, but I only learned from reading the website,” he said. “I only ever imagined having USA on my back, and now it’s going to happen.”
Conaton attributed his time with the Badger Swim Club and on the Fordham squad as major influences in his esteemed career. Coaches at the swim club could not be reached for comment as of press time on Thursday.
“Badger taught me how to train and race. Our coaches remind us daily that we can compete not just locally, but on the national and international level. There is no reason we can’t be as fast as anyone if we work,” he said. “Fordham taught me how to be a good teammate. We learn that we win together and get through challenges together.”