A rising junior at Howard University represented the school’s swimming team Monday at the 2021 U.S. Olympic trials in Omaha, Neb., where he competed in the men’s 50-meter freestyle event.

Although Miles Simon of Atlanta fell short of advancing to the next round, his groundbreaking performance opened the door for the Bison Nation and other swimmers looking to make the U.S. Olympic team from an HBCU, according to a university-issued press statement.

“My experience at the 2021 U.S. Olympic trials was revolutionary,” Simon said in the statement. “It opened my eyes to the world of professional swimming. Looking back at today’s race and how far I have come, I’m satisfied with [my] performance. Although, my performance [Monday] wasn’t a reflection of all I can do, just know the best is yet to come.”

This fall, Bison and swimming coach Nicolas Askew returned to the pool after more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, Simon recorded a 23.42 mark in the preliminary round, coming up just short of the qualifying time of 22.99, according to the press statement.

“Bison Nation is so proud of Miles,” said Askew, also director of the university’s swimming and diving division. “His hard work and dedication to improve every single day is what it’s all about. Although he came up short, seeing him compete with the Country’s fastest swimmers for a chance to make the U.S. Olympic team was exhilarating.”

“I know this amazing accomplishment will empower Miles and our team going forward,” Askew added. “This is just the beginning for him and I’m excited to see what follows next for our program.”

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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