Fleagle heads to YMCA Nationals

Josh Fleagle, a homeschool student from rural St. Marys who has swam YMCA, club and now USA Swimming, will compete at the YMCA Nationals in Greensboro, North Carolina, next week, where he will be competing in seven events over just a few days.

Fleagle will defend his 100 meter freestyle national title  along with swimming in six other events packed into the week.

On April 2-5, Fleagle will swim in four individual events and three relay events with teammates  and local swimmers Jared Fleagle, Jared Deubler, Matt Feltz, Matt Hollman and Peyton Jones.

“These are guys I’ve been swimming with my entire life,” Fleagle said. “We have a lot of fun and are comfortable swimming with each other. I’m looking forward to it.”

The future Ohio State swimmer broke the national YMCA 50 freestyle record at the Southwest Ohio YMCA championships earlier this year, even after injuring his lat muscle the week before the competition.

“The record came sort of as a surprise after the injury,” he said. “I just really had great support from my friends.”

His 20.07-second time in the 50 freestyle set the new national mark. Fleagle also set new records in the 200 and 100 freestyle events and the 200 individual medley events.

In June, Fleagle will swim in Omaha, Nebraska, in the 2012 USA Olympic Trials in the 50 meter and 100 meter freestyle events.

The event is one of the largest stages in competitive swimming, but Fleagle is keeping it in perspective.

“I’m just looking forward to having fun and competing  with some great swimmers,” Fleagle said.