College Sports

O’Fallon swimmer earns trip to NCAA championships

Now a sophomore competing in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Virginia Tech student and O’Fallon native Sean Workman continues to make a name for himself in the swimming pool.

After qualifying for the 2016 United States Olympic Trials in the 200-meter backstroke last summer, Workman recently posted a time of 1:41.74 in the 200-meter backstroke at the ACC Championships in Atlanta to earn a berth in the NCAA Division I National Swimming and Diving Championships. The national finals are March 22-25, 2017, at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis on the campus of IUPUI.

A 2015 graduate of O’Fallon, where he won the 200-meter individual state championship as a senior, Workman needed to swim an extra 200 meters to earn his first NCAA bid.

After tying with Aaron Greene of the University of Louisville for the eighth and final spot in the “A” Division final with a time of 1:42.03, Workman lost his battle with Greene in the swim-off, but his time of 1:41.74, a personal best, was the 29th-best recorded in the nation. Workman said the top 29-30 swimmers in all events qualify for the NCAA Division I Championships.

Workman said the trip to the national finals is a result of pure hard work.

“Qualifying for this meet did not just happen at ACCs. I qualified throughout the year when I chose to come in every single day, often twice or three times a day, and give my 100 percent,” Workman said. “I was just given the opportunity to throw down a time that could get me qualified for NCAAs at the ACC Championship.”

The son of David and Maura Workman, Workman placed 10th overall in the 200-meter backstroke and earned 17 points for the Hokies. Earlier in the week, he swam the 100-meter backstroke, placing 18th overall with another personal-best time of 47.49 and earning seven points.

Virginia Tech finished fourth in the ACC meet with 683 points, 600 points behind champion North Carolina State.

Workman, who is majoring in mining engineering and minoring in environmental engineering, said that while he is enjoying being an NCAA Division I athlete, competing in ACC does also mean performing under pressure.

“The biggest adjustment from high school to college was the adjustment to the training schedule,” Workman said. “It is much more demanding in college than in high school. You are expected to train and perform like an elite athlete at all times.

“I did fairly well my freshman year, but did even better this year. The reason for this is the consistency of my training this year as compared to last. By consistency, I do not mean I was practicing more this year than last, but do mean that I more consistently showed up with my ‘A’ game and performing in practice at the elite level that I should.”

Workman plans on competing in either the World Championship U.S. Trials or the U.S. Open this summer.