June 10, 2023
Ben Michaelson 2

Blast from the Previous: How Ben Michaelson Smashed the Norm and Pioneered

Pioneers change their minds. They present what’s achievable. They remove preconceived notions. And maybe most significantly, they open new doorways and provide alternatives for brand new generations. Merely, they’ve a long-lasting impact. One such pioneer was Ben Michaelson.


Return to 2002. As a third-year scholar at Southern Connecticut State College, Ben Michaelson He was a thriving standout in butterfly and dash freestyle competitions. The 12 months concluded with Michaelson receiving a second consecutive NCAA Division II Swimmer of the Yr award, and his 46.25 time within the 100-yard butterfly opened the eyes to some.

But for a lot of observers, Michaelson was merely a lower-level participant. Half I, proper? Aren’t you a part of a blue blood program? Then who cares?

It was an unlucky situation, however it will definitely proved helpful. Look, Michaelson has embraced his place. With coach’s help and steering Tim QuillThe Division II star has adopted an earth-to-earth mentality.

A 12 months later, Michaelson was positively within the limelight the place he actually belonged.


Picture Courtesy: Peter Bick

“Since I used to be little, I dreamed of swimming for a powerful Division I program,” Michaelson mentioned. “I keep in mind getting the NCAA quantity each spring (Swimming World) and imagining myself on the quilt with my crew, throwing the coach into the pool and lifting that massive championship trophy.

The reality is, it wasn’t within the playing cards for me. I grew up in a manufacturing unit city and swam for a (leisure) crew. There was just one Division I program that answered my calls, and the top coach did not present up for my household assembly whereas I used to be on an official go to. On the time, I feel there have been solely 4 individuals on the earth who believed in my expertise: me, my household, and Tim Quill.”

Having graduated from highschool, Michaelson had performances effectively sufficient to enter a Division I faculty—maybe not among the many prime 10 packages, however actually at just a few establishments with DI levels. Contacting just one prime faculty explains the complicated nature of recruiting and the way athletes may be missed.

Valuing his ability set and potential, Quill and Michaelson selected the Southern State of Connecticut in New Haven. It additionally helped Michaelson mature bodily in his senior 12 months of highschool, lastly finishing the work his physique had saved by pool and dry area coaching. Throughout highschool, Michaelson went from 55 excessive sophomores to 50 low performers within the 100-yard butterfly.

Her relationship with Quill enabled Michaelson to take the following step, and her profile rose to a recognizable spot past the partitions of Half II. In fact, Michaelson saved his “I will-I will Present You” perspective and used his intrinsic motivation to package deal up a remaining season that continues to be an epic story in faculty swimming historical past.


in 2003 NCAA On the Division II Championships, Michaelson was the focus, and he has performed so many instances. Lengthy dedicated to perfecting his underwater expertise, Michaelson claimed victory within the 200 butterflies in addition to sweeping the dash freestyles. But what he completed at 100 butterflies was what introduced him to the top of the game.

Behind a time of 45.60, Michaelson set a Division II document and was the quickest within the nation no matter his tier on the time. The one query was whether or not the trouble may stand up to the Division I Championships and an assault from the Olympian. Ian Crocker. In the end, Crocker produced a time of 45.67, permitting Michaelson to safe the all-league crown for the 12 months.

“Every part was private for me in swimming,” Michaelson mentioned. “Since I used to be 8 years previous, all I thought of was beating individuals. I nonetheless keep in mind all their names and the main points of our races. I knew I would not get an opportunity to go head-to-head with Ian Crocker in 2003, however my aim was to swim sooner than him for some time, and so did I. We each swam in a pool that was the identical size from begin to end. Time does not lie.”


As his faculty profession got here to an finish, Michaelson shifted his focus to representing america in worldwide competitors; this included the seek for a spot on the crew for the 2004 Olympic Video games in Athens.

Earlier than chasing this chance, Michaelson competed for Group USA on the 2003 Duel within the Pool in April and accomplished 100 butterfly scans in America. Michael Phelps and Crocker towards Australia. Two months later, he set an American document within the 100 butterflies (SCM), then broke Pan Am Video games information in August by mining gold within the 100 fly and 400 medley relay on the 2003 Pan American Video games. each occasions

Whereas Michaelson went to the 2004 Olympic Trials in Lengthy Seaside, Crocker and Phelps had been listed as heavy favorites. Certainly, the consequence was chalky and Crocker broke the world document. A month later, it was Phelps who gained the gold medal on the Video games when the long run 28-time Olympic medalist rallied within the remaining strokes to beat his American teammate.

Nonetheless, Michaelson acquitted himself properly. Ending the Trials in third place, Michaelson added yet one more chapter to his fairytale rise within the sport. Furthermore, he continued to encourage and encourage, proving that excellence can emerge from each nook.

“I laid the whole lot out in that parking zone in Lengthy Seaside and fell quick,” Michaelson mentioned. “Ian broke the world document with 50.76 that day and Michael was proper behind him. I used to be rather a lot nearer to fourth than second. That is how issues go generally. I do not remorse it as a result of I do know I did my finest and gave my all.”

Whereas representing america admirably within the pool, Michaelson turned dedicated to his nation when he started serving as a fight medic in america Military in 2008. Michaelson served on this position till 2013 as a part of the First Battalion, sixty fourth Armored Regiment, Third Infantry Division, based mostly in Fort Stewart, Ga. Sergeant. Army accolades embrace the Military Commendation Medal and the Military Achievement Medal.


Michaelson at present lives on a small farm in Texas and works on digital medical document software program within the healthcare business. Married with two kids, Michaelson is accompanied by a number of pets on his farm, enjoys working within the vegetable backyard, and is aware of a factor or two about woodworking.

While you look again, the times on the water stay significant. Specifically, he remembers competing within the Duel within the Pool and deeply appreciates the way in which it took him to the worldwide stage.

“The second that stands out for me is david marsh Michaelson approached me and my coach within the warm-up pool on the spring nationals in 2003 and invited me to be a part of the primary Pool Duel crew to face Australia in just a few days,” he mentioned. “This was my first nationwide crew recreation. America’s finest swimming recreation. I’ve to be on the crew and race in entrance of a packed home at The Nat…I’ve a cap with the American flag on it…I’ve a Group USA parka. I nonetheless have each and I’ll always remember that day. And I do know that if I hadn’t made your best option for myself and Southern Connecticut State II.

The place he leads.

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