Jose Crescimbeni touched the wall behind eight other swimmers, failing to qualify for the finals of the 200-meter butterfly at the Pan American Games in Brazil.
But the Calvary Christian star still got what he wanted: a spot in the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Crescimbeni, who swims for the Peruvian National Team, finished the event in 2 minutes, 1.09 seconds, beating the Olympic standard time of 2:01.79.
"I didn't know that I had (the time) at first," Crescimbeni said. "My coaches came up and told me. I was real excited after that."
Crescimbeni, the Times' 2005 boys county swimmer of the year, has been competing around the globe for the past four months. In March, he was believed to be the only 16-year-old at the FINA World Aquatics Championships in Melbourne, Australia.
But with his spring and summer schedule winding down, Crescimbeni is focusing on the mundane task of going back to school.
He plans to swim for Calvary Christian and will concentrate on the 100 fly and 100 back.
"Making the Olympics was big for me," Crescimbeni said. "But now I'm ready to win a state title."
Bob Putnam can be reached at (727) 445-4169 or email@example.com.
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