Trials stand between Plainwell’s Comerford and Olympics

Japan 2020

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Mallory Comerford is a competitor.

“I love to win,” she said. “I hate to lose.”

A swimmer who competes in the 100 and 200 freestyle, she’s also a relay specialist.

She’s pretty good at winning. She earned multiple state titles while she was still at Plainwell High School and four national championships while swimming for Louisville. Since 2017, she has won 14 medals at international competition, 12 of them for relays, which she loves to swim.

“Being able to share it with someone else and being able to race knowing you’re going to race for somebody standing on the block, it makes it so much more fun and it makes it easier to win fast because you’re doing it for somebody other than yourself,” Comerford said.

Like every other American swimmer hoping to compete in the Tokyo Olympics later this summer, Comerford still has her earn her place on Team USA. The dream has pushed her through the monotonous days of swimming lap after lap.
 
“I try not to get too wrapped up into it because it’s a huge goal that only the best of the best get to do,” she said.

She said representing her country on the world stage is always an honor.

“It’s incredible. I can barely put it into words. The first time I got to wear a cap with USA and my name on it, I remember taking a picture and sending it to my parents and saying, ‘Thank you for everything,'” she recalled. “Every time I put that cap on, I get butterflies just thinking about it.”

The final wave of Olympic swimming trials are being held this week in Omaha, Nebraska. Comerford’s first big swim — the 200 freestyle — is Tuesday, with preliminary races in the morning and semifinals at night; finals are Wednesday. Prelims and semifinals for the 100 freestyle are Thursday and finals Friday night.

The trials will air on NBC starting at 8 p.m. Monday.

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