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Devyn Caples (’24) makes Olympic Trials

Amelia Tsao
Devyn Caples (’24) qualifies for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials 2024 for swimming.

Devyn Caples (‘24) is a D1 student-athlete who recently qualified for the Olympic trials in the 400 IM event. Currently, he is a member of the Crow Canyon Sharks and plans to train with the team for the Olympic trials meet in summer 2024.

“Around three weeks ago, I was qualified to enter the 2024 U.S. Olympic trials. This pretty much is the standard [where] I get to compete with other people who also [met] the standard. So I get to attend a swim meet in early June. The top two from that meet go to the [official] Olympics,” said Caples.

Caples qualified for the 400-meter IM event. This is an event with 100 meters of each of the four strokes, butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle. This venue happens every four years and less than 0.5% of around 400,000 USA Swimming athletes qualify through swimming.

“There’s around 90 [trial qualifiers] per swim event. The top two swimmers from each event will attend the Olympics. The top swimmers from the Olympic trials are all pro athletes who are signed. They get money from different companies, they graduate college, and they probably get 1st or second place in the NCAA. Those guys are incredibly fast,” said Caples.

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Despite the difficulty of qualifying for a single event, Caples strives to improve his 400-meter freestyle for the Olympic Trials. And after, plans on attending Princeton University for college.  Where he will study engineering and be part of the Men’s Swim and Dive team.

“I would like to achieve and qualify for the Division 1 NCAA championship when I swim in college. I am majoring in engineering and I’ll probably just stick with that and go from there to get my MBA,” said Caples.

The start of his success

Caples started swimming competitively at the young age of five, for St. Lawrence Elementary School. Since then, he’s enjoyed being part of this year-round sport where he can interact with friends and swimmers from other teams.

“I’ve always liked swimming competitions. This is where all the hard work, dedication, and effort you put in at practice show through achieving my goal times,” said Caples.

Caples spends around 20 hours in the water swimming approximately 70,000 yards per week. Many of his weekends are spent at the local swim meets and the team travels to different states for Junior and National swim meets. He believes the key to his success is his consistency and dedication.

“I started morning practices when I was 13 and from then I’ve been getting up at 4:30 almost every day during the school week.  If you miss one day of practice, it takes at least 2-3 days to make it up. So if you are lazy and say ‘Oh, I  want to skip practice today’ then you still have to make it up for swimming next week. So I just have as few skip days as possible and keep myself healthy so I can be able to swim,” said Caples.

Balancing swim and school

Through his busy schedule, Caples is still able to maintain a high academic profile. Due to frequent travel meets, doing homework on weekends or the plane, and making up tests during access has become a norm.

“Maintaining straight A’s and swimming 20 hrs a week is not an easy feat.  However, I found that keeping a consistent schedule and having good habits such as a healthy diet and sleep schedule helped me excel in both,” said Caples.

Caples is grateful for his parents who support him, and motivated by his teammates who push him beyond his limits. He constantly is looking for new approaches to improve his performance.

“The good thing about swimming for me is that I like to swim. So having a bad swim meet or a bad practice [this will not affect me]. If my times are bad and I’m not hitting my goals I can instead focus on my technique. So every practice there’s something I can improve on whether it’s technique or something that will help me improve,” said Caples.

This story was originally published on Amador ValleyToday on March 28, 2024.