PHOENIX, Arizona, November 6. ON today's edition of the Morning Swim Show Gage Crosby talks about verbally committing to the Arizona Wildcats. He describes the team as a “true family” and was impressed by the coaches' understanding of breaststroke. The interview then moves to a discussion about how he got started in swimming in the fifth grade, after an accident involving a BB-gun that left him unable to compete in contact sports.
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Tiffany Elias: This is The Morning Swim Show for Tuesday, November 6th, 2012. I'm your host, Tiffany Elias. Our guest in the FINIS monitor is one of the latest recruits to commit to the Arizona Wildcats for next season, but what might even be more interesting is his childhood incident that not only had a tremendous impact on his life but helped jumpstart his swimming success. Coming to us from Bentonville, Arkansas is Gage Crosby. Welcome to the show, Gage.
Gage Crosby: Thanks for having me.
Tiffany Elias: All right, first off congratulations on your commitment to Arizona.
Gage Crosby: Thank you, great, it's an amazing coaching staff, team, and facilities.
Tiffany Elias: Always a great top 5, top 10 program. So a lot to look forward to. What were some of your deciding factors that helped you choose Arizona?
Gage Crosby: Well definitely the team – it's like a true family out there, and I mean I could rely on them for anything just with the couple of days that I was there. I also have one of my friends who goes there, Ellis Miller, he's a junior this year, so I'll get a year with him. And then the coaches, I thought they had a real understanding of the swimming and breaststroke in particular which is my main stroke, so that's what I really thought would help me get to the next level of my goals, reach everything that I needed.
Tiffany Elias: Very nice, so it helped to kind of already know some people out there?
Gage Crosby: Oh yes, I mean Ellis is a great guy and I've known him for a long time, he's one of my best friends.
Tiffany Elias: Well the west coast is pretty far from Arkansas. How are you feeling about heading all the way out here to Arizona?
Gage Crosby: Oh excited, I mean it's nice in the south but it's nothing like warm weather year round in Arizona.
Tiffany Elias: Yes, it definitely is warm, so if I could give you one tip make sure to pack that sunscreen.
Gage Crosby: Oh yes.
Tiffany Elias: All right, so prior to making your decision you've had a lot of events that have led up to your swimming success and one in particular which is really the storyline here is how you got started into swimming. Why don't you walk us back to that 5th grade incident you had and explain to us what happened?
Gage Crosby: Well I was shot in my eye. My brother and I were playing around with BB guns and he shot it right up in the air, one in a million shot, and it comes down and hits me in the eye. So I had to go to the emergency room and everything, they got it out, and the only real damage is my eyes don't dilate very well, but in that span I couldn't play contact sports for a while and so I – my mom forced me into swimming which was — eventually, it just took off and I really started to enjoy it. I was no longer forced to do it, and I really fell in love with the sport, and it's continued from there.
Tiffany Elias: So you needed to swim so that you would be in a less contact sport and less of a chance of getting hit in your eye?
Gage Crosby: Yes. If I had been hit in that year, two-year span it would have just – it would have thrown out my retina of my eye and didn't really want that.
Tiffany Elias: Now is your eye still in jeopardy of something bad happening if you were to have an accident in the face or get kicked in the water?
Gage Crosby: No, it's not nearly as bad anymore but I mean I'll probably eventually go blind in that eye but that's really all that's going to happen.
Tiffany Elias: So otherwise there really isn't any effect right now as far as your swimming is concerned?
Gage Crosby: No, I'll be perfectly fine for any of the swimming.
Tiffany Elias: Well did you ever think that you would be starting off in a sport you disliked but ending up at Olympic Trials and now your ultimate goal 2016 Rio?
Gage Crosby: Oh I had no idea. When I first started it was very painful the first day, I thought they tried to drown me, but I guess they weren't successful.
Tiffany Elias: So how was that Olympic Trials experience for you?
Gage Crosby: Oh it was amazing. The pool is so fast and all of the major stars out there, just being able to swim against them, swim with them, it was great.
Tiffany Elias: Who did you really enjoy getting to see swim?
Gage Crosby: Probably the 4IM with the fire going off halfway through the breaststroke.
Tiffany Elias: Yes, that was a very exciting feature they had here in the Omaha pool.
Gage Crosby: Oh yes, I mean I had no idea they could do fire inside.
Tiffany Elias: So you're at the perfect age of now you're going into your next four years of swimming which in four years, just under that actually, we will have Trials for Rio. So it's safe to say that's your ultimate goal here, is to train through Arizona and see how close you can get to that team?
Gage Crosby: Oh yes, I'm really, really pushing for it, hoping to make one or two spots, maybe even with a teammate, Kevin or Carl.
Tiffany Elias: Yes, lots of strong fresh lookers out there in Arizona. What are you looking forward to most next year?
Gage Crosby: Probably just the true team atmosphere, getting to be with all of them and finally start weights and everything like that, get some hard training under my belt and see what happens.
Tiffany Elias: All right, well good luck with your final high school season and we look forward to seeing you out here in Arizona.
Gage Crosby: Thank you.
Tiffany Elias: All right, thanks Gage.Gage Crosby: Bye.Tiffany Elias: That's Gage Crosby in the FINIS monitor. That will conclude today's Morning Swim Show, make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with all the latest news. I'm your host, Tiffany Elias, thanks for watching.
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