PHOENIX, Arizona, November 7. DAKOTA Hodgson is aiming to make the finals of the 200 butterfly at the U.S. Olympic Trials, and on today's edition of The Morning Swim Show, he talks about why he is taking a year off from college to pursue that goal.
Hodgson has returned to his hometown of Nashville to train, before making an official transfer from Auburn to Southern Cal. He talks about the physical similarities to Michael Phelps, his famous father and why he decided to transfer to USC. Watch the full show in the video player below and visit SwimmingWorld.TV for more video interviews.
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Show Transcript: (Note: This is an automated service where some typos and grammatical errors may occur.)
Peter Busch: Welcome to the Morning Swim Show for Monday, November 7th, 2011. I'm your host Peter Busch. In the FINIS Monitor today, we'll talk to Dakota Hodgson. He swam at Auburn for a semester but now he's transferring. In the meantime, he's training for the Olympic Trials back in his hometown of Nashville. Dakota Hodgson joins us right now in the FINIS Monitor from Nashville. Hey, Dakota, welcome to the Morning Swim Show. How are you?
Dakota Hodgson: Good. How are you?
Peter Busch: Good. So there was a lot in that intro. Let's sort it out piece by piece. So out of high school, you went to Auburn. Didn't work out? Only one semester there. What happened?
Dakota Hodgson: Well, I got sick after that first semester so I took some time off, got healthy, when decided that didn't want to go back to Auburn, so trained for nationals this summer, did pretty well, then I took some recruiting trips to USC in Arizona, and decided I want to go to USC.
Peter Busch: Now, people transfer from all sorts of schools all the time, so it's not unique to Auburn, but, I mean, was there something you saw in your initial recruiting process that, you know, you just rethought? I mean, why just one semester? Usually, people at least give it a year or two to kind of decide if they made the right choice.
Dakota Hodgson: Well, I don't know. It's just — I didn't plan on leaving after my first semester but I was just — I was sick and I couldn't train, so just figured I'd get healthy and then put a lot of thought into it and just wasn't working that well enough for me at Auburn, so just decided to not go back.
Peter Busch: Yeah. I guess my bigger picture question is do you think that's something that a lot of kids do at a high school that they maybe don't think enough about the place or was this something completely unique to you that just — and it just happened?
Dakota Hodgson: I don't know. When, I guess, you're in high school, you make a little hasty decisions. I mean, I committed on my trip to Auburn. And, honestly, before I went to Auburn, I thought I was gonna be there all four years and I would then score the NCAAs last year, but it just didn't work out and that's the way it goes sometimes.
Peter Busch: So you moved to a completely different part of the country. You're going to USC. What was it — what was the appeal there?
Dakota Hodgson: Well, Southern California, and California is nice, really nice weather. USC is a great school academically. They're moving up big time in the swimming. Coach Salo is doing a really good job. I liked everything about it. It's a nice outdoor pool. Just sounded — there's nothing bad about USC so it sounded like the perfect choice for me.
Peter Busch: Why didn't you go there immediately? Why did you want to take a year off?
Dakota Hodgson: I just wanted to train for the Olympic Trials with my dad. I mean, it will be my last time that I'll have the opportunity to do that with him coz I'll be at college these next few years. So I just thought I'd get one last shot with him.
Peter Busch: And some people may not remember, your dad was one of the Olympic coaches in 1984 so he's obviously got some great credentials and you probably swam with him growing up?
Dakota Hodgson: Yes, I did. He's a pretty good coach.
Peter Busch: So, one more — you get one more year with dad to make some more memories.
Dakota Hodgson: Yeah, one last shot to see what I can do with him.
Peter Busch: How's training?
Dakota Hodgson: Training is great. I've been lifting harder than I ever have. I've put on eight pounds since nationals in August so that's great. I was at 149 in August, something, like, 157 now. I'm stronger. I just started swimming — starting to be able to swim fast in a pool because I've just been broken down from the dry land, the weights, and everything, but it's going good.
Peter Busch: You know, you look a little like Michael Phelps ten years ago and you're a 200 flyer like him. I'm sure I'm not the first person who's ever said that.
Dakota Hodgson: A few people have told me.
Peter Busch: I wonder if Phelps kind of has flashbacks when you're standing next to him on the blocks.
Dakota Hodgson: I've never raced him but that'd be kind of cool.
Peter Busch: Well, you're hoping to next year, aren't you?
Dakota Hodgson: Yes, I am.
Peter Busch: What's the goal here? Will you be disappointed if you don't make the Olympic team?
Dakota Hodgson: Well, my goal right now is to make the A final at the Olympic Trials in 200 fly and once I'm there I just want to go faster, see what I can do. I mean, everyone has a shot to make the Olympic team coz anything can happen in the A final. But if I make the A final, I'll be happy, and if I make the Olympic team, I'll be stoked out of my mind. But we'll see what happens.
Peter Busch: Well, there's always 2016, right? You're a young guy.
Dakota Hodgson: Say that again?
Peter Busch: There's always 2016. You're a young guy.
Dakota Hodgson: Yeah, I got plenty of time.
Peter Busch: I swear we gotta find a picture of Phelps from ten years ago and do a split screen here. It's freaking me out. Well, Dakota, what do you plan to study when you start school again?
Dakota Hodgson: Human biology.
Peter Busch: Human biology.
Dakota Hodgson: Yeah.
Peter Busch: Well, a lot of people study that in college. What else? That was a joke, Dakota. That was a joke.
Dakota Hodgson: Okay.
Peter Busch: I'm just teasing. Well, Dakota, you know, we're glad that you're feeling good about where you're at right now with swimming. Good luck the rest of the year.
Dakota Hodgson: Thank you very much.
Peter Busch: All right, that's Dakota Hodgson, a.k.a. Michael Phelps mini me, joining us in the FINIS Monitor today. That is it for today's show. I'm Peter Busch reminding you to keep your head down at the finish.
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