Mason Manta Rays swimmer Jake Foster competes on national TV

AUSTIN, Texas – Jake Foster can’t wait for an opportunity to compete in front of a national television audience Friday night.

The Mason Manta Rays swimmer and Montgomery resident qualified for the 200-meter breaststroke finals in the Arena Pro Swim Series on the University of Texas campus.

It just so happens he will also compete against U.S. Olympic silver medalist Josh Prenot. The finals will be televised live on NBC Sports Network at 7 p.m. ET.

“I think it’s a great opportunity,” Foster told WCPO.com by phone Friday afternoon. “I’ve never swam on TV before so I’m excited. There is not really a lot of pressure. The stage is set for me to go out there and do my best.”

Foster, a St. Xavier sophomore, qualified after placing eighth in Friday morning’s prelims.

However, being in the national spotlight is nothing for him. He was one of nine Manta Rays who qualified for the Olympic Trials in Omaha last summer.

Foster was one of 14 individuals at the time who was 15 years old at the trials.

Foster, who was one of 44 swimmers who competed this morning, told WCPO.com today his goal was to get in the top eight this week in Austin and he did just that. He qualified in 2:19.09.

“I was just trying to go out and have fun and was hoping for a second swim,” Foster said.

Heis couldn’t be prouder of Foster and his opportunity tonight. He said Foster can swim with nothing to lose at tonight’s competition. Foster is seeded No. 8.

Prenot qualified second at 2:16.70. Nicolas Fink is the No. 1 qualifier at 2:15.26.

“(Jake) just thinks it’s pretty cool,” Manta Rays coach Ken Heis said. “I think he is happy about it.”

Carson Foster, Jake’s brother, also qualified in two finals tonight including the 100 freestyle and 100 butterfly. Carson, a St. Xavier freshman, also made it to the Olympic Trials last summer in the 400 individual medley.

Hannah Foster, the brothers’ sister, also competed in the Austin event this week. She was also an Olympic Trials qualifier. Hannah is a St. Ursula junior.

The Arena Pro Series is the first of a series of elite meets that include swimmers from all over the world. There is a wide range of ages from high school to college-level athletes.

The next Arena Pro Series event will be March 2-4 in Indianapolis.

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