Swimming : Jorgensen’s Dream Edges Along Nicely

Times Staff Writer

The theme for this year’s prom at Mission Viejo High School was “The Edge of a Dream.”

While most students at the school are still planning their lives’ dreams, at least one, junior Dan Jorgensen, is in the process of living his out.

That Jorgensen wants to be a world-class swimmer is evidenced by his participation in recent swim meets from China to West Germany to Monte Carlo to Hawaii . . . to Mission Viejo.

Jorgensen is busy with what can best be described as his pre-1988 Olympic training, but he’s not so busy that he doesn’t have time for fun with his classmates at Mission Viejo, and that includes going to the prom, held last week at the Disneyland Hotel.


He’s also not so busy that he doesn’t have time to swim--and swim well--for the Mission Viejo boys’ team, one that recently won its 11th consecutive Southern Section 4-A title. That came thanks in part to Jorgensen winning the 500-yard and 200-yard freestyle events, the former in a meet-record time of 4:19.53.

For those outstanding performances, Jorgensen is The Times’ swimmer of the year.

“It’s different,” Jorgensen said in comparing international and high school competition. “The atmosphere is not so intense, but even at something like the CIF, everybody wants to do their best.”

To compete at the level he does, Jorgensen swims twice a day during the off-season with the Nadadores Swim Club, and those workouts can be more consuming than the ones at the high school. Jorgensen currently swims from 5:15 a.m. to 7:30 and 2:30 p.m. to 5, with weight training after that.


Jorgensen’s goal is to make the U.S. Olympic team in 1988, when he hopes to swim the 200-meter freestyle, the 400-meter freestyle, the 1,500-meter freestyle or a leg on the 800-meter relay team.

Such goals are hardly out of his reach, considering that he took third place in the 1,500-meter freestyle at the U.S. Olympic trials last summer at Indianapolis, finishing just one place away from making the Olympic team.

“Actually, I swam very well that day,” Jorgensen said. “My time was then seventh best in the world for 1,500 meters.”

Jorgensen hopes to set a national record in the 500-freestyle before he graduates and goes on to college, whichever one that may be. Jorgensen enjoys architectural drawing and physics and hopes someday to be an engineer.


Until then, he’ll be content with designing swim records and studying, first-hand, the physics of a body as it moves through water.