OHIO CITY, Oh - The off-season has arrived for all teams at Saint Ignatius High School, but for student-athletes like junior Josh Toothman, the Summer is a busy time of the year. Toothman, who competed at the State Meet this past season, will be heading to Irvine, California, in August to compete in the Summer Junior National Meet. At 23.86 in the 50-Meter Freestyle, Toothman punched his ticket to California to compete against the best.
“It was surreal; I was overjoyed and in awe,” says Toothman. “I was trying for my Winter’s cut over my Summer’s cut. With my time, I made the Summer Junior National cut.”
With Toothman’s fantastic progression in the water, he skipped right over the Winter Junior National cut, which is an incredible achievement for Toothman at such a young age. The junior just turned 16 a couple of weeks ago and is making a lot of noise Nationally at the high school level in the pool.
In the 15-16 age group, Toothman is ranked 22nd in the United States and is the 17th ranked swimmer in the 16 age group. “It’s surprising and almost too good to be true,” explains Toothman. “I almost can’t believe it myself.”
The Toothman name may sound familiar within the Saint Ignatius Swimming and Diving community as Josh’s older brother Zach ‘21, was an Aqua Cat. Zach now competes for Case Western Reserve University.
Toothman gained a ton of experience last season under Head Swimming and Diving Coach Eric Dennis, which led him to be a member of the 400-Yard Freestyle Relay team that claimed a Regional Championship and advanced to the State Meet in 2022. “I practice six days a week for over two hours,” Toothman says. “I look forward to claiming better times, but having fun and enjoying gaining the experience in practice.”
In the off-season, Toothman swims for the Lake Erie Silver Dolphins and on June 16, he qualified for the National Meet at SPIRE Institute with a time of 23.86 in the 50-Meter Freestyle.
“I work on exploding off the start and understanding my underwater technique,” says Toothman. “I try not to overthink; just focus on my speed.”
The Olympics are in the realm of possibility for Toothman with his success at such a young age; when asked if the Olympics are on his mind, Toothman energetically said yes. Toothman is only off by .4 seconds in the 50-Free to qualify for the Toyota US Open Meet in Greensboro, NC, held in late November.
The achievements continue to build for the Swimming and Diving program and what a feat by Saint Ignatius’ own Josh Toothman this summer.