Meet the Swimmers of the Lagoon

Take your pic with these unreal Omaha athletes.

Gene Leahy Mall has been transformed into a prime viewing area for swim fans. No tickets? No problem. Plenty of outdoor seating and a giant screen means you won’t miss a single competition. Adding to the atmosphere Omaha is making a splash with 12 swimmers racing up the Gene Leahy Mall lagoon. Okay...not real swimmers, but 12 larger-than-life replicas of athletes competing for victory. This isn’t your grandma’s swim meet – this is totally out-of-the-pool and a must-see!

So who are these mystery swimmers? Browse below to get the scoop on the five athletes who posed for the project and will appear in the lagoon from June 23 - July 4. Also check out the behind-the-scenes photos and a video of the project coming to life.

Josh Pales, 1​4​

Attends Lincoln Southwest High School in Lincoln and swims for the Lincoln Select Swimming Club. He is nationally ranked in multiple events. His specialty styles are the backstroke and freestyle. His older sister, Ashley Pales, is competing in the 2016 Olympic Swim Trials. ​​

Alana Palmer, 15

Attends Lincoln Southwest High School and is also a member of the Lincoln Select Swimming Club. She won four gold medals in the 2016 Nebraska State Swim Meet. Her great uncle, Jim Weyhrauch, competed against Greg Louganis in the 1980 U.S. Olympic Diving Trials; in fact they competed against each other nationally since age 14. ​​

Michael Simmons, 17 

Attends Creighton Prep High School. His specialty is the 100 backstroke and he came in 3rd at the 2016 Nebraska State Swim Meet. He taught himself to swim at age 3 and hasn’t stopped since. ​​

​​Sarah Sutej, 17

Attends Marian High School and competed in the 2016 Nebraska State Swim Meet and placed in the 200 and 500 freestyle and the 400 freestyle relay. Sarah is a twin, and her brother Jacob is also a swimmer.

​​Alexander Bayles, 17

Attends Westside High School. He made it to sectionals in 2016 and placed in the 100 breast at the Nebraska State Swim Meet. ​When he's not hitting the water, Alexander is hitting the keys as a jazz pian​ist​.



Behind the Scenes of the Swimmers of the Lagoon
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