XENIA, Ohio (WDTN) – Xenia native and Cedarville University alum, Daniel Michalski, is on a journey to the Tokyo Olympics, starting with the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials on Monday June 21.

“It’s really the culmination of my entire athletic experience,” said Michalski.

Michalski started as a skilled long distance runner in high school and then at Cedarville University when he discovered the Steeplechase race.

In Track and Field, the Steeplechase is run over seven and a half laps of the track with four hurdles and one water jump on each lap. The standard Olympic distance is 3,000 meters

“It looked like so much fun to me and it was an opportunity for me to try a different more dynamic event,” said Michalski. “my first try at it was a really promising sign that this could be my best event. By my second try I was nationally relevant at the Division II level,”

Michalski climbed the rankings, eventually landing in the top 30 Steeplechase runners in the country. In the Spring of 2020, Michalski had the top American running time for the Steeplechase and the third best running time in the world.

Now he is in Oregon preparing for the preliminary round on Monday, then hoping to place within the top 3 spots during the Finals on Friday June 25. This would mean he earned his spot on the U.S. Olympic Team for the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

“[I’m] continuing to discover… and set goals and try to achieve them … and the rest is history,” said Michalski.