A 5-foot-9 kid from Malibu is in the same figurative pool as arguably the most famous competitive swimmer in the world.

Team Santa Monica club member Jordan Wilimovsky and Michael Phelps are among the nominees for the Team USA award for the best male athlete for the month of August.

The nomination adds to an already impressive year for Wilimovsky, who has earned a spot in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The 21-year-old Malibu High School alumnus has elite company in his category for the Team USA Awards, which the U.S. Olympic Committee organizes to recognize the outstanding achievements of American athletes. Voting ends Sept. 7, according to a press release.

Wilimovsky secured his Olympic bid by claiming first place in the men’s 10-kilometer open-water race at the FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia.

He completed the course in 1 hour 49 minutes and 48.2 seconds, finishing about 12 seconds ahead of Dutch runner-up Ferry Weertman, and became the first American since 2005 to win gold in the event at the elite international competition.

He also captured top honors in the 10k race at the USA Swimming Open Water National Championships in April.

Wilimovsky is taking a year off from Northwestern University to prepare for the Olympics in Brazil. He plans to train extensively with Team Santa Monica coach Dave Kelsheimer at Santa Monica Swim Center.

Like it will probably be in the 2016 Games, his competition in the Team USA Awards is fierce.

Phelps, who has won 18 Olympic gold medals in his career, posted three world-leading times at the national championships. He also received the high-point award.

Three other standout athletes are also up for the Team USA honor.

Track phenom Ashton Eaton bested his own world record in the decathlon to win gold with 9,045 points at the world championships.

U.S. diver David Boudia, who earned second place at the FINA World Championships, became the first American diver in nearly 30 years to earn three consecutive world-championship medals in the 10-meter event.

Paralympic track and field star Jarryd Wallace set a world record and seized the men’s 100-meter gold medal with a time of 10.71 seconds at the Parapan Am Games, improving the previous record by four-hundredths of a second.

The five athletes nominated for Team USA’s female athlete of the month are Allyson Felix (track and field), Ashleigh Johnson (water polo), Katie Ledecky (swimming), Sarah True (triathlon) and Jill Walsh (Paralympic cycling).

For more information, visit www.teamusa.org/awards.


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