Los Alamitos High School sophomore sets sail for Olympic dream

Stewart McCaleb and his sailing dinghy
Catch the Wind: Stewart McCaleb of Los Alamitos High School is competing in the U.S. Olympic Trials for Sailing. (Photo courtesy of Los Alamitos Unified)

Los Alamitos High School student Stewart McCaleb is flying out to Miami, but he won’t be there for a vacation.

Stewart, a sophomore, will be competing in the U.S. Olympic Trials for sailing, becoming the first student to represent his school in the sport.

According to district officials, Stewart will be participating in the Men’s Single Handed Dinghy division, where he will be pushed to his limits.

The stakes will be high as he competes for his chance to go to Paris for the 2024 Summer Olympics, with dozens of talented men and women vying for one available spot on the team.

The trials will last eight days, making this the longest competition that the young sailor has faced. Despite this, he remains enthusiastic about competing, recognizing that there is still much for him to learn and improve upon.

Stewart told the Los Angeles Times’ High School Insider that he’s looking to soak up the experience and hopefully place in the middle of the fleet. Long term, his goal is to qualify for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

“My goal is to get a medal at the Olympics one day, not necessarily Paris, but L.A.,” he told the news outlet. “2028 is where I want to get to.”

Los Alamitos High School is part of the Los Alamitos Unified School District, which serves approximately 8,900 students across nine campuses.

Jennifer Nguyen is a former student of the Orange County Department of Education’s ACCESS program who is now serving as an intern within OCDE’s Communications and Media Services unit. She is a resident of Westminster.