Marcus Stromberg, a 1995 Crookston High School graduate, was one of 72 Swimming Officials who worked at the United States Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis from June 14 to 23. The trials were held in Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts Football team.

Stromberg was a three-sport athlete in high school, competing in Cross Country, Swimming, and Track. Swimming runs deep in the Stromberg family. “My dad (Ken) is the former aquatics director of the Crookston Pool. I have been involved with swimming since I was young,” said Stromberg. “My grandmother was a swimming official and officiated meets for the five boys she had, and my uncle Mike Stromberg was the former head coach of the UND Men’s and Women’s Swim Teams.” He has been officiating high school and college meets and travels to officiate USA Swimming meets three to four times yearly.

Stromberg was among 72 selected out of over 15,000 officials, which was the highlight of his 13-year officiating career. “It was probably the highest honor I have had thus far in my swimming officiating career,” said Stromberg. “It is beyond select company. It is a goal you can set for yourself, but it isn’t easy to get the opportunity without having mentors around you. It is quite an honor.”

When Stromberg learned he was selected to officiate as a Stroke and Turn Judge, he got a little emotional. “I received an emailed invitation letter. It brought a tear to my eye,” said Stromberg. “Two weeks earlier, they announced the assigned team, which is the officials, which are the admin referees, deck referees, the starters, and the chief judges. I thought I might have an opportunity to be a chief judge at the meet because of some of the other meets I had officiated, so I was a little concerned that I might get passed over again for this honor for another four years. I happened to be working in my office and got an email from USA Swimming and ran into the house with the letter to show my wife and I was quite excited.”

Stromberg explained what a Stroke and Turn Judge does. “A Stroke and Turn Judge is who you see at the end of each lane and those that are walking the strokes alongside the pool, so it tends to be fairly demanding, especially at this level,” said Stromberg. “It is mentally challenging to stay focused, keep your mind on the swimming, and do right by all the swimmers. We don’t go out there looking to DQ (disqualify) somebody, and like any other officiating, we are just reporting what happens.”

Stromberg said there is a lot of pressure, especially with a trip to the Olympics on the line for each swimmer, but there are some backups to make sure any calls made are correct. “There were 28 cameras underwater and four on deck for underwater review,” said Stromberg. “They make sure if any call is made by an official truly did happen to protect the athlete from being falsely DQ’d. It is nice to have, and I have had an opportunity to be an underwater judge at a different meet. One of the mottos of swimming officiating is to give the benefit of the doubt to the swimmer, and in this type of situation where we have the cameras, it is the ultimate benefit of the doubt for the swimmer.”

Stromberg said it was an amazing experience at Lucas Oil Stadium, where they built three pools on the arena floor. “That place was incredibly special. The light show, the sound, the audio, and the visual effects they had at the meet were really special,” said Stromberg. “Standing in the middle of that during the intro was moving.”

Marcus is married to Jamie, and they have two daughters, Kennedy and Regan.

The full interview with Stromberg can be heard on the Valley Talk program at 10:40 AM on Monday on KROX Radio. After the program is over, we will post it here also.