Four members of the Mason Manta Ray swim team will take their places alongside some of the nation’s best swimmers this week at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Omaha, Nebraska.
The swimmers are listed below, along with their ages, hometowns, events and day competing:
- Hannah Whitely, 14, Springboro, 100 meter backstroke (Tuesday)
- Ray Stephen Koch, 19, West Chester, 200 meter breaststroke (Thursday)
- Austin Caldwell, 19, Loveland, 50 meter freestyle (Saturday)
- Dani Barbiea, 18, Springboro, 50 meter freestyle (Sunday)
The Olympic hopefuls are vying for one of 52 spots — 26 men and 26 women — on the USA Olympic swim team to represent the nation at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Of the 300,000 registered swimmers in USA Swimming, only about 1,700 — or less than one-third of one percent — were invited to try out for the USA Olympic swim team.
Only the top two swimmers from each event make the cut. And the competition is steep.
Hannah, who competed on Tuesday, placed 135 out of 162. Scarcely six seconds separated her from a first place finish — less than the time it takes for the average phone to ring twice.
Koch, who competes Thursday, will be swimming alongside the likes of Michael Phelps, who won a record-breaking eight gold medals in swimming at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.
The meets are being televised live each night from 8-9 p.m. on NBC. Results are also posted on the USA Swimming website.
The year-round Mason Manta Rays swim team is a program of the City of Mason and is based at the Mason Community Center.
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