Wednesday night was a big one for swimmming in North Carolina, as three with ties to the state made the Olympic team -- Ricky Berens, Nick Thoman and Charlie Houchin. Here's my story on that.
Now the question is how many more will get in -- if any.
In 2008, there were three total who grew up and/or trained in N.C. -- Berens, Cullen Jones and Mark Gangloff. With five nights left in this meet, that number is likely to be surpassed.
But it's not a sure thing. It's so difficult to qualify for the Olympics -- as I've noted before, 97 percent of the swimmers at these Olympic Trials don't make it to the team.
Berens and Thoman may both make a second event this time around. But the other athletes with the best shot at earning a spot in London are Jones (who has had very on-and-off results since the 2008 Olympics, but is a gamer), sprint freestylers Josh Schneider, Nick Brunelli, Scot Robison, Kara Lynn Joyce and Madison Kennedy as well as Davis Tarwater, who is in the finals of the 200 butterfly tonight.
UPDATE: Robison had the fastest time of 165 swimmers in the 100 meter freestyle prelims Thursday morning. The top 16 advanced to Thursday night's semifinals and also included Berens (7th), Schneider (8th), Jones (10th) and Brunelli (12th). The top eight will advance tonight into Friday night's finals, and the top six from that final will make the Olympic team.
-- One more unrelated note: I hope the Bobcats end up with Thomas Robinson tonight -- ideally by trading down with Cleveland, acquiring an extra pick and still getting Robinson at No.4. The Bobcats were so inept in the paint last season, both offensively and defensively. They need Robinson to help start changing the culture.
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