Two members of Lehigh’s men’s swim and dive team became the first Lehigh swimmers to qualify for the Olympics trials in the last 40 years while competing in AT&T’s Winter National Championship.
Junior swimmers Jamal Willis and Justin White both earned automatic bid to the Olympic trials on Thursday, Dec. 3, while competing against 104 other competitors in the 50 meter freestyle. The winner of this event was U.S. National team member Nathan Adrian, who has three gold medals in the Olympics and multiple American records.
Willis swam in Heat 7 of the event, finishing with an exact qualifying time of 23.29 seconds and winning his heat. With that time, Willis placed 38th overall in the event.
White followed up Willis in the next heat, tying for third and getting 31st overall in the event with a time of 23.16 seconds. This time gave White and automatic bid to the trials. He was less than one second behind the heat winner..
Junior Jacob Moyar also competed to represent Lehigh at the National Championship. Moyar raced in the 200 meter fly on Saturday morning, finishing with a time of 2:02.86, placing him 17th overall. Moyar was attempting to beat the Olympic mark and get himself an automatic bid. But, he needed 2:01.99, falling just short, but still qualifying for the “C” final.
Moyar swam in the “C” final later that day, finishing fourth in his final and beating his earlier time by nearly three-tenths of a second, coming in at 2:02.57. This is the second year in a row that Moyar has raced in the “C” finals for the 200 meter fly.
The record holder in the event and one of the most famous Olympic swimmers in history, Michael Phelps, won the event, taking the top spot in the “A” finals.
The three swimmers from Lehigh also raced in a few time trials on Friday afternoon. Willis swam in the 200 meter freestyle, White in the 100 meter butterfly and Moyar in the 100 fly.
White and Willis will now get a chance to compete in the Summer 2016 Olympic Trials, which will occur in Omaha, Nebraska.