One hundred thirty five swimmers entered the women’s 200-meter butterfly at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials.
Two of those would qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Hannah Saiz’s top time going in put her in the middle of the pack, more than seven seconds behind the fastest swimmers.
But there was that voice in her head — the one telling her it was possible. And while she didn’t pull off a shocking upset, she’s not ready to block out that voice just yet.
The Plattsburgh native posted a time of 2 minutes, 15.92 seconds last Thursday in the 200 butterfly heats at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb. and wound up 55th. The top 16 advanced to the semifinals, and Cammile Adams and Kathleen Hersey emerged out of Friday’s final to grab the two Olympic spots.
Saiz knew qualifying was likely out of reach.
“I wish I had been a little faster. It would’ve been fantastic to make the semifinals,” she said. “But overall I feel really good about having made it here, having been able to compete. It’s been an incredible experience.”
Saiz swam for the Lake Champlain Waves and the Plattsburgh High School varsity team and, like many young swimmers, grew up dreaming of the Olympics. She said conventional wisdom was that Olympic-caliber swimmers could be indentified by age 16.