By Kellen Browning,
Three Davis High and Davis Aquadart swimmers qualified today for the 2016 Olympic Trials.
Junior Chenoa Devine, senior Emma Barksdale and recent DHS graduate Matt Whittle all posted fast qualifying times in different events, gaining them entry into the elite competition.
“I was so so so excited,” said Devine, who swam the 400-meter Individual Medley this past summer in a time of 4:50.50, beating the qualifying standard by nearly five seconds.
Devine also qualified for the Trials in the 400-meter Freestyle by swimming 4:15.88, more than two seconds faster than the qualifying time.
“I’m so honored and excited to be able to compete with everyone at that level,” Devine said.
Devine’s teammate Barksdale, who qualified in the 400-meter Individual Medley in a time of 4:52.08, shared her sentiment.
“I think it’s just awesome to be able to experience this with my teammate Chenoa; pretty much since I started swimming it’s been my goal to make Olympic Trials and it’s bittersweet now [that] it’s finally coming true,” Barksdale said.
Whittle, who swam a time of 2:18:36 to narrowly qualify for the 200-meter Breaststroke, is also excited to be able to participate in such an elite event.
“90 percent of my teammates at Cal have gone to the Olympic Trials and they say it’s more of a show than a swim meet because there is so much hype with it,” Whittle said.
Whittle was in class at Berkeley when he found out that he had qualified.
“I was in the middle of an anthropology lecture sitting next to a bunch of swimmers watching the live feed on the time release but once I saw that I just got the cut I was pretty stoked. I got a couple texts from swim friends and my [Aquadarts] coach Billy Doughty and my parents. It was a pretty cool feeling,” Whittle said.
Devine was also eagerly awaiting the announcement.
“We already suspected that I had a few of the [Trial] cuts, but you don’t really know until you KNOW. It was a little suspenseful, but I’ve been looking forward to getting my Trials cut since I was little and today [it] just felt so amazing to know that I achieved one of my dreams,” Devine said.
The Olympic Trials, which will be held in Omaha, Nebraska, don’t take place until July of 2016. What does this mean for the athletes?
“It just means that I’m going to be training my ass off for the next two years. I’m looking forward to it, because the pain is worth the gain,” Devine said.
Barksdale is also approaching her swimming with new determination.
“I have 18 months before the actual meet so now every day in training I have something to look forward to and something to train for,” Barksdale said.