LONDON Although Michael Phelps will get most of the headlines for obtaining his 19th Olympic medal Tuesday, Davis Tarwater and Charlie Houchin were very happy to get their first.
Both Raleighs Houchin and Charlottes Tarwater swam in the morning preliminary race of the 4x200 freestyle relay. But, neither swam in the final Tuesday evening (although, Tarwater was under strong consideration), which meant they didnt get into the pictures.
But the two got medals, albeit in a more private way. The U.S. squad awards medals for morning preliminary swims at its 5 p.m. London team meeting every day.
Im going to put that gold medal in a special place, Tarwater said, because Ive been dreaming about getting one for a long time.
Tarwater was under consideration to replace Ricky Berens in the evening relay, especially after Tarwater put up his career-best time in the morning relay. But the U.S. coaching staff went with Berens because of his extensive international experience in the relay.
I would have loved to have swum again, Tarwater said, but I totally support the U.S. coaches and Ricky.
Houchin led off the U.S. teams morning relay with what for him was an average time, but he was still in first place when he got to the wall.
It could have been a better time, but it was fun, he said. Ive been waiting for this day for a long time.
• Cullen Jones, who is Tarwaters teammate on SwimMAC Carolina, did not qualify for Wednesdays 100 freestyle final. Jones got into the semifinals but then finished last in his heat after having a good first 50.
I got to the wall great, Jones said. But coming off the wall, because all of us were swimming so fast, there was a huge wave and I just got nailed by it. It slowed me down. I was last after about three strokes. Jones still has the 50 freestyle his best event left.
• SwimMAC Carolina sent five swimmers to the Olympics, and the three who have already competed all have medals. Tarwater got a gold in a relay, Jones got a silver in a relay and Nick Thoman got a silver in the 100 backstroke. Micah Lawrence and Kara Lynn Joyce have yet to swim.