SwimMAC Carolina’s Team Elite, which is based in Charlotte, qualified five swimmers for the U.S. Olympic team in 2012 and hopes to beat that number in 2016. In alphabetical order, here are seven of the swimmers from SwimMAC who have a great shot at getting to Rio.
From Texas, Adams moved to Charlotte to train about 16 months ago and will enter the 200 butterfly as one of the favorites. She was a U.S. Olympian in 2012 in that event but did not win a medal.
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Only 19, Baker just finished her freshman year at Cal-Berkeley. Her best chance will come in the 100 backstroke. The favorite will be 2012 Olympic star Missy Franklin, whom Baker has never beaten in a race.
A 2012 Olympic gold medalist in the 200 backstroke, Clary is also an aspiring racecar driver. He has had an excellent series of swim practices over the past several months, but he also competes in some of the deepest events in men’s swimming.
At 35, the 2000 Olympic gold medalist moved to Charlotte only a couple of months ago. Ervin has been one of Jones’ primary competitors in the 50 and 100 freestyle events for years. Now training partners, it is quite possible that one of them will knock the other off the team.
A two-time Olympian with four medals already to his credit (two silver, two gold), Jones is 32 years old and still fast. His best chances will come in the 50 and 100 freestyle.
Like Jones, Kennedy is strongest in the shortest races. She have a good shot at finishing in the top two in the 50 freestyle and an outside chance in the 100 free.
SwimMAC’s highest-profile athlete is now 31, but the three-time Olympian remains one of the top U.S. swimmers and is as close to a sure thing as you can get this side of Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky. The versatile Lochte is good at every stroke, which makes him a threat in the 200 and 400 individual medleys as well as several other events.