Local Swimmers Heading to Olympic Trials
The Campbell brothers have been swimming since they were kids and have worked with some of the top coaches in the region.
Two local swimmers have found their way to a much larger pool: the Olympic team trials.
Conor Campbell, 20, and his younger brother, Henry, 15, will leave for Omaha, Neb., in about week. They are heading to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.
The duo has grown up in Manassas and started swimming with the local Sudley Club when they were just kids. Their mom was also a swimmer. Conor graduated in 2010 from Osbourn High School, where Henry is currently a rising junior.
The boys said they were good at swimming "so we just stuck with it."
They are now part of the Manassas-based U.S. Swimming team Quantico Devil Dolphins (QDD)—a team once coached by Jeremy Linn, who set a national record in the 100-meter breaststroke, while also winning the silver medal in the event at the 1996 summer games, according to Wikipedia. Linn also set a world record in the 400m medley relay, along with Jeff Rouse, one of the Campbell brothers' coaches, and gold medal recipient in the 1992 and '96 Olympics.
The local swimmers are two of three members of their team that made it to the trials.
The duo said having exposure to some of the top coaches in the region, including U.S. National Team member Rick Benner and Osbourn High School swim team Coach Don Regenbogen, has really helped them make it to where they are today. And it is that same exposure they are looking for when they go to Omaha.
"We are doing it for the experience," said Henry. "We don't expect to win."
But that doesn't mean they don't deserve to win. Both boys swim year-round and say they spend approximately 25 hours a week in the pool including weekends and some very early mornings. During the summer months, they swim 30-35 hours a week. Two years ago, Conor said he was swimming nearly 40 hours a week.
But less than 30 guys will actually make it on the 2012 Olympic Team, so right now, the boys are just happy they were able to improve their time standards to make it to the trials.
Swimming has opened up other opportunities for the Campbells as well, including helping Conor get into the Naval Academy.
"It [swimming] is tough work and and it helped me get in, said Conor, who is a backstroker. "[With swimming] you work hard to get better. Natural talent only gets you so far."
For Henry, whose specialty is the freestyle stroke, the overly gratifying feeling of winning is all he needs... for now. He said he has six years of swimming left and is looking forward to recruiters visiting during his last two years at OHS.
Conor only has two years left of swimming before he graduates from the Naval Academy with a history major. Then, he said, he will be fulfilling five years of service in the Navy.
The Olympic trials take place from June 25 to July 2; after that, the boys say they will be tuning in to watch the 2012 Olympic Games— for swimming, of course.
The boys said the United States is "so good at swimming" and "it's nice to see the sport get attention."