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West side swimmers earn Olympic chance


A.J. Tipton was in excellent company — among the nation’s best talent — while finishing second in the 200-meter butterfly at a huge event.

This standout swimmer from Bearden High School qualified for the 2007 Olympic Trials to determine the Olympic Games swimmers for Beijing, China, in 2008.

Tipton, a rising junior, and former BHS state champion swimmer Annie Broome — also an Olympic Trial qualifier in the 200-butterfly — were among six west side swimmers who combined to lead Pilot Aquatic Club to a fourth-place national team finish during the Southern Sectional meet in Athens, Ga., July 13-16.

With a time of 2:02.57 Tipton, 16, was second to Michael Phelps, multiple Gold Medal winner during the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Broom, an 18-year-old University of Maryland signee who was state champ in the 100-yard butterfly, qualified in the 200-meter fly with a time of 2:16.58.

Jessica Hill, a rising senior at Farragut High School who was state champ in the 200-yard-breaststroke, qualified for the Olympic Trials in the 400-meter-intermediate medley (4:54.81).

NATIONAL SWIMS

Three other west side standout swimmers turned in national qualifying swims in Athens, earning them a trip to the Conoco Phillips National Championships this month in Irvine, Calif.

Former FHS standout Anna Miller swam a national cut in the 50-freestyle,

Webb School’s Meredith Ayres, a 13-time high school All-American, 2006 state champ in the 200-yard individual medley and 500-free, Greater Knoxville’s “Female Athlete of the Year” (see story beginning on page 1) and Stanford University signee, swam a national cut in the 100-meter backstroke.

Rick McKellar, a standout swimmer and 2006 Webb grad, qualified for the National Championship event in the 200-butterfly.

Meanwhile, the Pilot 800-free relay team of Ayres, Broome, Miller and Claire Galdum also qualified for nationals by winning the event.

Tipton qualified for nationals in the 100-fly, 400-free and 1650 free.

Hill qualified for nationals in the 200-IM, while Broome did the same in the 100-fly.

 

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