UT swimmers poised to make a splash in Rio

With the Olympics in Rio fast approaching, plenty of University of Texas swimmers are poised to make a splash. Nearly 50 (46 to be exact) current and former Longhorns are headed to the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials.

UT men's swimming head coach Eddie Reese calls it "the toughest meet in the world" while UT women's swimming head coach Carol Capitani says it's "the pinnacle of United States Swimming."

More than 1800 will compete at the Trials but only 26 men and 26 women will make the team. The top two finishers in each event will make the U.S. Olympic team. 

Some of those hoping to make the team include Will Licon. The University of Texas senior is also the American record holder in the 200 yard backstroke. Licon says it'll be a different mindset heading into the Trials.

"98 percent or more of our team is going to Omaha. And honestly I guess we're not competing for a national title but we're competing to see how may guys we can put on the Olympic team."

Fellow senior, and All-American, Madisyn Cox says, "I would consider myself more of an underdog when it comes to like people being projected for the team and what not. I kind of like that. I like chasing people down.  I kind of like coming up and maybe surprising some people on the way." 

Another senior, Jack Conger, who also is the American record holder in the 200 yard butterfly says he "definitely" has his eyes on Rio. He says, "It's all a matter of just kind of racing and putting the thoughts towards the back of your head and not thinking about it.  And just trying to get your hand on the wall first." 

Laura Sogar is making her third trip to the Trials. Sogar is a former Longhorn and a 2015 U.S. National Champion and missed out on London. She says she has high hopes this year.

"I went when I was 17 and I got 8th. And I went again in 2012 and then I got fourth. And that was actually way closer than I expected that to be. I was kind of bummed that obviously I didn't get to make London. So I'm feeling really strong and excited for a good meet. Third time's the charm and all that," Sogar says.

Coach Capitani says while the swimmers want to be fast it won't be about the seconds at Trials.

"At Olympic trials it's not really about the time. You know we talk about getting your best time, but it's the place.  You gotta be first or second, or in relays you have to be top six.  So it doesn't matter about the time.  No one's upset when they make the Olympic team and they look at their time," Capitani says.

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