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Olympic hopefuls with Tampa Bay area connections

Over the next two months, the majority of the teams that will represent the United States at August's Beijing Olympics will select their members through trials, selection camps and/or processes that require advanced code-breaking skills to understand. Here are athletes with connections to the Tampa Bay area who have made a team or are in the mix for selection, listed with their events and some of their recent accomplishments.

Olympic team members

Sailing

Zach Railey, Clearwater, men's Finn 1

--Won Olympic trials in October at Newport Beach, Calif.

Ben Barger, Tampa, men's RS-X

--Won Olympic trials in October at Long Beach, Calif.

In the selection mix

Diving

Chris Colwill, Tampa Prep '03/University of Georgia. Qualified for 3-meter springboard at the Olympic trials June 18-22 in Indianapolis and for 3-meter synchronized diving with Jevon Tarantino of Boca Raton for the Olympic team selection camp July 2-6 at the University of Tennessee.

--Named NCAA diver of the year this year (2008) after winning the 1-meter springboard title and finishing second in the 3-meter and platform at the NCAA championships to cap his college career.

Soccer

Men

The United States will be represented by its under-23 national team. In the player pool are former Lakewood and USF standout Anthony Wallace and Tampa native Blake Wagner, who both are with Dallas in MLS.

Swimming

Qualifiers for the Olympic trials June 29-July 6 in Omaha, Neb., and their events

Women

Kaitlin Frehling, Seminole High junior to be, qualified in 50-meter freestyle

--Won state championship in 50-yard freestyle last season, and in 100 butterfly.

Kelley Hug, Tampa Academy of the Holy Names '06/Stanford, 100m backstroke

--18th in 100-yard fly, 18th in 100 back this year at Pac-10 championships.

Katie Kastes, Clearwater Countryside '07/Arkansas, 100 butterfly, 200 fly

--Ninth at NCAA championships this year in 200 fly, third at SEC championships. Also at SEC championships, fifth in 500 free, fourth in 400 IM, named to SEC all-freshman team.

Melanie Margalis, Clearwater Countryside High junior to be, 400 free, 200 individual medley.

--Won state title in 200 IM last season, third in 100 breaststroke. Sister of U.S. national team member Robert Margalis.

Chelsea Nauta, Tampa Prep '07/Georgia, 100 free, 200 free, 400 free

--Sixth in 500 free, ninth in 200 free at this year's NCAA championships while helping Georgia to seventh-place finish. Third in 200 free and 100 free at SEC championships, named to SEC all-freshman team.

Megan Romano, St. Petersburg Northeast High senior to be, 100 free, 200 free, 400 free, 100 back, 200 back

--Last season broke 10-year-old state record in the 100 back with 54.41 seconds. In 200 free, clocked in at 1:46.70, less than a second off the national record. Won state titles in both events. Diagnosed with mononucleosis at beginning of June.

Claire Thompson, St. Petersburg Admiral Farragut '07/South Carolina, 200 free

--13th in 1650 free, 13th in 500 free, 15th in 200 free at SEC championships.

Men

Robert Margalis, Clearwater '98/Georgia, 200 free, 400 free, 1,500 free, 200 back, 200 fly, 200 IM, 400 IM

--Member of 2007-08 U.S. national team. Second in 400 IM this year at world short-course championships. Second to Michael Phelps in 400 IM at Santa Clara International meet. Competed in '04 Olympic trials.

Grant Johnson, Clearwater/Florida, 200 free, 100 back

--22nd in 1,650 free this year at NCAA championships, where Gators finished eighth. Third in 500 free, sixth in 200 free, 13th in 1,650 free at SEC championships.

Mitchell Snyder, St. Petersburg Northeast/Drury University, 1,500 free

--Won NCAA Division II 1,000 free, 1,650 free titles this year.

Tommy Wyher, Tampa Jesuit '07/North Carolina, 100 fly

--Won 100 backstroke, eighth in 100 fly this year at ACC championships, helping UNC to second-place finish.

J.P. Arnold, Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center, 1,500-meter freestyle

Jason Taylor, Lithia Newsome High senior to be, 1,500-meter freestyle

--Won 100 butterfly state title last year.

Tennis

Selection based on world rankings after French Open and invitations from International Tennis Federation and Olympic committees.

James Blake, Tampa

--Second-highest-ranked American man. Top-ranked American Andy Roddick has said he won't represent the United States in Beijing.

Track and field

John Capel, Hernando High School/University of Florida, 200 meters.

Garrett Johnson, Tampa Baptist Academy/Florida State, qualified in shot put for track and field trials June 27-July 6, Eugene, Ore.

--2006 NCAA champion

Wrestling

Greco-Roman

Qualifiers for Olympic trials June 13-15 at Las Vegas and their weight class

Eric Grajales, Brandon senior to be, 121 pounds

--Won third state freestyle championship this year (2008), plus third district and region titles, finished 58-0 and set state record for pins in a season, 53.

Freestyle

Jared Frayer, Clearwater Countryside '97/Oklahoma, 145.5 pounds

--U.S. national team member. Ranked fourth nationally in his weight class. Finished third at national championships in April. Finished fifth at 2004 Olympic trials.

Olympic hopefuls with Tampa Bay area connections 06/10/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 11:16am]
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