Cullen Jones wrapped up what he called “definitely the best meet of my life” by becoming the fastest swimmer in America once again Sunday night.
Jones, the former N.C. State star and Charlotte resident since 2008, won swimming’s “splash and dash race” – the men’s 50 freestyle – in 21.59 seconds at the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials. The winning margin was about the length of your thumbnail, as Jones edged Anthony Ervin (21.60) by 1/100th of a second.
“I’ve been dreaming of this forever, of qualifying for two individual events in the Olympics,” Jones said in response to a reporter’s question. “The only thing different is that, in my dream, I’m giving better answers.”
In reality, Jones had every answer in this meet. Entered in two events, he made the 2012 Olympic team in both.
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Earlier in the meet, Jones qualified both individually for the men’s 100 freestyle and also for the 4x100 relay by finishing in second place in that race. In 2008, he swam only one, a relay.
“The plan now,” Jones said, “is not to let the U.S. down.”
Jones was one of two swimmers with Raleigh ties to make the Olympic team. He joins Enloe graduate Charlie Houchin, who qualified in the 200 free as a relay swimmer.
How other local swimmers fared in the Olympic Trials
Jonathan Boffa, N.C. State: 100 freestyle, 40th, 50.58
Joe Bonk: Raleigh Charter High graduate, YMCA of the Triangle: 100 free, 89th, 51.29
Erika Braun, Marlins of Raleigh: 50 free, 116th, 26.66
Michael Camper, N.C. State: 200 backstroke, 45th, 2:03.88
Dominick Glavich, YMCA of Triangle: 100 butterfly, 57th, 54.63; 200 butterfly, 15th, 1:59.69
Taylor Harris, Broughton High, N.C. State graduate: 400 individual medley, 105th, 4:38.64
Miffy Henley, N.C. State: 100 free, 95th, 57.45
Charlie Houchin: Enloe High graduate: 200 free, 6th, 1:46.88
Cullen Jones, N.C. State: 100 free, 2nd, 24.66
Hannah Lincoln, Leesville Road High graduate, Marlins of Raleigh: 100 fly, 125th, 1:02.84
Joe Martin, N.C. State: 50 free, 130th, 23.73
Barrett Miesfeld, N.C. State: 100 fly, 63rd, 54.74
Victoria Mitchell, Marlins of Raleigh: 400 IM, 115th, 5:03.51; 200 back, 36th, 2:15.63
Hannah Moore, Raleigh Swim Association: 200 back, 13th, 2:13.02
John Newell, N.C. State: 200 fly, 49th, 2:02.18
Vinny Pryor, Marlins of Raleigh assistant coach: 100 breaststroke, 62nd, 1:03.93
Matt Thomas, N.C. State: 100 free, 95th, 51.32
Nick Walkotten, YMCA of the Triangle: 100 fly, 84th, 55.16
David Williams, N.C. State: 100 free, 130th, 51.77