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Local Swimmers Do Well At Trials, But Fall Just Short Of Securing Spots In London Olympics

With less than 25 meters to go in the men’s 200-meter butterfly final, it looked like Bobby Bollier of Mission Hills was going to be on his way to London to compete for the U.S. in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

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The 200 men’s butterfly was one of the finals staged Thursday at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials in Omaha, Neb.

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Those last 25 meters proved to be a game changer as the 22-year-old Bollier, who attended Pembroke Hill and now swims in the collegiate ranks for Stanford. Bollier had recorded the fastest time in the event in the preliminary rounds, even besting world record-holder Michael Phelps.

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Phelps held on to win the 200 butterfly final, his signature event, but Bollier and Clary were in a late sprint for second place and the final qualifying spot in the event for the London Games this summer. The problem was, Bollier was tiring and Clary was picking up speed.

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Clary’s long reach was enough to edge out Bollier at the wall, dousing the Kansas City swimmer’s hopes to go to his first Olympic Games. Along with Phelps, Bollier was a favorite to make the U.S. team in the 200 butterfly event.

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While Bollier might have lost his chance to make the 2012 U.S. Olympics team, another Kansas City-area swimmer is going to London as an alternate for the women’s 800-meter freestyle relay team.

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Shannon Vreeland of Overland Park finished fifth in the women’s 200-meter freestyle. The top four places in the event will also make up the U.S. 800-meter relay team in London, but two others make the travel team as alternates, and Vreeland earned one of those spots with her fifth-place finish.