All three Canisius College synchronized swimmers at U.S. Olympic tryouts have advanced to the final round of cuts, where nine swimmers will be selected from the remaining 15 for the team that will compete in London this summer.
Senior Jessica Grogan, junior Missy Andrews and sophomore Jessica Mancini have swam for 9 to 10 hours each of the last three days in Greensboro, N.C., showing coaches and judges what they can do. They survived the first cut, which narrowed the field to 30, and the second cut, which left only the country’s top 15 swimmers.
With only duet tryouts left, the three are done swimming. The Olympic team will be announced at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
“We knew it was Olympic trials, but it seemed way more serious once we got there,” Andrews said from her hotel room in North Carolina. “We did video interviews and meet and greets and stuff. There was a surprising amount of spectators, too. I didn’t think a lot of people would come to watch us. There were little kids asking for our autographs. It was crazy.”
Though the Canisius athletes comprise one-fifth of the remaining swimmers (three of 15), Andrews said they don’t plan on making the final cut. They’re leaving for Buffalo Monday morning.
“We’re sure,” Andrews said. “There’s like 10 girls that were really close. We weren’t horribly far off but enough that it’s clear.
“We know the girls who are going to make the team so it seems weird to compare ourselves to them, but we didn’t realize how close we are to them score-wise. That was cool.”
The recognition and the autographs are what Andrews will remember most.
“It was the weirdest thing. I almost asked if they were sure they wanted my autograph,” Andrews said with a laugh.
Olympic candidates or not, there’s no break for Grogan, Andrews and Mancini. As soon as their plane lands, they’re headed right back for Canisius; they have practice.