Bay Area swimmers splash into national trials

- Grant Sanders set school swim records at East Lake High School. This fall, Sanders takes his talents to Gainesville to swim for the Florida Gators. He gives me a "Go Gators!" complete with the gator chomp at poolside after a recent practice at Tampa Prep.

"Without swimming, Sanders says, "I don't know which college I would be in. The University of Florida is a great opportunity."

Sanders is spending part of his summer in Indianapolis, having qualified for the Phillips 66 Nationals World Championship Trials. The name of the competition takeS longer to say than a Grant Sanders freestyle lap.

Only the top one-half of one percent qualify to go to Indy. The Tampa Bay Aquatics group sends two swimmers: Grant Sanders and Christin Rockway. Christin swam for Tampa Catholic, and will attend and swim for Indiana University in the fall.

Christin Rockway and Grant Sanders could position themselves for future consideration on the U.S. National team with strong performances in the Trials. They represent the best of the Bay, and perhaps, one day, say in 2020, we may see one or both competing for team USA in the summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Grant and Christin train under the tutelage of Jason Bowes, the coach for Tampa Bay Aquatics. "Overall, the training group is very dynamic", says Bowes, "And very exciting to coach on daily basis."

The competition in Indianapolis runs through Saturday, July 1.

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