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Ross Dant
Ross Dant finished fifth in the 800 meter freestyle at the USA Olympic Team Trials in Indianapolis.
screenshot capture from NBC coverage

Hickory’s Dant Falls Shy of Qualifying for Team USA in Olympic Trials

Hickory native Ross Dant, swimming at North Carolina State, finished in fifth place at the Olympic Trials in Indianapolis on Tuesday in the 800 meter freestyle. While not making it to the Paris Summer Games, the fact that the 23 year old finished in the top eight to compete for a spot is, in itself, very impressive.

Dant qualified for the finals by finishing in second place in Heat #6 of the 800 meters on Monday. Dant’s time of 7:53.78 put him in fourth place overall, good enough to qualify for the finals of eight swimmers on Tuesday.

In Tuesday’s final, Dant started out strong off the block, and was only 0.64 seconds off the lead after the first 50m. While slipping into sixth place at the 100 meter turn, Dant rose up to a high of fourth at the 250 mark and stayed consistently in fifth place from the 300 meter mark onward finishing 10.34 seconds back of first place with a time of 7:54.23.

Robert Finke, the favorite in the event won in a time of 7:44.22 and Luke Whitlock, an 18-year old, finished second to likely join Finke in Paris next month.