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Local Hannah Cox Finishes 8th in the 400-meter Freestyle at the Olympic Trials

Jul 28, 2016 10:55AM ● By Kirsten Gehlbach
Hannah Cox is chasing a dream. While the bling she received for eighth place in the 400-meter freestyle swim at the Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska, did not clinch her a spot on the US swimming team for the Rio Olympics, she made the most of the opportunity. Before the trials, Hannah was quoted as saying, “I think for me, first, I just want to soak up the experience. It is unlike anything I’ve ever been to before.”

Her mom, Karen, shared on Hannah’s GoFundMe page, “Our hearts are full as we get ready to leave Omaha. This has been such an incredible experience to watch Hannah reach for her dreams and make it to the Olympic Trials! Not only make it here but bring home a little bling as well! A lovely medal for her eighth-place finish in the 400m Free.”

Karen adds that Hannah is looking forward to a bit of a rest before she heads off to the University of Arizona, where she will continue to pursue her dreams of participating in the 2020 Olympics.

Hannah, 18, from Hartland, is an Upper Valley Aquatic Club competitor and trains under Coach Dorsi Raynolds. A recent Kimball Union Academy graduate, she made the finals of the women’s 400-meter freestyle, the first of her three events at the trials, finishing eighth. She also earned a bronze medal in the 200-meter freestyle at the FINA Junior World Championship in Singapore last fall and two golds at the East Junior Nationals in Atlanta in December with times that broke two records.

Hannah was seeded 13th of the 109 women who qualified to compete at Omaha. Racing against Olympic champion and world record-holder Katie Ledecky in the fifth of 11 morning heats, Hannah placed third in 4:09.83, about 7 seconds behind Ledecky. Her qualifying time was the seventh-best recorded in the heats. In the finals, Hannah was less than a half-second from finishing as high as fifth overall. While her hope was to be in the top six and go to the Olympics, her real goal is to achieve personal bests.

Hannah’s father, Kevin, proudly says, “This is a gift she has worked so hard at. Whether she won or lost, it didn’t matter. Her coach said most kids quit. Hannah has the drive to do it.”

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