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Katy swimmers prepare for upcoming Olympic Trials

KATY – As the Olympic trials approach later this month, the training continues for three swimmers in Katy who have each qualified to compete at trials.

For Austin Vacek, Glen Cowand and Aria Bernal, the experience of making it to Olympic trials is a big deal.

“It felt amazing,” 15-year old Bernal said. “I’ve been trying to get that cut (time) for so long.”

“I swam a 57.13 and then a couple months later, they released the trials cut,” Vacek said. “It was 57.19 and I was like ‘Wow, I got it.’"

Cowand, a student at Cinco Ranch high school, gained his spot at trials in similar fashion to Vacek.

"I swam it, looked at the time and I was like, I kind of expected it, but I knew it was good,” Cowand said.

All three swim with the High Performance Group in Katy. Their coaching staff sees a very bright future for them.

“If you’re a high school swimmer in this country and you qualify for (Olympic) trials, then you’re elite,” coach Justin Brousseau said. “The sky’s the limit for you.”

The three youngsters share that same vision, each looking to compete, improve and gain valuable experience.

“Hopefully I’ll be able to make top16 which will put me in semifinals,” Vacek said.

Bernal, a soon-to-be-junior at Cinco Ranch, is thrilled at the opportunity to be amongst the best in the country.

“I actually made it that far,” she said. “To be right next to the best swimmers.”

“I’ve been to nationals, which is the same time standards as trials,” Cowand said.

“But it’s nowhere near the excitement and the nervous energy there is at trials,” he added.

The trio will compete at Olympic trials in Omaha the final week of June. Bernal qualified in the 100 meter backstroke, same for Cowand on the men’s side.

Vacek qualified for three events. He’ll join Cowand in the 100 meter backstroke, and he’ll also win in the 200 meter backstroke and 200 IM.