Gopher swimmer Justin Mortimer was tantalizingly close, just 1.7 seconds away from a trip to the Athens Olympics when he took third in the 1,500-meter freestyle at last month's Olympic trials. The top two finishers at the trials qualified for the Olympic team.
Tuesday night no one was better and he won his first individual national title in the 800-meter freestyle with a time of 8:02:90.
Although Mortimer may have rather have been competing for Olympic gold, he was happy with his National Championship victory. The men's 800-meter freestyle is not an Olympic event.
"I know most of the top guys are in Athens, but it's still really nice to win a national title," he said.
He is slated to compete in four other events during the ongoing national championships which, continue through Aug 7.
Gopher swimmer wins national title
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