Norfolk Academy Sophomore Callie Dickinson will be heading to the Olympic trials in Omaha, Nebraska this June after earning four Olympic Trial qualifying times—three of them at a meet this weekend in Richmond.
Callie, 16, who swims for the top-ranked TIDE Swimming, had previously earned a qualifying time, known in swimmer’s parlance as a “cut,” in the 200-meter Backstroke with a time of 2:14.83. At the Speedo Sectionals meet, she achieved three additional qualifying times in the 100-meter Butterfly (1:00.96), the 400-meter Individual Medley (4:53.46), and the 100-meter Backstroke (1:02.66).
Katy Arris Wilson, president of TIDE Swimming, said that Callie’s success is a testament to her work ethic, maturity, and drive to succeed, which she has maintained for many years of training. “Displaying the versatility to qualify in the 100 butterfly, 100 backstroke, 200 backstroke and 400 individual medley demonstrates the fortitude she brings to practice every day, often twice a day,” Wilson said. “Few 16 year olds are willing to make the sacrifices Callie makes to reach her goals. She should be recognized for not only this accomplishment, but also for the many years of work and sacrifice she embraced to get to this point.”
With only three months until the Olympic Trials, the atmosphere at qualifying events gets incredibly intense, said Josh Fulton, Head coach of Tide. “All the teams,coaches, and parents cheer on every athlete,” he said. “Everyone shares in the excitement of a new qualifying time with an uproar of cheering and clapping.” There are no other Olympic qualifiers on the Southside and only one other qualifier on the Peninsula.
Nationwide, as of Tuesday, there were 147 female qualifiers for the 200 backstroke, 172 for the 100 backstroke, 121 for the 139 for the 100 butterfly and 140 for the 400 individual medley, according to USA Swimming Stats.
The Olympic trials from June 26 to July 3 will determine membership in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Swim Team, which will represent the United States in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Callie is the daughter of Dr. William Dickinson and Dr. Dayna Lago of Virginia Beach, and the sister of Anna (Class of 2015, now attending Liberty University) and Bridget '16. The Bulldogs are cheering for you, Callie!