Missouri athletes eye berths for 2012 Olympic Games

Monday, June 25, 2012 | 9:46 p.m. CDT; updated 11:02 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 24, 2012

COLUMBIA — With the London Olympics opening ceremony set for July 27, a handful of Mid-Missouri athletes are trying to earn places in the prestigious competition.

This past weekend, former MU athlete Christian Cantwell earned a trip to London after placing third in shot put at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Ore. It will Cantwell's second Olympic bid, he won silver in 2008 in Beijing.

On Monday night, former Missouri runner Amanda Dunne failed to qualify in the 5,000 meters at the trials, finishing in 19th place.

The track trials started June 21 and run through July 1.

Missouri shot putter Kearsten Peoples will compete Thursday. Former Central Methodist University athlete and Armstrong native Patrick Stroupe is competing in the 20-kilometer race walk on Saturday.

Several Missouri swimmers are vying for Olympic berths at the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials in Omaha, which began Monday and run through July 2.

Among the group is Andrew Phillips (distance freestyle events), Connor Nolan, (freestyle, breaststroke and individual medley), Eegan Groome (freestyle) and Sam Tierney (freestyle, breaststroke and backstroke).

Missouri women's swimmers at the trials include Cassie Cunningham (backstroke), Rachel Ripley (breaststroke and medley events), Lisa Nathanson (freestyle), Shara Stafford (freestyle and butterfly), Emy DiBenigno (breaststroke) and Sydney Schaefer (sprint freestyle).

Former Missouri swimmer Jack Brown is also attending the trials, competing in freestyle, breaststroke and individual medley. Rock Bridge High School alum and current Purdue swimmer Wyatt Hodges will compete in the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke.

Kim Jasmer of the Columbia Swim Club will compete in the 50-, 100-, 200- and 400-meter freestyle events. Fellow club member John Higgins will compete in the backstroke events.

Missouri Diver David Bonuchi competed in the Olympic Diving Trials last week in Federal Way, Wash., and placed fourth in the senior men's platform event and placed eighth in the senior men's 3-meter springboard. Bonuchi did not make the Olympic team.

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