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Nash Central swimmer Lance Norris, seen here last year at the Tar River Reservoir, has qualified for the Olympic Trials swimming meet held in Omaha, Neb.

Lance Norris continues to push himself to go faster.

The Nash Central junior has been displaying elite speed and endurance in the pool for years that has resulted in winning a pair of state championships at the high school level and claiming victories in longer races in the club scene.

Now, Norris has continued to drop time and has earned the opportunity to compete at the sport’s highest level. Norris qualified for and will compete in four events at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials this summer, with a shot at making the team for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

The swimmer will represent his club team (Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary), Nash Central and his hometown of Rocky Mount when he competes in Omaha, Neb. from June 13-19 in Wave II of the Trials meet.

There will be two Waves this year to spread out the competitors, with the second Wave containing swimmers who made a more elite time cut.

Norris will compete in the 400-meter individual medley on Sunday, June 13, the 800 freestyle on June 16, the 200 backstroke on June 17 and the 1,500 freestyle on June 19.


In order to make the U.S. Olympic team, swimmers must finish in first or second in one of the 13 individual events, or be among six swimmers selected to one of three relay teams.

Norris, who has committed to swim at N.C. State beginning in the fall of 2022, earned his second Olympic Trials cut in early March when he dropped three seconds in the 200 backstroke.

In April, Norris jumped in the water at TAC’s long course Premier Meet and emerged with yet another cut, though this one was a Wave II cut.

He finished the 800-meter race in a lifetime-best 8:08.28, shaving two seconds off his previous best time. He needed to be under 8:08.95 to secure a Wave II cut, allowing him a chance to race at the premier meet.

And while Norris will have an outside chance at making the team, a finish in the top spot among fellow 18-and-under swimmers at Trials could earn him a spot at Junior Worlds.