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Brooklyn Teen Qualifies for the Olympics

Lia Neal, 17, is the second African-American woman to make a U.S. Olympic swim team

Lia Neal will not only be representing the United States at the 2012 Olympics in London, she will be representing Brooklyn.

The 17-year-old Brooklynite placed fourth in the 100-meter freestyle at the Olympic trials Saturday, a place that earned her a spot on the 4×100-meter freestyle relay team, The New York Times reports.

She is the second African-American woman to make a U.S. Olympic swim team, according to The Washington Post.

Neal, an 11th-grader at the Convent of the Sacred Heart school in Manhattan, is the daughter of an African-American father and an Asian mother. She has been swimming for Asphalt Green Unified Aquatics on the Upper East Side since she was 8-years-old.

The Times noted Neal touched the wall in a personal best 54.33 seconds. She was behind Jessica Hardy, Missy Franklin and Allison Schmitt, and just ahead of the American-record holder, Amanda Weir, and the 11-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin.

"Those last few strokes definitely were really tough,” Neal told The Times. “At that point I was just flailing my arms and legs, doing whatever I could to get to the wall."

Brooks White July 04, 2012 at 06:46 PM
This is a major WoW! Congratulations to her and her parents for getting up early and going to meets. The grind paid off.
james July 05, 2012 at 11:29 AM
Congratulations!
Elizabeth White July 05, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Congratulations and good luck!

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