Local Swimming Duo Qualifies For Olympic Trials

(WMC-TV) - Crews Wellford and Pace Clark are teammates and best friends.

"It's kind of hard not to be friends," Wellford said. "Every day we are together."

And together they are making a big splash in the local swimming ranks. The twosome qualified for the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials in Omaha, Nebraska.

"It's amazing," Wellford said.

"A natural high," Clark added. "[The Olympic pool in Omaha] is like if you put a swimming pool in FedExForum, that's what it looks like."

Pace, a rising senior at Memphis University School, will race the 200m and 100m butterfly.

Crews, who just graduated from MUS and will swim for Alabama in the fall, will try to steer by the competition in the 200m backstroke.

Just making it this far is an accomplishment in itself. Of the 300,000 members of USA Swimming, roughly .005 percent qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials.

"It feels like you are more of the elite swimmers, top tier swimmers, so it feels good," Wellford said.

"I don't know it's hard to describe; just so wild, it's almost unbelievable," Clark beamed.

Swimming may be a mostly solitary sport, but the two doubt they could have made it to this level without each other.

"I don't think we would have gotten the cut if we hadn't been pushing each other as hard as we have. It's a lot easier, a lot more comfortable," Wellford said.

And now on the biggest stage of their lives, they'll be vying to represent their country, and their city, stride by stride.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.