As far as her college coach is concerned, Andee Cottrell's improvement from the 2012 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials to those held last week in Omaha, Nebraska, exemplifies the essence of the sport.

As far as her college coach is concerned, Andee Cottrell's improvement from the 2012 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials to those held last week in Omaha, Nebraska, exemplifies the essence of the sport.

The Reynoldsburg native, 2013 Hartley High School graduate and University of Louisville junior finished fifth in the 100-meter breaststroke final June 28, falling short of a berth in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Cottrell finished in 1 minute, 7.59 seconds, which not only was her second-best career time, but also was nearly six seconds faster than the time she recorded when she finished 120th (1:13.1) in the same pool at the 2012 Olympic Trials.

"Swimming is a blue-collar sport. There (are) no shortcuts," Louisville coach Arthur Albiero told the Louisville Courier-Journal. "She improved six seconds from four years ago. That's pretty absurd. That doesn't happen very often in our sport. It's (about) identifying kids who want to do this the right way, are willing to work for it."

Cottrell, who also finished 14th (2:28.36) in the 200 breast June 30, said she never anticipated such a drastic improvement.

"I think I have grown so much as a swimmer and a person. I have learned from every single swim and made changes," she said. "It is completely amazing. If you had told me four years ago I'd be here today, I would have thought you were crazy. ...

"It really is a special moment."

Cottrell, who won the Division II state championship in the 200 individual medley as a junior at Hartley and placed third in the 100 breast and fourth in the 200 IM at state as a senior, was just the second Louisville swimmer to advance to an Olympic Trials final. The first was her teammate, Kelsi Worrell, who won the 100 butterfly championship June 27.

The top 16 swimmers in events with preliminaries advanced to semifinals, and from semifinals the top eight advanced to finals.

The top two swimmers in all events except for the 100 and 200 freestyle qualified for the Olympic Games, which will be held Aug. 6-21. In the 100 and 200, the top four finishers earned an Olympic berth.

Through the first five days of the Olympic Trials, none of the other 10 swimmers from central Ohio who competed advanced to Rio. The area was represented by 12 swimmers overall.

The Olympic Trials concluded July 3.

One area native did qualify for the Olympic Games by finishing in the top two in diving. Abby Johnston, a 2008 Upper Arlington graduate who competed at Duke University and attends medical school there, placed second (949.3 points) in women's 3-meter springboard diving June 26 in Indianapolis behind Kassidy Cook (1,003.65).

Johnston teamed with Kelci Bryant to win a silver medal in 3-meter synchronized diving in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Other area swimmers fall short of Rio

Reynoldsburg native Adam Ritter recorded the best finish of all area swimmers who did not advance to finals.

Ritter, a 2003 St. Charles graduate, finished 42nd (1:01.61) in the 100 breast June 26. He also tied for 58th (50.71) in the 100 free June 29.

Pickerington North junior Jason Mathews finished 93rd (1:03.86) in the 100 breast.

In the women's 400 individual medley June 26, UA senior Katie Trace finished 47th (4:53.85) and 2011 UA graduate Abby Chin was 113th (5:05.83). Trace, an Ohio State commit, is the defending Division I state champion in the 200 free and 500 free.

"I went in not knowing what to expect. It kind of reminded me of my freshman year at state, when I was a little bit overwhelmed," Trace said.

"I didn't get my best time, but my splits for each stroke were faster than I had last year. My breaststroke didn't really materialize, but I'm still happy."

Joey Long, a 2013 UA graduate and senior at Ohio State, finished 54th (3:58.89) in the men's 400 free June 26.

In the women's 100 backstroke June 27, 2015 Reynoldsburg graduate Morgan McCafferty tied for 118th (1:04.18) and 2012 Watterson graduate Camey Rabold was 133rd (1:04.59).

Rabold, who finished 126th (2:21.49) in the women's 200 back July 1, swims for Ohio State and McCafferty swims at Nebraska.

In the women's 100 breast June 27, Pickerington North freshman Janessa Mathews finished 108th (1:12.86) and 13-year-old Ellie Andrews of Dublin was 114th (1:13.21).

UA graduate and Ohio State sophomore Thomas Trace tied for 61st (56.56) in the men's 100 back June 26.

Miranda Donley, a Columbus School for Girls senior from Pickerington, tied for 123rd (26.54) in the women's 50 free July 2. She is the defending Division II state champion in the event.