Have you been watching the qualifying trials for the 2012 Olympics in London? We have. And boy, have they been exciting! It seems that the Olympics stay gone just long enough for you to forget the rush you feel watching someone push themselves to the pinnacle of their ability in order to attain the highest athletic honors in the land. Before you know it, you’re glued to your seat, rooting for favorites in stadiums and gyms and on fields.

Speaking of favorites, here are some of ours:

1. Lia Neal
On Saturday, 17-year-old Lia Neal’s fourth place time in the 100-meter freestyle secured her a spot on the U.S. Olympic 4×100-meter freestyle relay team. The Brooklyn native shed tears of joy as she reached a new personal best at 54.33 seconds. An 11-grader at Manhattan’s Convent of the Sacred Heart, Neal has become the third black swimmer to join the U.S., along with Cullen Jones and Anthony Ervin. She is the second black female swimmer to ever represent the United States in the Olympic Games.

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