Tennessee Aquatics hosts USA Swimming's National Championships

Tennessee Aquatics hosts USA Swimming's National Championships

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By JILLIAN MAHEN
6 Sports Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE)- The Tennessee Aquatics Center is hosting the 2013 USA Swimming's Winter National Championships.

It wasn't too long ago that Olympic swimmers were in Knoxville for their final swim on US soil before leaving for the 2012 London Olympics.

Now, many of those swimmers are back to compete in the nations' premier swimming event.

More than 600 athletes are in town for the competition, including Olympic Gold Medallists Missy Franklin, Katie Ledecky, Claire Donahue, Matt Grevers, Nathan Adrian and Natalie Coughlin.

In addition to the Olympians, World Champions and National Champions, a few local swimmers, like 16-year-old Bearden High School Student and Tennessee Aquatics member, Bryar Long are also qualified to participate.

"It's a really big event for me," said Long.  "I've been working for a long time for this. Even though there's a lot of big people here, I want to do what I can and swim fast. It's kind of overwhelming seeing some of these big names here but I want to swim fast and I've been working of this for a long time so I know I can do it."

Long will be swimming in the breaststroke events.

Former Volunteer Swimmer, Brad Craig will also be competing this weekend.

He trains at the Tennessee Aquatics Center and is very familiar with this high level of competition.

"I mean it's always fun racing the fastest people out there," said Craig. "When you can get everybody out there at once it's always going to be fun and a great thing to see."

There are 13 events and tickets are available to the public HERE.

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