She stands on the starting blocks, fighting the urge to cry. The anticipation of the race and the pressure to perform are overwhelming. Her hands — like clockwork — find her goggles and press them firmly into place. A few moments later, she checks her goggles again. The habit provides a small sense of comfort in the midst of her first Olympic Trials. She hears the starter’s command to take her mark. She obeys. Within moments she hears the signal and dives into the pool.
The 2004 Olympic Trials was only the beginning for Leah Gingrich. This summer she’ll compete in her third Trials, and what may be her final swim meet.
The senior from Enola, Penn., has plenty of experience to pull from when she competes for one of two places on this year’s Olympic team. A first-generation swimmer, Gingrich started competing at the age of 6, and within two years, forfeited…
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