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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Shackell siblings make serious splash at swim trials

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Aaron and Alex Shackell, or ‘the Shackell Siblings,” are headed to the Olympics.

The 2024 U.S. Olympic Swim Trials concluded at Lucas Oil Stadium downtown, marking a historic return to Indianapolis after more than two decades. Indy was excited as local swimmers made waves in the pool, securing their spots to represent Team USA at the upcoming Paris Olympics.

For the first time ever, the Olympic Trials were staged on a football field. The innovative setup included three temporary pools within Lucas Oil Stadium, providing a unique, electrifying atmosphere for athletes and spectators alike.

Among the standout performances was the remarkable achievement of siblings Alex and Aaron Shackell, Carmel natives, who both qualified for the Olympics. Alex secured her spot in the 200-meter butterfly, becoming the first female swimmer from Carmel to make the Olympic team.

Alex Shackell at 2024 Olympic Swim Trials
Gretchen Walsh and Alex Shackell watch results after the Women’s 100 Butterfly Saturday, June 15, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

“I’m so excited to be going to (the Olympics) with my brother,” Alex Shackell said. “It is a dream come true.”

Aaron, a rising sophomore at the University of Texas, earned his spot on the Olympic team in the 400-meter freestyle.

“It’s an honor to represent Carmel and Team USA,” Aaron Shackell said. “I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family, friends and coaches.”

The Shackell siblings’ accomplishment marks the first time since 2004 that siblings have made the U.S. Olympic swim team together. Their success is a testament to their dedication, talent and the strong swimming culture in the Indianapolis area.

The trials also saw the return of swimming legend, Simone Manuel, who won the women’s 50m freestyle with a vintage sprint performance. This marked her return to the Olympics as an individual competitor after struggling in the Tokyo Games.

Aaron Shackell at 2024 Olympic Swim Trials
Aaron Shackell reacts after winning the Men’s 400 freestyle finals Saturday, June 15, 2024, at the US Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

More: Simone Biles is heading to the Olympics

In the men’s 1500m freestyle, Bobby Finke, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, secured his spot on the team with a split-second finish. The dramatic race captivated the crowd and showcased the high level of competition at the trials.

The energy and enthusiasm throughout the nine-day event were palpable, with thousands of fans cheering on both local and national athletes. The success of the trials solidified Indianapolis’ reputation as a premier destination for swimming events.

The 2024 U.S. Olympic Swim Trials not only produced an impressive team to represent the United States in Paris, but they also showcased the passion and talent for swimming within the Indianapolis community.

As the city celebrates the achievements of its athletes, all eyes now turn to Paris, France, where Team USA, including several proud representatives of the Hoosier State, will strive for gold on the world’s biggest sporting stage.

Contact multi-media and senior sports reporter Noral Parham III at 317-762-7646. Follow him on X @3Noral.

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