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Meet North Carolina's 2016 Summer Olympic Hopefuls

A montage of the 2016 summer Olympic athletes with ties to North Carolina.
www.teamusa.org and www.usagym.org
A montage of the 2016 summer Olympic athletes with ties to North Carolina.

From the basketball court to the swimming pool, North Carolina will have its fair share of representation in Rio de Janeiro. Some of these athletes are N.C. natives, while others train here or went to school here. Read on to learn more about the U.S. Olympians with North Carolina connections.BASKETBALL

Harrison Barnes

Position: Forward

Connection to N.C.: Attended UNC-Chapel Hill, 2010-2012

Fun Fact: Barnes wasn't a starter during his freshman year of high school, but he improved to graduate as his school's all-time leading scorer and was named Mr. Basketball USA.

Kyrie Irving

Position: Guard

Connection to N.C.: Attended Duke, 2010-2011

Fun Fact: Irving will play in Rio fresh off a NBA Championship win with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

CANOE/KAYAK

Casey Eichfeld

Discipline: Canoe Slalom

Connection to N.C.: Lives in Charlotte

Fun Fact: He credits much of his success on the water to childhood ballet training that gave him strength, flexibility and focus.

Michal Smolen

Discipline: Canoe Slalom

Connection to N.C.: Lives in Gastonia

Fun Fact: After an impressive showing at the U.S. National Team Trials in 2012, Smolen narrowly missed the chance to compete in the London--his American citizenship wasn't official until six months after.

DIVING

Abby Johnston

Event: 3-meter

Connection to N.C.: Graduated from Duke in 2013

Fun Fact: Johnston just finished her 2nd year of medical school at Duke.

FENCING

Ibtihaj Muhammad

Discipline: Saber

Connection to N.C.: Graduated from Duke in 2007

Fun Fact: Muhammad will be the first U.S. athlete to compete at the Olympics in a hijab.

FIELD HOCKEY

Jaclyn Briggs

Position: Goalkeeper

Connection to N.C.: Graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2010

Fun Fact: Briggs helped the Tar Heels win two national championships.

Lauren Crandall

Position: Defender

Connection to N.C.: Graduated from Wake Forest in 2007

Fun Fact: Crandall captained the U.S. field hockey team at the 2012 London Olympics.

Rachel Dawson

Position: Midfielder

Connection to N.C.: Graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2007

Fun Fact: Rio will be Dawson's third Olympic appearance, after London and Beijing.

Katelyn Falgowski

Position: Midfielder

Connection to N.C.: Graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2011

Fun Fact: Falgowski was the youngest member of the U.S. field hockey team at the Beijing Olympics at age 20.

Stefanie Fee

Position: Defender

Connection to N.C.: Graduated from Duke in 2012

Fun Fact: Fee started in every game she played at Duke.

Michelle Kasold

Position: Forward

Connection to N.C.: Chapel Hill native, graduated from Wake Forest in 2009

Fun Fact: Kasold was a three-time all-ACC player while at Wake Forest.

Kelsey Kolojejchick

Position: Forward

Connection to N.C.: Graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2012

Fun Fact: Along with field hockey, Kolojejchick participated in soccer, softball, gymnastics, track and swimming in high school.

Caitlin Van Sickle

Position: Defender

Connection to N.C.: Graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2012

Fun Fact: Van Sickle won a national championship while at North Carolina.

GYMNASTICS

Ashton Locklear (alternate)

Connection to N.C.: Born in Lumberton, lives in Hamlet

Fun Fact: Should she compete, Locklear would be the first Native American athlete to compete in gymnastics at the Olympics.

SHOOTING

Lucas Kozeniesky

Discipline: Rifle Shooting, 10m air

Connection to N.C.: Currently attending NC State

Fun Fact: Kozeniesky will be the first shooter from NC State to compete in the Olympics.

SOCCER

Crystal Dunn

Position: Forward

Connection to N.C.: Graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2014

Fun Fact: Dunn took home the "Golden Boot" award as the top scorer in the 2016 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Championship.

Whitney Engen

Position: Defender

Connection to N.C.: Graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2009

Fun Fact: Engen won three national championships with the Tar Heels.

Tobin Heath

Position: Midfielder

Connection to N.C.: Graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2009

Fun Fact: Heath was a member of the Beijing and London Olympic squads, winning gold in 2008 and 2012.

Meghan Klingenberg

Position: Defender

Connection to N.C.: Graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2011

Fun Fact: Klingenberg was a four-year starter at UNC, and started every game at the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

Allie Long

Position: Midfielder

Connection to N.C.: Graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2008

Fun Fact: The Rio Olympics will be Long’s first major tournament with the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team.

SWIMMING

Cammile Adams

Event: 200m butterfly

Connection to N.C.: Swims for SwimMAC Carolina

Fun Fact: Adams won silver at the 2015 World Championships in the 200m fly.

Kathleen Baker

Event: 100m backstroke

Connection to N.C.: Winston-Salem native, swims for SwimMAC Carolina

Fun Fact: Despite living with Crohn's disease, Baker swam the fastest race of her life in the Olympic trials, finishing second in the 100m backstroke.

Anthony Ervin

Events: 50m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle

Connection to N.C.: Swims for SwimMAC Carolina

Fun Fact: Ervin tied for the gold medal in the 50m freestyle at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Jimmy Feigen

Event: 4x100m freestyle

Connection to N.C.: Swims for SwimMAC Carolina

Fun Fact: Feigen won silver in the 4x100m freestyle relay at the 2012 London Olympics.

Ryan Held

Event: 4x100m freestyle

Connection to N.C.: Currently attends NC State

Fun Fact: Held was seeded 15th in his event at the Olympic trials, but pulled an upset with a third place finish.

Ryan Lochte

Events: 200m individual medley, 4x200m freestyle

Connection to N.C.: Swims for SwimMAC Carolina

Fun Fact: Rio will be Lochte's fourth Olympics -- he won a total of eleven medals in his previous Olympic appearances.

Katie Meili

Events: 100m breaststroke

Connection to N.C.: Swims for SwimMAC Carolina

Fun Fact: Meili won gold in the 100m breaststroke at the 2015 Pan American Games.

TRACK & FIELD

Ronnie Ash

Event: 110-meter hurdles

Connection to N.C.: Attended high school in Knightdale

Fun Fact: Ash learned how to hurdle at Knightdale High and went on to set hurdling records at the University of Oklahoma.

Tavis Bailey

Event: Discus throw

Connection to N.C.: Kannapolis native

Fun Fact: Bailey was a two-sport athlete at A.L. Brown high school, and played football in North Carolina's East-West All-Star Game.

Paul Chelimo

Event: 5,000-meter

Connection to N.C.: Graduated from UNC-Greensboro in 2013

Fun Fact: Chelimo will be UNC-G’s first ever Olympian.

Shalane Flanagan

Event: Marathon

Connection to N.C.: Graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2005

Fun Fact: Flanagan, who holds the fastest Boston Marathon time for an American woman, will be making her fourth Olympic appearance in Rio.

Sean Furey

Event: Javelin throw

Connection to N.C.: Born in Greenville

Fun Fact: Furey set the Dartmouth school record in the javelin, and has won three U.S. javelin titles.

Lashawn Merritt

Events: 200-meter, 400-meter, 4x400-meter

Connection to N.C.: Attended East Carolina, 2004-2005

Fun Fact: Merritt won gold in Beijing in the 400m, but a hamstring injury prevented him from competing in London.

Shannon Rowbury

Event: 1,500-meter

Connection to N.C.: Graduated from Duke in 2006, received her master’s from Duke in 2008

Fun Fact: Rowbury's achievements at Duke include setting school records in the 800m, 1500m, 3000m, 5000m and steeplechase, as well as graduating magna cum laude.

TRIATHLON

Greg Billington

Connection to N.C.: Graduated from Wake Forest in 2011

Fun Fact: Billington is 2-time USA Triathlon under-23 National Champion, claiming the title in 2011 and 2012.

Copyright 2016 North Carolina Public Radio

Susannah Roberson