Meet North Carolina's 2016 Summer Olympic Hopefuls

Aug 5, 2016

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.