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Ex-Clovis West swimming star Justin Wright is back at home and thinking 2020 Olympics

Justin Wright has not been able to hide his excitement this week.

The former Clovis West High swimming star has been back in town, competing in the TYR Pro Series event that runs through Saturday at Clovis North.

The meet features Olympians and national team members.

And Wright is thrilled to see a Clovis Unified school host a high-level event.

He was one of the first people to swim at Clovis North when the $7.1 million Aquatics Center opened in 2008.

“Snuck in with my brother before they officially opened,” Wright said. “It’s really exciting to be back and have really fast swimming.”

Wright helped Clovis West to four Central Section team champions and 10 individual section championships, including three as a senior.

At the University of Arizona, Wright set a school record in the 200-meter butterfly (1 minute 40.16 seconds) as a sophomore and later became a two-time All-American (2017, 2018).

“At NCAA, it’s really competitive,” he said. “It was a big change and a whole lot of fun. It worked out for the better. It took a little while to get going.”

After finishing his Arizona career, Wright won the 200 butterfly at the Phillips 66 National Championships in Irvine. He upset Olympians Jack Conger and Chase Kalisz.

Wright is aiming for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo in his specialty. He was 23rd at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials and ninth in 2016. The 2020 trials are next June in Omaha, Neb.

“It’s looking like this next year could be a really good chance for me,” he said. “Going into Nationals last year was a huge step. That was the first time I won something major. Hopefully, I can get that top two and make the team.”

Clovis Swim Club

Clovis Swim Club had competitors in Wednesday’s and Thursday’s finals at Clovis North:

▪ In the women’s 200 freestyle, Claire Tuggle finished fifth in the main (2:01.15) and Abby Samansky finished fourth in the B (2:03.52).

▪ Danielle Hermann placed sixth in the women’s main 100 breaststroke (1:10.71).

▪ Averee Preble placed first in the women’s B 400 individual medley (4:58.55).

▪ Ben Forbes finished eighth in the men’s B 200 freestyle (1:54.38).

▪ Ian Belflower finished second in the men’s C 100 breaststroke (1:06.73).

▪ In the 800 frees on Wednesday, Tuggle finished fourth (8:56.88) and Preble sixth (8:59.48) in the women’s timed finals, and AJ Sheppard placed eighth (8:48.77) in the men’s.

Anthony Galaviz: 559-441-6042, agalaviz_TheBee

Anthony Galaviz writes about sports for The Fresno Bee. He covers the Oakland Raiders, high schools, boxing, MMA and junior colleges. He’s been with The Bee since 1997 and attended Fresno City College before graduating from Fresno State with a major in journalism and a minor in criminology.
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