POWHATAN POINT - An Ohio Valley grandmother is heading to Omaha, Neb., this weekend, with hopes of eventually landing in London, England, later this summer.
That's the itinerary Beverly Cavalier has mapped out as she follows her 20-year-old granddaughter, Meredith Cavalier, to the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials, which will be held inside the CenturyLink Center from Monday through July 2.
"I'm very excited. She's quite the swimmer," her grandmother said Thursday morning. "I'm leaving for Columbus Sunday and flying from there. There will be four of us out there cheering her on.
"I've never been to Nebraska so it will be something different."
The top two swimmers in each event, plus four more from the 100- and 200-meter freestyle, advance to the Olympics.
"I've talked to her some lately, but I haven't seen her in a while," the grandmother continued. "I've been to see her at the NCAA Championships, and I saw her win a state title in high school.
"I'm going to London if she wins," she proclaimed.
Meredith Cavalier is on a full scholarship for swimming at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. The senior-to-be is a three-time All-American (200 backstroke-2011; 200 backstroke and 400 freestyle relay-2012) and a four-time Atlantic Coast Conference champion (200 backstroke, 200 medley relay, 200 freestyle relay and 400 freestyle relay).
While her specialties are the backstroke and freestyle, she will only compete in the 100 and 200 backstroke events in Omaha.
The 100 preliminary heats will be held Tuesday, with the 200 set for Saturday. Semifinals in the 100 will also be Tuesday, with the finals set for Wednesday. The 200 semis will be Friday, June 29 and the finals one day later.
According to the psyche sheets listed on the Olympic Trials website, she is listed 62nd out of 177 entrants in the 200 with a qualifying time of 2:15.86. She is 68th in the 100 (out of 167) with a clocking of 1:03.22.
He personal bests in the events are 52.67 in the 100 and 1:52.89 in the 200. She also ranks second all-time at Virginia in the 200 and fourth in the 100.
During her high school days, she led Brooke Point to four consecutive undefeated dual meet seasons and earned All-American honors. She was a four-time Free-Lance Swimmer of the Year and was twice named to the Washington Post All-Met first team.
Her swimming abilities helped her to save the life of a 9-year-old boy in 2010. While working at the Aquia Harbor Country Club as an assistant coach, she heard people screaming and saw Shane Egan at the bottom of the pool.
According to reports from the Washington Post, Cavalier dived into the pool, swam about 20 meters and rescued Egan, pulling him the nearest wall where others helped get him out of the water.
In addition to her accomplishments in the pool, she is a member of the National Honor Society and National German Honor Society.
Majoring in English at U of V, she is the daughter of Jack and Barbara Cavalier of Stafford, Va. She has two older brothers, Andrew and Matthew.
Her father is a 1977 graduate of River High School. He works as an engineer with the Department of Defense. Her mother went to WVU on a swimming scholarship.