OMAHA, Neb. - Cammile Adams and Kathleen Hersey stood on the awards stage, their arms wrapped around each other. Adams gave a Gig 'em, and Hersey a Hook 'em.
The U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials produced strange pool fellows Friday night.
"Cammile is from Texas A&M, so Texas girls unite in the butterfly," said UT's Hersey after the Aggie beat her in the 200-meter butterfly.
Adams and Hersey both qualified for the Olympics, and they celebrated as if they had been teammates before Friday night.
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What in the name of E. King Gill and Darrell K. Royal is going on here?
"Oh, we can't help it," Hersey said when a reporter questioned the fact she and Adams appeared to be friends rather than rivals. "She's too nice."
Adams became the second Aggie ever to make the U.S. Olympic swim team in an individual event, joining Breeja Larson, who was a surprise winner in the 100 breaststroke Wednesday night.
"Oh, my gosh, I think I screamed in the warm-up pool when Cammile won," said Larson, who qualified seventh in the 200 breaststroke semifinal Friday with a 2:26.95. "She has been dreaming of this forever. We all knew she could get first."
Adams was in seventh after 50 meters and third after 100 meters before passing the field in the final 100. She touched in 2:06.52, besting the previous Olympic Trials record of 2:06.75 set by Elaine Breeden in 2008.
It was Adams' personal best and ranks sixth in the world.
"[A&M coach] Steve [Bultman] really likes us to swim our own race and do our own thing and swim our own strategy," Adams said. "I just tried to take it out as easy as I could the first 100. I knew those girls were going to be there. They're such great competitors. "But I was just going to swim my own race and come back that fourth 50 and just leave it all in the pool. I'm happy with it. It's the best time, so I can't complain."
Hersey, who competed for UT from 2008-10 and now swims for Longhorn Aquatics, was second in 2:07.72. She was runner-up in the event to Breeden here in '08 and finished eighth at the Beijing Olympics.
"I felt like there was more than just swimming on the line," Hersey said. "I recently lost my mom, and I felt like that was weighing heavy on my heart. I felt like this wouldn't happen if there wasn't a reason, and I felt her presence so much today.
"All I wanted to do after my 100 fly was give her a big hug. But the relationship has changed, and it's much more intimate now, because she is a part of who I am."
Former UT swimmers Ricky Berens, Jimmy Feigen and Garrett Weber-Gale finished fourth, fifth and eighth, respectively, in the 100 freestyle.
Another former Longhorn, Brendan Hansen, was a disappointing fourth in the 200 breaststroke, but he already qualified for the Olympics in the 100 breaststroke. He finished behind Scott Weltz (2:09.01), Clark Burckle (2:09.97) and Eric Shanteau (2:10.05).
"I think you guys are as surprised as I am," said Hansen, who also failed to qualify in the event at the 2008 Trials after winning the Olympic bronze in the 200 breaststroke at the '04 Games. "I'm disappointed in my performance. ... It just wasn't there."