Nate and Morgan Carr have accomplished more during their high school years than many other swimmers accomplish in a career; they made the cut for the U.S. Olympic Trials and competed in Omaha, Neb., for the opportunity to represent Team U.S.A. in London.
They enjoyed the once-in-a-lifetime experience, but they aren't quite satisfied yet.
"I was telling my coach that when I was there, I see all these guys making the Olympic team and getting all happy that they're going to London," 17-year-old Nate said. "And I said, 'I'm actually getting kind of aggravated that I'm not doing that, and I want to be there now.' So I guess that's the next step."
The siblings, both Charleston Catholic High School students, have returned to Charleston with their sights set on the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
They qualified for the Olympic trials at a June 15 swim meet in Nashville, Tenn. Morgan qualified in the 200-meter butterfly with a time of 2:16.03, making the cut by less than half a second. At age 15, she was the youngest Olympic qualifier in West Virginia history.
Nathan qualified in the 200-meter breaststroke with a time of 2:20.78, making the cut by one-hundredth of a second.
The weeklong Olympic trials, which took place from June 25 to July 2 at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, was unlike anything young Nathan and Morgan ever had experienced.
"It was awesome," Nathan laughed. "It was an overall great experience. I thought it had a very special atmosphere about it. It was like a show every night."
"I was really giddy about it," Morgan added. "I go places for swim meets, but nothing this big. Not with a bunch of people around paying to watch you swim. That was really surreal to me, and I just had a lot of fun over there."
Morgan said the experience was "overwhelming." She pointed out that she was brushing shoulders with famous Olympic athletes, including Katie Hoff, Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps, throughout the week.
"There were a couple of people that I already knew there, and we had fun, and I also saw faces I had only seen in magazines and on TV, and that was really crazy," Morgan said. "I didn't really talk to them, but just seeing them and being around them was just really neat."
Nathan compared the arena to the Charleston Civic Center, with lights that dim around the pool during competition. Morgan said she had seen photos of the CenturyLink Center on Facebook, but she was still in awe when she saw the pool for the first time.
"When I first walked into the pool, I lost my breath," Morgan said. "It was really pretty and just really, really overwhelming to see that."
Nathan said one of the highlights of the event was watching the finals, which were televised nationally on NBC.