Former Richland High School swimmer Lisa Bratton will race for a spot in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics on Saturday night.
Bratton, an incoming Texas A&M junior, was fourth overall in Friday night’s 200-meter backstroke semifinals to advance to the eight-person final at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Omaha, Neb.
Olympic berths usually go to the Trials winner and runner-up. The final will air at 5 p.m. on NBCSN.
Bratton raced in the first semifinal against Maya DiRado, who won in 2 minutes, 8.14 seconds. Bratton turned on the jets in the second half and all but sealed her spot in the final with a second-place time of 2:09.79.
Bratton finished 16th in the 200 back at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. Her best time in the 200 back is still the 2:09.31 she swam to win the World University Games gold medal last year in Gwangju, South Korea.
In Friday’s preliminaries, Bratton was third in her heat and 12th overall. She swam a 2:11.92 in Lane 5 next to defending Olympic champion Missy Franklin, who had the best heat time overall at 2:09.69. Franklin won the second semifinal with a time of 2:08.63.
The swimmers racing in Saturday night’s final in order of semifinal times are: DiRado (2:08.14), Franklin (2:08.63), Amy Bilquist (2:09.68), Bratton (2:09.79), 2012 Olympic 200 back bronze medalist Elizabeth Beisel (2:09.81), Bridgette Alexander (2:09.83), Danielle Galyer (2:09.88) and Erin Voss (2:10.06).