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Ohio State Swimmer Helps U.S. Relay Team Earn Gold in Tokyo

Hunter Armstrong reacts after winning the Men's 100 Backstroke during wave 2 of the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials on Monday, June 14, 2021, in Omaha, Neb.
Jeff Roberson
/
AP
Hunter Armstrong reacts after winning the Men's 100 Backstroke during wave 2 of the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials on Monday, June 14, 2021, in Omaha, Neb.

An Ohio State sophomore swimmer earned a gold medal in Tokyo on Saturday.

Backstroke specialist Hunter Armstrong and his Olympic teammates qualified the US to advance to the 4-by-100 medley relay final.

But Armstrong deferred to star Ryan Murphy, a faster swimmer, for that race. The relay team won gold and set a new world record. By helping the team qualify for the final, Dover, Ohio native Armstrong earned a gold medal as well.

His childhood swim coach Brenda Wherley said she finds it hard to believe she helped develop an Olympic gold medalist.

“Truly hard to put all these feelings into words. Just an ornate amount of pride in Hunter and all that he’s accomplished and just so, so excited for him,” she said.

Wherley said she was honored to have been Armstrong's coach for 12 years, beginning at age six.

“That’s something very special that I hold near and dear to my heart to be able to watch them grow, not just as swimmers but young adults as well. So, very honored to play that role,” she said.

As an individual, Armstrong tied for ninth in the men's 100 meter Backstroke. He's the first OSU men's swimmer in 65 years to compete in the Olympics.