"Sitting in a hotel room in Omaha, Nebraska two days before the biggest swim of her life, Leah Smith could not help but think this is why she gave up a season of high school swimming.
Just a few miles away from her hotel room was the Century-Link Center, the host of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials where Smith, a Mt. Lebanon resident and a student at Oakland Catholic High School, is competing in three events this week, hoping for a shot at the London Olympics.
Smith placed 14th in the 400-meter freestyle in 4:11.93 on Tuesday. She was scheduled to compete in the 200-meter freestyle Wednesday and the 800 meter freestyle Saturday.
"Everything I have done -- taking off high school swimming -- was all leading up to this," Smith said. "It was a tough decision, I love my team but I felt it was the right thing to do. My coach and I discussed this and I thought it was the best thing to do.""