HAMMOCK: Gwinnett's Olympic hopefuls face Trials in the coming weeks

Thanks to Maya Moore, Gwinnett County residents will have at least one local product to cheer for in this summer's Olympics.

While the Collins Hill grad and WNBA star has locked up her spot on the U.S. team in women's basketball, others will have their fate decided in the next few weeks. If things go well during that span, Moore may not be the only Gwinnettian headed to London later this summer.

Just how large of an Olympic contingent the county will have will depend on the U.S. Trials in two sports --track and field (June 21-July 1 in Eugene, Ore.) and swimming (June 25-July 2 in Omaha, Neb.).

North Gwinnett's Kibwe Johnson, one of the nation's top hammer throwers, gives Gwinnett a good shot at an Olympian in track and field. He's one of only two U.S. throwers to meet the Olympic "A" Standard.

Johnson will find out pretty quickly about his Olympic hopes as the hammer trials are on June 21, the first day of Trials for track and field.

A total of 15 Gwinnett swimmers are headed to Omaha for Trials, but most are going for the experience. They will go and compete against the country's best to see where they stand, but they won't finish anywhere near qualifying for the Olympics.

The same can't be said for Gwinnett's two former Olympic swimmers, Eric Shanteau and Amanda Weir.

Shanteau, a 2008 Olympian in the 200 breaststroke, is a favorite to make this year's team in that same event, where he has the country's top qualifying time, and in the 100 breast. The Parkview grad famously delayed cancer treatments to compete in the 2008 Olympics, but no longer has that burden in 2012 now that he's cancer-free.

Weir is seeking an Olympic return, too. She made the 2004 team and earned a pair of relay silver medals in Athens, Greece, just weeks after her high school graduation from Brookwood. Weir has a very realistic shot at another Olympics with two of the country's best times in the 50 and 100 freestyle.

I'm hoping that Johnson, Shanteau and Weir all find their way to the Olympics, so we'll have an even bigger local impact on the Games.

But before we can cheer them in London, we have to get them through Trials the next few weeks.

Will Hammock can be reached via email at will.hammock@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Thursdays. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/willhammock. For Hammock's blog, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/willsworld.