June 8, 2008
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
This weekend at the 2008 Mutual of Omaha Swimvitational, the University of Wyoming swimming team added another U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier in Lesley Young. In all, five members of the UW swimming team competed against the top athletes in the nation at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb.
Young, a freshman at UW this past season, earned a spot at the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 100-meter breaststroke on Saturday. She qualified for the trials by swimming a time of 1:11.61 in the 100 breaststroke. She finished 12th in the event and was touched out by former Olympian Katie Hoff. Young also swam the 200-meter breaststroke on Friday and placed 29th with a time of 2:41.18.
Young, a native of Turlock, Calif., becomes the fourth swimmer with Wyoming ties to qualify for the Olympic Trials, which begin later this month. Junior Alex Larkin previously qualified as did Brandon Fischer, a high school standout who will join the Cowboys as a freshman this fall. Former Cowboy All-American Scott Usher, who made the 2004 U.S. Olympic team, will also compete in the trials.
"This was a very successful weekend for our team against the best talent in the nation," said UW head coach Tom Johnson. "I am especially proud of Lesley for qualifying for the trials. She had a great weekend and is very deserving of her spot in the nation's premier meet. We are really excited about coming back to Omaha later this month with a strong contingent of Wyoming athletes for the Olympic trials."
As a part of that contingent, Alex Larkin competed in both the 100 and 200-meter breaststrokes this weekend with an attitude of using the meet for a tune-up for the trials. He placed 31st in the 200 and 44th in the 100. Larkin had the luxury of using this meet as a tune-up for the trials since he qualified at a previous meet.
Bell, a senior captain this past season, had a solid meet and flirted with qualifying times in two events. He competed in the B final of the 200 breaststroke and the C final of the 100 breaststroke.
Sophomore sprinters Gregory and Stelow each competed in both sprint freestyle events on the weekend. As young swimmers, they gained valuable experience by swimming next to the best talent in the nation.
The 2008 Olympic Trials begin June 28 and run through July 6. The meet will be held at the same pool in Omaha as this weekend's meet.