June 27, 2008
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
In the biggest swimming meet since the 2004 Olympic Games, the University of Wyoming swimming team will be well represented as four athletes with Wyoming ties will compete in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials this week at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb. The trials will begin on Sunday, June 29th and run through Sunday, July 6. The top two finishers in each event will earn a berth on the 2008 United States Olympic team.
The four swimmers with Wyoming ties include current athletes Alex Larkin and Lesley Young, former All-American Scott Usher and Brandon Fischer, a high school recruit who will join the Cowboys next fall. All four will be competing in the breaststroke events.
"It is really special to see the past, present and future of Wyoming swimming come together at such a prestigious meet," said UW head coach Tom Johnson. "It is so cool to see Scott, who is kind of the past, join with two current swimmers in Alex and Lesley. Then adding Brandon, who will be such a big part of Wyoming swimming in the future, to the mix is a very remarkable thing.
"This is the biggest stage of swimming in the United States. It is a great exposure for the Wyoming program and especially these four individuals. This meet is very difficult to qualify for and I couldn't be more proud of these four. It could be the fastest meet in the world, even faster than the Olympics. We are all very excited and honored to be a part of it and can't wait to get in the water come Sunday."
Larkin, a senior from Bend, Ore., will compete in both the 100 and 200-meter breaststroke. In a field of 84 in the 100 breaststroke, Larkin enters the trials with the 42nd fastest time in the nation at 1:03.96. He ranks 47th in the 70-man field in the 200 with a time of 2:19.63. Larkin is a two-time Mountain West Conference Champion and an eight-time First Team All-MWC performer.
Young, a sophomore and native of Turlock, Calif., will compete in the 100-meter breaststroke. She earned a spot in the trials just three weeks ago at the Mutual of Omaha Swimvitational. She enters the trials with the 53rd fastest time in a field of 104 at 1:11.61. Young was the runner-up in the 100 breaststroke at the 2008 MWC Championships this past spring and earned First Team All-MWC honors in both breaststroke events. She holds the UW all-time record in the 100 breaststroke and as a member of the 400 medley relay. She also set the Corbett Pool record in the 100 breaststroke last season.
Usher, a 2004 Olympian and five-time All-American, will be looking to return to the Olympics where he finished seventh in the 200-meter breaststroke in the Athens' games. He became the first UW swimmer to compete in the Olympics by finishing second in the 200-meter breaststroke at the last U.S. Olympic Team Trials. He just missed qualifying for the 2004 Olympics in the 100-meter breaststroke by one spot, finishing third.
Usher will compete in both the 100 and 200-meter breaststroke at this week's trials and enters the meet with the fourth fastest time in each event. As a Cowboy, Usher won six MWC Championships, set the school and conference record in both breaststroke events and was the 2004 NCAA runner-up in the 200 breaststroke.
Brandon Fischer will begin his Wyoming career this August after signing with the swimming program last December. Fischer, a native of Livermore, Calif., will be competing in the 200-meter breaststroke at this week's trials. He enters the meet seeded 44th of 70 with a time of 2:19.46. He is currently swimming with the Pleasanton Seahawks club team.
The men's 100 will be held this Sunday and Monday while the 200 will be on Wednesday and Thursday. The women's 100 will be held on Monday and Tuesday. Each event will begin with preliminary morning races, then semifinals that night. The finals of each event will be held the following night.
The 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trails will be televised by NBC and the USA Network. An hour program will be shown each night beginning at 6 p.m. (MST). NBC will televise the opening and closing weekends and USA will televise Monday through Thursday's action. Live results of the trials can also be followed on-line at www.usaswimming.org.