Aug. 8, 2011
Tallahassee, Fla. – The ConocoPhillips National Swimming Championships held at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. came to a close on Saturday, Aug. 7 with several Seminole swimmers capturing Olympic Trial marks and personal best swims.
In addition, Elizabeth Pepper earned herself a spot in the C-final of the women’s 200-meter fly. She placed 27th in the event with a time of 2:15.16. She too has qualified for Olympic Trials in the 200 free and 200 fly.
During the first day of competition, Thomas set his Olympic Trial mark in the 400-meter IM at 4:29.87. Tyler Ball also swam the event, achieving a personal best at 4:33.38. Pepper competed in two events, as she posted a personal best in the 400m free at 4:19.69, just missing another Olympic Trial mark. She also swam the 100-meter fly, finishing with a time of 1:03.44.
Swimming with the evening session, the men’s 4×100-meter free relay finished 20th with a time of 3:28.33 with a team of Trice Bailey, David Sanders, Mark Weber and Tyler Ball, bettering their seed time by about a second.
On day two, future Seminoles took the stage. Haley Powell and Pepper swam the 200m free and Knight competed in the 200m fly. Although he went 2:05.05 in the preliminaries, Knight’s time trialed the event later in the week, dropped a little over a second and qualified for Olympic Trials, going 2:03.95.
More Olympic Trial swims were added on day three when Weber went 23.34 in the 50-meter free. Also achieving that glorious mark was Henkel in the 400m IM, posting a time of 4:55.19.
Others swimming the 50m free were Bailey, who finished with a 23.55 and Sanders who swam a 23.84.
Earlier in the day, Sanders swam a personal best time in the 100m fly, posting a time of 55.87 and Knight went a 57.87 in the event as well.
On the ladies side, Tiffany Oliver went 26.61 in the 50m free and Pepper went 1:03.44 in the 100m fly.
In addition to Pepper’s final 200m fly on day four, Henkel swam the event as well and posted a 2:20.40. Bailey and Weber raced in the 100m free and Powell swam the 200m back.
On the final day of competition, Oliver competed in the 100 free, swimming a time of 58.72.
The Seminoles finished out the weekend time trialing certain events they didn’t get the chance to compete in. A few personal best swims to note came from Ball, who went 2:09.64 in the 200m IM and Weber, who went 56.78 in the 100m fly.
After this week, a total of 11 Seminoles have qualified for Olympic Trials.
Thomas, Weber, Henkel and Knight will join Kristine Polley, Robby Hayes, Tori Richmond,Oliver and Jessica Sabotin as Olympic Trial qualifiers. Sabotin made it in the 400m IM , Richmond qualified in the 200 IM, Oliver achieved the mark in the 50 free, Polley qualified in the 200m breast and Hayes, a former Seminole has made it in the 200m IM, 50 free, and 100m fly.
The final two spots will be occupied by incoming freshmen Pepper and Juan Sequera, who achieved their qualifications earlier this season.
Although the fall semester is rapidly approaching, there is still one more swimming competition left in the summer season. Set to swim in Palo Alto this week are incoming freshmen Harrison Brogden, Kaitlyn Dressel, Kevin Rogers and Josh Friedel.
Their swims can be followed here: