Men's Swimming sends 35 to U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials in Omaha
AUSTIN, Texas -- No fewer than 35 former, current and future University of Texas men's swimmers will compete in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials-Swimming set to begin on June 29 at the Qwest Center Omaha in Omaha, Neb.
The massive UT contingent includes 13 former Horns -- including world-record holders Brendan Hansen, Ian Crocker, Aaron Peirsol and Neil Walker -- as well as 16 members of the current UT roster and five swimmers who will begin their first semesters at UT this fall.
Hansen enters the Trials as the top seed in the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke events, while Peirsol is the top seed in the 100 backstroke and the second seed in the 200 backstroke. Crocker, the 100-meter butterfly world-record holder, comes to Omaha as the top seed in that event. Walker, a member of Team USA's world record-holding 400-meter freestyle relay (2006 Pan Pacific Championships), is seeded ninth in the 100 freestyle.
Garrett Weber-Gale, the NCAA's 100-yard freestyle champion in 2006, heads to Omaha as the second seed in the 100 freestyle and the third seed in the 50 freestyle after enjoying a breakout meet at the All-American Long Course Championships last March in Austin.
Among the Longhorns competing in Omaha are the four members of UT's American record-setting 800-yard freestyle relay in rising juniors Dave Walters and Ricky Berens, rising senior Michael Klueh and Matt McGinnis, who completed his UT eligibility in the spring. Walters, the 2007 U.S. National Champion in the 100-meter freestyle and the 2008 NCAA 200-yard freestyle champion, is seeded fifth in the 100 freestyle and eighth in the 200 freestyle.
Berens is seeded ninth in the 200 freestyle and eighth in the 100 butterfly. Klueh, better known for his dominance in the distance events and the 400 individual medley, comes to Omaha as the sixth seed in the 200 freestyle in addition to the 400 freestyle. The top-six finishers in the 100- and 200-meter freestyle events will earn spots on the U.S. Olympic Team, whereas only the top two finishers in the remaining events are guaranteed places on the team.
Among UT's newcomers competing in Omaha is University of Michigan transfer Scott Spann, Jr., the son of former UT All-American Scott Spann, Sr., and the brother of UT rising senior swimmer Alexi Spann, who also will compete at the Trials. Scott Spann, Jr., who earned All-America honors during his two seasons with the Wolverines, is seeded third in the 200 breaststroke behind Hansen and Eric Shanteau of Longhorn Aquatics.
The finals from the U.S. Olympic Trials-Swimming will air live on NBC and USA throughout the meet each night (June 29-July 6) from 7-8 p.m. Central. NBC will air the finals on June 29, July 5 and July 6, while USA will pick up the coverage from June 30-July 4.
UT SWIMMERS COMPETING AT THE U.S. OLYMPIC TRIALS