Current and former Texas female swimmers to compete at U.S. Olympic Trials
AUSTIN, Texas -- The University of Texas women's swim team will be well-represented at the upcoming U.S. Olympic Team swimming trials this week, as a total of 10 current and four Texas Exes take part in Team USA trials which will determine who represents the USA in the upcoming Athens Olympics.
The 14 Longhorns and former Longhorns will be among the approximately 700 swimmers competing for a maximum of 52 spots on the United States' team. Only two U.S. swimmers will advance to the Olympics in each individual event. The top six finishers in both the 100 and 200 freestyle events can make the Olympic squad as relay participants.
Americans have dominated Olympic swimming from the start, winning 430 total medals since 1896. Four years ago in Sydney, Americans took home 33 medals, nearly twice as many the 18 earned by its nearest competitor, Australia.
The only Longhorn at the 2004 Olympic Trials with prior Olympic experience is Erin Phenix, who completed her UT eligibility in 2003. Phenix earned a gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics as a member of the USA's first-place 400 free relay team (she swam in the preliminaries of that Olympic event).
Three other athletes - all former UT All-Americans - have already made the swimming and diving rosters for the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Former UT All-American swimming standout Joscelin Yeo will represent her native Republic of Singapore in Athens, as Yeo is swimming for Singapore for the fourth consecutive Olympics. She also went to Olympics in 1992 (Barcelona), 1996 (Atlanta) and 2000 (Sydney), and carried her nation's flag at the 2000 Olympic Opening Ceremonies in Sydney. Following the Olympics, Yeo will relocate to Oxford, England where she has been awarded a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship for graduate studies.
Additionally, two other Texas Exes are ready to compete at the 2004 Athens Olympics in the pool: Laura Wilkinson, former NCAA champion, will defendher 2000 Olympic gold medal in the 10-meter platform for Team USA, while diver Vera Ilyina, former NCAA champion, will compete in her fourth consecutive Olympics for her native country of Russia. Ilyina will be in the Olympic synchronized diving event.
NBC TV will have extensive coverage of the U.S. Trials. On Friday, July 9, NBC will air competition live from 7-8 p.m. (Central), followed by live coverage on Sunday, July 11 (7-8 p.m., Central) and a tape-delay broadcast on Sunday, July 18 (noon-2 p.m.).
The week-long Trials will be held in an outdoor venue for the first time in history - in the above-ground Long Beach Pool. This is to simulate the conditions of what the swimmers will face in Athens, as that will be an outdoor competition. Adjacent to the Long Beach Arena, the Long Beach Pool is in the heart of downtown Long Beach overlooking the harbor and the Pacific Ocean. There are two FINA-approved 50 meter pools will be used for the events. The main pool stadium will seat up to 10,000 spectators, athletes and media.
At the conclusion of the summer, the pools and surrounding structures will be torn down and shipped to the city of Yucaipa, Calif., and the Berkeley Aquatic Club in New Jersey to be reassembled and used permanently.
The 14 current and former Longhorns attending the U.S. Olympic Trials are listed below.
2004 USA Olympic Trials Participants from UT
Current Longhorn Swimmers
Former Longhorn Swimmers
2004 Olympic Female Swimming/Diving Qualifiers (to date) from The University of Texas
U.S. Swimming Trials TV Coverage (on NBC; all times Central)