Ultra Swim 2008
Allison Brennan, a former Gamecock diver, who is training at USC is also facing the task of diving her way into the American Olympic team
By Judit Trunkos
Olympic hopeful USC swimmers recently participated at Ultra Swim, the last qualifying event for the Olympic Trials in Charlotte. Mecklenburg Aquatic Club in Charlotte has been hosting the event since 2001 and this year the club hosted over 800 swimmers from all over the U.S., Canada and Europe.
A select number of USC swimmers participated in the hope of advancing into the Olympic trials, from which two, Megan Spark (100 Backstrokes) and Kyle Cormier (200 Individual Medley) joined a group of eight other USC swimmers who already qualified earlier this year.
â€œWe had great meet, we saw where we are overall compared to others and how much we have to improve,â€ says USC head swim coach McGee Moody. â€œThese folks worked hard. Weâ€™ll see some great results at the Olympic Trials.â€
The Mecklenburg facility also hosts Team Elite Carolina, which is an extraordinary group of swimmers training for the Olympics. The team was formed in the summer of 2007, with the goal in mind to achieve gold medals at the Olympics and to encourage all ages of the community to accomplish their dreams in this sport. Ultimately, Team Elite Carolina works to become a national and later international powerhouse of swimming, lead by head coach and director David Marsh.
In swimming, the Olympic preparation and qualification begins a couple of months after the previous Olympic Games. To earn a spot in the trials, swimmers have to successfully make the qualifying times. Earlier this year the following USC swimmers qualified to the trials: Amanda Dunnigan (400 Individual Medley); Christy Williams (100 Butterfly); Kyle Cormier (100 Freestyle, 200 Freestyle); Claire Thompson (200 Freestyle, 400 Freestyle); Nick Walkotten (100 Backstroke,100 Butterfly,200 Butterfly); and Andy Atzhorn (200 Individual Medley). Among the incoming freshman qualifiers are Lindsey Olson (100 Butterfly, 200 Butterfly, 200 Freestyle) and Rory Grigull (100 Freestyle).
The Olympic Trials this year will take place in Omaha, Nebraska from June 27 through July 6. After that swim meet is over, based on the results Team USA Swimming announces the athletes who will eventually travel to Beijing as member of the U.S. Olympic Team.
â€œAfter the trials, those who make it to the American team will go to the training camp in San Diego,â€ explains Coach Moody. â€œAt the camp, Olympic coaching staff will work with our swimmers, but they also keep communicating with us, the swimmersâ€™ coaches, to bring the best out of the athletes.â€
Allison Brennan, a former Gamecock diver, who is training at USC is also facing the task of diving her way into the American Olympic team. The Columbia City Paper wishes luck to all athletes.