Former Trojan Warkentin Qualifies For Olympics In 10K Open Water

May 4, 2008

Former Trojan All-American Mark Warkentin qualified for his first Olympics at the age of 28 today at the 5th FINA Open Water World Championships in the 10K open water race. The U.S. National Champion earned his spot at the Olympics after finishing seventh in a time of 1:53:37.1, in Sevilla, Spain.

The top 10 finishers in the race automatically qualified for the Olympics where the 10K marathon swimming event will make its first appearance at the Olympic Games. Warkentin is the first swimmer to be named to the U.S. Olympic Team, with Olympic Trials for pool swimming being held June 29 - July 6.

'I have been in USA Swimming a long time and there have been a lot of failures along the way,' Warkentin, who has competed in three Olympic Trials, said. 'I have had a lot of coaches in America who believed in me. Back home, they are going to wake up in a few hours and they are going to see Mark Warkentin made the Olympics. All I have to say to them is, `The Olympics...and thank you.' '

Former 10K World Champion, Chip Peterson (Chapel Hill, N.C.), went head-to-head with the top competitors for the majority of the race. In a final surge towards the finish, Peterson finished just outside of the Olympic qualifying range with a 13th-place finish in a time of 1:53:41.6.

Russia's Vladimir Dyatchin won the race in 1:53:21.0. Great Britain's David Davies took second in 1:53:21.3, while Germany's Thomas Lurz rounded out the top 3 in 1:53:27.2.

Warkentin will compete in the 25K race on the final day of competition, May 8th, alongside U.S teammate John Kenny (Atlantic City, N.J.). Warkentin is the reigning National Champion in this event.

Competition will resume on May 6th, with the women's 5K race. Two-time National champion Chloe Sutton (Roseville, Calif.) and Christine Jennings (Longmont, Colo.) will represent Team USA in the event.

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