Ten Pac-10 Swimmers Earn Berths on U.S. World Championships team
July 15, 2009
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Two Pac-10 women's swimmers upped the ante with American records and in the process flirted with world records at last weekend's ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships in Indianapolis. Rebecca Soni (USC) lowered the women's 100m breaststroke record, while Julia Smit (STANFORD) eclipsed the previous women's 200m IM time.
The competition served simultaneously as the U.S. World Championship Trials, with the top two finishers in each event earning an invitation to the World Championships in Rome, Italy (July 26-August 2). Ten men's and women's Pac-10 swimmers earned berths on the U.S. World Championships team, while in excess of 28 total Conference swimmers will represent more than 11 countries at the meet.
Smit, a 2008 Olympic medalist and reigning NCAA Champion in the 200m and 400m IMs, set the American record in the 200 individual medley en route to a first place finish at the U.S. World Championship Trials last week. She emerged as the top seed following the preliminaries with a time of 2:10.54, a second off the American record. She bettered that mark in the finals, breaking Katie Hoff's one-year old record of 2:09.71, with a mark of 2:09.34. Also added to her World Championships program will be the 400m IM and the 400m freestyle relay courtesy of a runner-up finish in the longer IM and a fourth place showing in the 100 freestyle at Nationals.
Recent USC graduate Rebecca Soni broke the American record in the 100m breaststroke and became the second-fastest woman ever in the event. Soni, who won silver in the 100m breast at the 2008 Olympics in addition to her gold over 200 meters, claimed first in 1:05.34, tying Australia's Leisel Jones' third-fastest time ever in the race. Soni's time is the fastest in the world this year. She also won the 200m breast in 2:20.38, a U.S. Open event record and the second-fastest time ever in the race. It was just off her world standard of 2:20.22, which she set during her 2008 gold medal swim.
Former CALIFORNIA star and NCAA Women's Swimmer of the Year Dana Vollmer won the 100m freestyle on the last day of Nationals to earn yet another berth in the FINA World Championships. Vollmer raced to a time of 54.00 to edge Amanda Weir by three hundredths of a second (54.03). The Granbury, Texas, product also qualified to compete in the 200m freestyle and in the 100m butterfly in Rome after winning the 200 free and taking second in the 100 fly earlier in the meet.
Fellow Golden Bear Nathan Adrian continued to prove he is one of the best freestyle sprinters in the nation, capturing the 100m freestyle (48.00) Friday. Adrian, who had already earned a spot on the USA squad by winning the 50 free (21.52) on Thursday, now joins Michael Phelps (200 free, 200 fly) and Tyler Clary (400 IM, 200 fly) as the only male swimmers competing in more than one individual event at Worlds.
Rounding out the field of Pac-10 representatives on Team USA are Conference Woman of the Year Lacey Nymeyer and fellow Wildcat Alyssa Anderson, Stanford sprint specialist Kate Dwelley, incoming Trojan freshman Haley Anderson and former USC All-American Hayley McGregory, and Husky record-holder Ariana Kukors.
This will be the 13th edition of the Aquatic World Championships, which last occurred in Melbourne, Australia in 2007. The Championships feature competition in diving, swimming, open water swimming, synchronized swimming and water polo with over 2500 athletes and 185 countries competing.
Current and former Pac-10 swimmers in the FINA World Championships:
||Country||Qualifying Events (Team USA Only)|
|Alyssa Anderson||Arizona||USA||800 freestyle relay|
|Jean Basson||Arizona||South Africa|
|Simon Burnett||Arizona||Great Britain|
|Lyndon Ferns||Arizona||South Africa|
|Lacey Nymeyer||Arizona||USA||800 freestyle relay|
|Roland Schoeman||Arizona||South Africa|
|Nimrod Shapira Bar-Or||Arizona||Israel|
|Darian Townsend||Arizona||South Africa|
|Nathan Adrian||California||USA||50/100 freestyle|
|Dana Vollmer||California||USA||50/100 butterfly; 100/200 freestyle|
|Kate Dwelley||Stanford||USA||400 freestyle relay|
|Julia Smit||Stanford||USA||200/400 IM; 400 freestyle relay|
|Haley Anderson^||USC||USA||800 freestyle|
|Richard Charlesworth^||USC||Great Britain|
|Hayley McGregory||USC||USA||50/100 backstroke|
|Rebecca Soni||USC||USA||50/100/200 breaststroke|
|Ariana Kukors||Washington*||USA||200 IM; 800 freestyle relay|
^ Incoming freshman
* Washington discontinued its swimming programs in May