Eight UW Swimmers Set to Compete at U.S. Olympic Trials

May 23, 2008

SEATTLE - Eight University of Washington swimmers will be competing at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials that will run from June 29 - July 6 in Omaha, Neb., after meeting qualifying time standards.

Three UW men and five UW women have qualified in various events over the past two years. USA Swimming, the governing body of the U.S. Olympic Swim Team, allows athletes to achieve a qualifying time in the two years leading up to the Olympic Trials.

On the men's side, Evan Bernier will compete in the 100 freestyle, Scott Spansail will swim in the 400 freestyle, and Jon Banker will compete in the 100 backstroke.

Bernier achieved his qualifying time at the NCAA Long Course Time Trial on March 30, the day after the conclusion of the Men's NCAA Championships, which was held at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.

Banker and Spansail both swam qualifying times at the Santa Clara XLI International Swim Meet that was recently held May 15-18.

For the Washington women, freshman Ariana Kukors, who swims locally with the King Aquatic Club, has qualified in 11 events, but most likely will only swim in five or six. Kukors has qualified in the 100, 200 and 400 freestyle, the 100 and 200 butterfly, the 100 and 200 backstroke, the 100 and 200 breaststroke, and the 200 and 400 individual medley.

Kukors will definitely compete in both of individual medley events, where she ranks as one of the top swimmers in the world.

In the 200 IM, Kukors time of 2:12.54 that she swam on March 5 at the Pacific Northwest Swimming Speedo Sectionals is the 10th-fastest in the world according to the FINA world rankings. Her time of 4:42.42 in the 400 IM ranks her 30th on the FINA list. She achieved that time at the Pacific Northwest Swimming May Flowers meet on May 3.

Also competing on the women's side will be Genevieve Patterson in the 100 breastroke, Lindsey Sharp in the 50 freestyle, Erin Campbell in both the 100 butterfly and 200 backstroke, and Kim Jasmer in the 100, 200 and 400 freestyle events.

Patterson qualified this past weekend at the Santa Clara meet, while Sharp and Campbell both achieved qualifying marks at the NCAA Long Course Time Trial at Ohio State University the day after the Women's NCAA Championships.

Jasmer qualified for the 100 and 200 freestyle at the Santa Clara meet, and achieved a qualifying time in the 400 free at the 2006 California ConocoPhillips Nationals.

The U.S. Olympic Trials will be held at the Qwest Center in downtown Omaha. The top six finishers in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle events make the U.S. Olympic Team that will compete at the Beijing Olympics, while the top two in all other events make the team.

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