Stanford Women's Swimming Prepares for USA Olympic Trials

June 25, 2008

Omaha, Neb. - The next generation of Stanford women's swimming will look to take another step towards their dreams of the 2008 Beijing Games beginning this Sunday at the USA Olympic Swimming Trials in Omaha, Nebraska. A total of 14 current or former Stanford athletes will be competing from June 29-July 6 at the Qwest Center in America's heartland, all looking to be among the 26 women that will comprise the United States Olympic Swimming Team for this summer's 44th Olympiad.

Stanford women's swimming has left an indelible mark upon the Olympics - more so than any other collegiate program in the nation. The Cardinal Olympic legacy has spanned from the gold medal-winning performance of Marjorie Gestring Bowman in the 1936 Berlin Games through the 2004 crew led by Jenny Thompson and Tara Kirk, while also encompassing the heroics of Chris von Saltza and Sharon Stouder Clark in the 1960s and the more recent exploits of Janet Evans, Summer Sanders and Misty Hyman. All told, 39 Stanford swimmers and divers have participated in (or qualified for) 13 Olympiads, while capturing a total of 50 medals (30 gold, 16 silver and four bronze) in Olympic competition.

14 women will be wearing Stanford colors in Omaha over the next week, including 12 who helped the Cardinal to a third place finish in the 2008 NCAA Championships and will return to The Farm next season: Andrea Axtell ('09), Elaine Breeden ('10), Kate Dwelley ('11), Kelley Hug ('10), Dana Kirk (`06), Tara Kirk (`04), Kerry Kraemer ('11), Fiona O'Donnell-McCarthy ('09), Madeline Rovira ('09), Julia Smit ('10), Elizabeth Smith ('11), Whitney Spence ('10), Stefanie Sutton ('10) and Laura Wadden ('09).

Axtell will compete in three events in Omaha: the 100 meter butterfly and both the 100 and 200 meter backstroke. Her time of 1:56.80 in the 200 backstroke during a 2006 meet is the eighth-fastest in Cardinal history. This will be the third Olympic Trials for the 2005-06 All-American, after also swimming in both 2000 and 2004.

Breeden will swim in three events at the Olympic Trials, including a pair of butterfly distances (100 and 200 meter) and the 50 meter freestyle. The six-time All-American and 2007 NCAA champion in the 200 fly is coming off an excellent sophomore collegiate season that saw her capture the Pacific-10 Conference title in the 200 fly, while finishing second at the NCAA Championships at that distance and fourth in the 100 fly. Breeden, who owns the top 200 fly time in Stanford history (1:52.99 in 2007) and the second-fastest 100 fly (51.44 in '07), will be swimming in her second consecutive Olympic Trials.

A versatile swimmer, Dwelley will be in the Omaha pool for a Stanford women's-high six events at the Olympic Trials: 100 meter butterfly, 400 meter freestyle, 200 free, 200 IM, 100 free and 50 free. She enjoyed a stellar freshman season on The Farm that saw her win the Pac-10 title in the 200 free and finish sixth in the event at the NCAA Championships. Dwelley will also be making her second consecutive trip to the Olympic Trials.

Hug will be competing in her first Olympic Trials at the conclusion of her sophomore collegiate season. She will swim in three events, starting with the 100 meter butterfly and concluding with a pair of backstroke trials (100 and 200 meter).

Dana Kirk will head to Omaha in search of a second straight berth on the USA Olympic Swimming Team, after wearing the Red White and Blue for the 200 meter butterfly at the 2004 Athens Games. A 17-time All-American during her stellar career at Stanford, she won a pair of Pac-10 titles in both of the events she will be swimming at this year's Trials (100 and 200 meter fly). One of the fastest butterfly swimmers in Cardinal history, she has posted the fifth-best time in school annals in both the 100 meter distance (52.29 in 2006) and 200 (1:54.00 in '04).

Like her sister, Tara Kirk was also a 2004 United States Olympian, swimming the 100 meter breaststroke in Athens. She also qualified for the 400 medley relay team at the '04 trials, a group that went on to win silver in Greece. Perhaps the most prolific female breaststroke swimmer to ever wear a Stanford swimsuit, she owns the fastest times in school history for both distances with a 58.41 100 meter time (2003) and a 2:07.13 200 meter ledger ('04). Tara also dominated at the top collegiate meets, winning both Pac-10 and NCAA titles in the 100 meter fly all four years (2001-04), while capturing both conference and national championships in the 200 fly her final three seasons (2002-04).

A freshman at Stanford this past school year, Kraemer will swim both the 100 and 200 meter breaststroke in Omaha. She enters her first Olympic Trials with a Minnesota-record time of 1:01.94 in the 100 meter breast.

O'Donnell-McCarthy will compete in three events at her first Olympic Trials, hitting the pool for the 100 meter backstroke and a pair of freestyle distances (100 and 50 meters). One of Stanford's top relay performers, the junior has been a key part of Cardinal record-setting teams in the 200 freestyle relay (1:29.40 in 2007) and the 200 medley relay (1:37.71 in '07).

Rovira will concentrate on one discipline in Omaha, swimming the 100 meter freestyle. An All-America swimmer during her 2005-06 freshman season, she also competed in the 2004 Olympic Trials.

An accomplished swimmer at every level, Smit will look to add United States Olympian to her impressive resume after making a pair of 2004 finals in her first Trials experience. She will be swimming five events across three disciplines in Omaha, competing in the 400 meter individual medley, the 200 meter freestyle, the 200 IM, the 100 free and the 200 meter backstroke. The six-time All-American was the 2008 NCAA champion in the 400 IM, while also finishing fourth in the 200 IM and seventh in the 200 back. After only two seasons on The Farm, Smit's name can be found among Stanford's all-time top 10 times in the 50 free (4th with 22.39 relay time in 2007), 100 free (3rd with 1:45.41 relay time in '07), 100 back (6th with 53.77 relay time in '07), 200 back (2nd with 1:53.39 in '07 and 7th with 1:56.21 in '08), 200 IM (record holder with 1:55.38 in '07), 400 IM (2nd with 4:04.02 in '07 and 5th with 4:09.97 in '08), 200 free relay (1:29.40 team time in '07) and 200 medley relay (1:37.71 team time in '07).

Smith is coming of a stellar start to her Stanford career, as she concluded her freshman season with a pair of top four finishes at the NCAA Championships (second in the 200 meter breaststroke and fourth in the 100 meter breast). She will swim both those events at her first Olympic Trials, while also competing in the 400 individual medley.

Spence, another rookie to the Olympic Trials, will swim the 100 meter butterfly, the 400 meter freestyle and the 200 fly. An All-American in 2006-07, she helped the Cardinal to a third place finish in the 2008 NCAA Championships as a sophomore.

Sutton, who just completed her sophomore year at Stanford, will swim the 100 meter butterfly in Omaha. This will be her second consecutive trip to the Olympic Trials, having also competed in 2004.

Wadden will swim in three events during her first Olympic Trials experience, hitting the Omaha pool for the 100 meter butterfly, the 100 meter backstroke and the 200 fly. A 2006-07 All-American, the Stanford junior's '07 time of 1:58.23 in the 200 fly is the 10th-fastest in Cardinal history.


Sunday, June 29

11 a.m. - Preliminaries

Men's 400 IM

Women's 100 Fly

Men's 400 Free

Women's 400 IM

Men's 100 Breast

7 p.m. - Finals

Men's 400 IM - Final

Women's 100 Fly - Semifinals

Men's 400 Free - Final

Women's 400 IM - Final

Men's 100 Breast - Semifinals

Monday, June 30

11 a.m. - Preliminaries

Women's 100 Back

Men's 200 Free

Women's 100 Breast

Men's 100 Back

Women's 400 Free

7 p.m. - Finals

Women's 100 Back - Semifinals

Men's 200 Free - Semifinals

Women's 100 Fly - Final

Men's 100 Breast - Final

Women's 100 Breast - Semifinals

Men's 100 Back - Semifinals

Women's 400 Free - Final

Tuesday, July 1

11 a.m. - Preliminaries

Women's 200 Free

Men's 200 Fly

Women's 200 IM

7 p.m. - Finals

Women's 200 Free - Semifinals

Men's 200 Free - Final

Women's 100 Back - Final

Men's 100 Back - Final

Women's 100 Breast - Final

Men's 200 Fly - Semifinals

Women's 200 IM - Semifinals

Wednesday, July 2

11 a.m. - Preliminaries

Men's 100 Free

Women's 200 Fly

Men's 200 Breast

7 p.m. - Finals

Men's 100 Free - Semifinals

Women's 200 Free - Final

Men's 200 Fly - Final

Women's 200 Fly - Semifinals

Men's 200 Breast - Semifinals

Women's 200 IM - Final

Thursday, July 3

11 a.m. - Preliminaries

Women's 100 Free

Men's 200 Back

Women's 200 Breast

Men's 200 IM

7 p.m. - Finals

Men's 200 Breast - Final

Women's 100 Free - Semifinals

Men's 200 Back - Semifinals

Women's 200 Fly - Final

Men's 100 Free - Final

Women's 200 Breast - Semifinals

Men's 200 IM - Semifinals

Friday, July 4

11 a.m. - Preliminaries

Men's 50 Free

Women's 800 Free

Men's 100 Fly

Women's 200 Back

7 p.m. - Finals

Men's 50 Free - Semifinals

Women's 200 Breast - Final

Men's 200 Back - Final

Women's 200 Back - Semifinals

Men's 200 IM - Final

Women's 100 Free - Final

Men's 100 Fly - Semifinals

Saturday, July 5

11 a.m. - Preliminaries

Women's 50 Free

Men's 1500 Free

7 p.m. - Finals

Women's 200 Back - Final

Men's 100 Fly - Final

Women's 800 Free - Final

Men's 50 Free - Final

Women's 50 Free - Semifinals

Sunday, July 6

11 a.m. - Preliminaries

No session

7 p.m. - Finals

Women's 50 Free - Final

Men's 1500 Free - Final


Airdate Time Network

Sunday, June 29 8:00-9:00 pm ET NBC

Monday, June 30 8:00-9:00 pm ET USA

Tuesday, July 1 8:00-9:00 pm ET USA

Wednesday, July 2 8:00-9:00 pm ET USA

Thursday, July 3 8:00-9:00 pm ET USA

Friday, July 4 8:00-9:00 pm ET NBC

Saturday, July 5 8:00-9:00 pm ET NBC

Sunday, July 6 8:00-9:00 pm ET NBC

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