Navy Swimmers Head to U.S. Olympic Team Trials
June 20, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- A contingent of 16 current or former members of the Navy swimming program will travel to Omaha, Neb., this weekend to compete in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. The event to determine the 2012 Olympic Team begins June 25 and runs through July 2 at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha.
Live results from the entire meet can be found at www.USASwimming.org. Additionally, either NBC (live coverage of the finals) or the NBC Sports Network (same day delay coverage of the trial heats) will televise the meet on each of its eight days.
Swimmers had to meet or exceed specific qualifying times in each event between Oct. 1, 2009, and June 18, 2012, to be eligible to compete in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. It is estimated that only one-half of one percent of the 250,000 swimmers who are registered with U.S.A. Swimming will qualify for the Trials (Navy sent five swimmers to the 2008 Olympic Trials). Preliminary heats will be held in each event, with either the top-8 swimmers in the trial heats advancing directly into a final or the top-16 swimmers from the trial heats moving on into one of two semifinal races before the top-8 swimmers from the semifinal round of competition advance into a final.
Only the first and second-place swimmers in each individual event final are guaranteed a spot on the upcoming 2012 U.S. Olympic Team.
As will be the case at the Olympics, the Olympic Trials will be contested in a long-course meter (50-meter length) pool.
"To qualify for the Olympic Trials is the biggest honor of my swimming career and to do it along with some of my best friends and teammates is even better," said Ben Bondurant (Sr., Atlanta, Ga.). "Having a big group of swimmers from Navy is sure to grab some attention and shed light on the hard work and dedication our program has shown over the past few years. In just a few days I'll be standing up on the blocks in front of 7,500 fans, doing something I love to do, and that is race. I couldn't be more excited to throw on my Navy cap and represent our amazing school on national television. What an honor."
"Qualifying for the Olympic Trials, to me, is a culmination of all my hard work and dedication since I began swimming years ago," said Laura Gorinski (Sr., Greensburg, Pa.). Not only am I excited to go to the Olympic Trials with several teammates of mine, but I am also honored to represent a community such as the U.S. Navy at an event like this. Being one week out, I'm feeling good in the water and I can't wait to see what I can do at this meet."
"I am both honored and privileged just to have the opportunity to compete with the best swimmers in the country," said Luke Hoffer (Jr., Chapel Hill, N.C.). "I am truly blessed. Right now, it is very exciting and nerve wracking at the same time. At this point, I am a little anxious to swim because of all the hard work I have put it in. Being able to compete at the Trials with so many of my teammates is the first step in taking our program to a new level and achieving greatness that was seen as impossible years back."
"The Olympic Trials has always been a very special meet," said Navy men's swimming head coach Bill Roberts, "but in 2008, it became an event and that was great for the sport. The City of Omaha does a terrific job of embracing the entire event and you know from the second you arrive just how important this is. We at Navy are excited to be bringing a larger group to the Trials than we did four years ago. With this one, our primary goal has been to always and simply increase our participation rate at this meet. We were able to do so back in 2008 and now again in 2012. And though we were successful with boosting our numbers, there still remains a lot we can do to show further improvement in 2016 and beyond.
"I am proud of each of our qualified swimmers as it is an added commitment for them. You cannot fake this one. When you walk on the pool deck at Omaha and because it is so competitive, you have to come prepared which goes right back to that commitment each Midshipman must take on to get to and be competitive in Omaha. This is what we have been working toward for the better part of their collegiate careers. I could not be more proud of the steps each of our Mids took to earn the right to say there are an Olympic Trials qualifier and participant."
"I am so proud of our athletes in their qualifying for the biggest meet in United States Swimming," said women's swimming head coach John Morrison. "The United States has dominated world swimming for many years, and to be able to compete for a spot on one of the world's best teams is certainly an honor. Our Olympic Trials is one of the most elite meets in the world. Individually, almost every U.S. swimmer dreams to compete at this meet from a very young age. To have 16 representing the Naval Academy at the Trials certainly demonstrates that our programs have worked hard and are moving in the right direction. The hard work has continued throughout the spring, and we are beginning to see the excitement grow as we approach the competition dates. It is a thrill for the athletes and coaches alike to prepare and compete at this level. It will be a great week!"
Five Mids will take to the water on the opening day of the meet. Justin Vagts (Sr., Crofton, Md.) will be the first Mid to step up on the competition blocks when he takes part in the 400 individual medley event. He will be joined later in the day by Toni Paruso (Sr., Savannah, Ga.) in the 100 fly, Riley Mita (So., Stevenson Ranch, Calif.) in the 400 freestyle, and by Ben Grove (Jr., Winchester, Va.) and Sean Murphy (Jr., Hudson, Ohio) in the 100 breaststroke.
Navy swimmers are entered into just one event on day three of the meet, the 200 fly, but a trio of Mids -- Bondurant, Adam Meyer (Class of 2010, Bethesda, Md.), Mark Meyer (Class of 2012, Bethesda, Md.) -- have qualified for it.
The ensuing two days will be busy ones for the Navy program as seven Mids are entered into six different races. June 28 begins with Hugh Davison (Jr., Towson, Md.) and Zach Ingold (Jr., Hornell, N.Y.) swimming in the 100 freestyle, Rheanna Vaughn (Jr., Aliso Viejo, Calif.) competing in the 200 fly and Hoffer hitting the water in the 200 breaststroke. That foursome will be followed the next day by Conor Campbell (Jr., Manassas, Va.) competing in the 200 back, Gorinski racing in the 200 breast and Adam Meyer returning for the 200 individual medley.
No Mids are scheduled to compete in a trial heat of any kind on June 30, but then both Mita and Vagts will be part of the 1500 freestyle event that is slated to be held on July 1.
Daily Trial Heat Schedule for Navy Swimmers
Date (television schedule, all times EDT)
Monday, June 25 (6:30-8 p.m., NBC Sports Network, Same Day Delay ... 8-9 p.m., NBC, Live)
Men's 400 Individual Medley - Justin Vagts (Final: June 25)
Women's 100 Butterfly - Toni Paruso (Semifinal: June 25; Final: June 26)
Men's 400 Freestyle - Riley Mita (Final: June 25)
Men's 100 Breaststroke - Ben Grove, Sean Murphy (Semifinal: June 25; Final: June 26)
Tuesday, June 26 (6:30-8 p.m., NBC Sports Network, Same Day Delay ... 8-9 p.m., NBC, Live)
Women's 100 Breaststroke - Laura Gorinski (Semifinal: June 26; Final: June 27)
Men's 100 Backstroke - Gage Trotter, Brendan Walsh (Semifinal: June 26; Final: June 27)
Thursday, June 28 (4:30-5:30 p.m., NBC Sports Network, Same Day Delay ... 8-9 p.m., NBC, Live)
Men's 100 Freestyle - Hugh Davison, Zach Ingold (Semifinal: June 28; Final: June 29)
Women's 200 Butterfly - Rheanna Vaughn (Semifinal: June 28; Final: June 29)
Men's 200 Breaststroke - Luke Hoffer (Semifinal: June 28; Final: June 29)
Friday, June 29 (4:30-6 p.m., NBC Sports Network, Same Day Delay ... 8-9 p.m., NBC, Live)
Men's 200 Backstroke - Conor Campbell (Semifinal: June 29; Final: June 30)
Women's 200 Breaststroke - Laura Gorinski (Semifinal: June 29; Final: June 30)
Men's 200 Individual Medley - Adam Meyer (Semifinal: June 29; Final: June 30)
Saturday, June 30 (6:30-8 p.m., NBC Sports Network, Same Day Delay ... 8-9 p.m., NBC, Live)
No Mids slated to compete in trial heats
Tuesday, July 2 (8-8:30 p.m., NBC, Live)
No Mids slated to compete in trial heats