Nov. 27, 2012
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -
The AT&T Winter National Swimming Championships will take place in Austin, Texas at the Lee and Joe Jamail Swimming Center on the University of Texas campus from Thursday to Saturday of this week. Three Lions, including senior Camille Hopp, redshirt junior Rachel Dekar, and freshman Kristen Clarno met the qualifying standards at the Arena Invitational two weeks ago to be eligible to compete at the elite competition.
The National Championship is the first major domestic swim meet since the Olympic Trials last summer, and some of the biggest names in the sport going forward for the next four years are entered in the events, including Olympic Gold Medalists Ryan Lochte, Missy Franklin, Nathan Adrian, Matt Grevers, and Katie Ledecky.
Hopp will be swimming two events: the 50 freestyle on Thursday and the 100 breaststroke on Friday. Dekar will join Hopp in the 100 breaststroke, while Clarno will swim in the 200 individual medley after demolishing the existing LMU program record by over two full seconds in her swim at the Arena meet.
The Lion standouts are only at the midway point in the season, but are already posting personal-best times. All are currently ranked among the top-eight in the MPSF Conference, which features Division I programs including the University of Hawaii, UCSB, BYU, UC Davis, Pacific, USD and Cal Poly. Clarno is ranked in three events (200 IM - third, 100 free - fifth , 200 free - seventh), while Hopp (50 free - fifth, 100 breast - fifth) and Dekar (100 breast - third, 200 breast - seventh) are ranked in two events each.
"All three swimmers have been working hard and swimming consistently well in our early competitions and now have an opportunity to gain experience racing against some of the top talent in the country," Head Coach Bonnie Adair stated. "The pool in Texas is a `fast' pool and it will be a good test to see if our swimmers can maintain their composure and drop their times further while competing on the bigger stage."
Also competing are top collegiate swimmers from the host University of Texas, USC, UCLA, University of Arizona and Indiana, all ranked among the top-15 programs in the country.
The meet will be streamed live on usaswimming.org/nationals, and fans can follow USA Swimming on Facebook and Twitter for live updates on the meet.
- GO LIONS -