June 19, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Nine current members of the Notre Dame women’s swimming team along with two former Irish student-athletes have qualified for the 2008 United States Olympic Team Trials. The trials will be held June 29-July 6 in at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb.
The current Olympic Trial qualifiers include: Ashley Edgell (400 Individual Medley), Christa Riggins (200 Free, 400 Free), Sam Maxwell (100 Breast, 200 Breast), Amywren Miller (50 Free), Katie Casey (200 Fly), Lauren Sylvester (400 Free), Casey Wagner (400 Free), Kallyn Kuhlke (100 Fly), Megan Farrell (200 IM) and Maggie Behrens (100 Back). Incoming freshmen Colleen Fotsch (100 Fly) and Gwen Blythe (200 Breast) have also made their respective cuts.
The Fighting Irish have a total of 15 athletes training this summer at the Rolfs Aquatic Center alongside the Irish Aquatics Club for the trials.
The trials will be televised live throughout the week on NBC. For more information visit www.usaswimming.org or www.h2omaha.com. Live results and daily Notre Dame Swimming and Blogging entries – which track each of the participating Irish athletes – will be available at UND.com.
The top two finishers from each individual event and the top six in the 200 and 100 Free will earn spots on the Olympic team. All events less than 200m will require three heats to qualify for the Olympic squad (prelims, semi-finals, and finals).
There are currently 618 women and 591 men qualifying for a position on the team.
The swimming and diving events at the 2008 Summer Olympics will be held over a 16-day period from Aug. 9-21. The conventional events end on Aug. 16, and the new open-water 10km events take place Aug. 20-21. All swimming events – with the exception of the open-water competitions – are set for action at the Beijing National Aquatics Centre.
In addition to their many accomplishments in collegiate action, Notre Dame women’s swimmers and divers have a history of competing in various prestigious national and international meets, including each of the last three Olympics. In 1996, Jilen Siroky (’04), then just 15 years of age, represented the United States in the Atlanta games, finishing 15th in the 200m Breast. Siroky also was the 1996 U.S. champion in the 100 Breast. In 2000, Christel Bouvron represented Singapore in the Sydney edition of the Olympics, finishing 32nd in the 200m Fly and 36th in the 400m Free. Four years later she finished 32nd in the 200m Fly in the 2004 Olympics.
Joining Siroky and Bouvron and 26 more Irish student-athletes that have competed in the U.S. Olympic Trials, with four more swimming in their native country’s trials. Backstroker Erin Brooks (’97) represented the United States in the 1997 World University Games and came home with a bronze medal in the 200 Back. Notre Dame also has a long history of swimmers and divers who have qualified or competed in the USA Swimming Senior National Championships as nearly 60 future, current and former Irish competitors have done so.