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Tiger Swimmers at Olympic Trials

Tiger Swimmers at Olympic Trials

July 3, 2008

Six former, present, and future Tiger swimmers are competing for a spot on the 2008 USA Swimming Olympic Team at the Olympic Trials during the week of June 29- July 6 at the Qwest Center in Omaha, NE. The six entrants are the most for Clemson since 1988, when 19 Tigers competed. Their results can be followed on this page which will be updated daily.

Head Coach Chris Ip, and Assistant Coaches Lance Asti and Ron Turner are with the team in Omaha.

Said Ip, “We are proud to send a strong contingent of Tigers to represent Clemson at the Olympic Trials. This meet showcases the top 10% of swimmers in the USA. This group of Tigers is testament to the status of the Clemson swimming program and will help us continue to draw well-rounded student-athletes”

Official Site of the USA Swimming Olympic Trials

Television Coverage of the Trials will air from 8:00-9:00 p.m. each day on NBC or USA. The full schedule is:

Complete Television Schedule (All Times Adjusted to EST)

The six student-athletes making the trip are:

Michelle Parkhurst – Senior – Vienna, VA 100 back: Mon. June 30: T-43rd – 1:03.41 – Lifetime Best Rising senior captain Michelle Parkhurst put in a 1:03.41, a lifetime best for the 100m back. The ACC Champ in the 100 back tied for 43rd. Parkhurst had entered ranked 49th in the nation and improved her personal best time by two-tenths of a second. She missed the semi-finals (Top 16) by 1.10 seconds. Natalie Coughlin re-set her own World Record with a 59.03 during the preliminaries to lead the group of 121 hopefuls. 200 free: Tue. July 1: 62nd – 2:02.86 Parkhurst swam in her second event in two days, finishing the 200 free in 2:02.86, just two hundreths of a second off her personal best. She entered the meet ranked 82nd in the nation, but improved by 20 spots, finishing 62nd overall.

Thomas Recko – Junior – Wakefield, MA 200 back: Thu. July 3: 48th – 2:06.40 Wakefield, MA native Thomas Recko swam the 200 back, placing 48th in the vent Recko put in a 2:06.40, almost two seconds behind his qualifying time of 2:04.50. Other notables in the field included Aaron Peirsol and World Record Holder Ryan Lochte.

Rachel Regone – Senior – Houston, TX 50 free: Sat. July 5: 56th – 26.27 Senior Captain Rachel Regone competed in the 50 free, finishing 56th in a fast field. Lara Jackson set an American Record on the evening. Regone’s 26.27 was the second-fastest time in her career. Regone returns to Clemson as a school record holder in the 50 free and 200 free relay.

Maddie Tarantolo – Freshman – Austin, TX 100 butterfly: Sun. June 29: 62nd – 1:01.48 – Lifetime Best Incoming freshman Maddie Tarantolo of Austin, TX competed in the 100 fly, finishing 62nd with a lifetime-best 1:01.48. She entered the event ranked 87th in the nation. Tarantolo shaved nearly half a second off of her previous best.

Matt Balderston – Clemson ’08 – Chesapeake, VA 50 free: Fri. July 4: 47th – 23.10 – Lifetime Best May graduate and 2007-08 captain Matt Balderston competed in the 50 free on Friday, swimming a lifetime best 23.10. Balderston came in to the event ranked 112th in the nation, but shaved 0.38 second off of his time to place 47th in a race in which Cullen Jones set the new American record at 21.59. The former walk-on left Clemson as one of the most accomplished student-athletes in Clemson history, with numerous academic and athletic accolades.

Stephen Russell – Clemson ’08 – Spring, TX 100 fly: Fri. July 4: 47th – 54.64 – Lifetime Best Another May graduate, Stephen Russell, qualified for trials with a 54.85 in the 100 fly at the Charlotte UltraSwim. Russell was ranked 51st in the nation, but his lifetime best 54.64 was good enough to move him up four spots. World Record-Holder Ian Crocker and gold-medalist Michael Phelps led the field of 107 swimmers into semifinals.

In addition, incoming freshman Chris Dart, who has dual citizenship in the US and Great Britain, competed in Olympic Trials in early April, finishing eighth in the nation in the 100 back. His times qualify him for US competition, but since he went through trials with Britain, he is unable to participate for the United States. His 56.65 at trial would rank in the top 30 in the United States. Dart is expected to contribute immediately when he gets to campus in the 100 back and 200 IM. will have a wrap-up of the Tigers’ performances in Omaha following the trials.