UA athletes compete in swimming, track Olympic TrialsBy Alexis Paine | 07/02/2012 11:19pm
Only a few athletes make it to the Olympic Trials and even fewer are able to punch a ticket to the Olympic games. The University of Alabama had 11 current and former athletes compete in the USA swimming and track and field Olympic trials.
Alabama had nine competitors in the swimming Olympic Trials held in Omaha last week.
Sophomore swimmer Andrew Wrist competed in the first round of the 200-meter butterfly on Wednesday, placing in the top 100 with a time of 2:03.9. Devan Terry, also a sophomore, competed in the 100-meter breaststroke on Monday. Terry, whose personal best is 55.05, swam 1:05.02 in the preliminary round of the trials. Cameron Conners, another Alabama sophomore, finished just behind Terry in the same event with a time of 1:05.10.
Junior Reese Shirey competed in the preliminaries of both the 100-meter and 200-meter backstroke last week. Tuesday, Shirey swam the preliminary race at the trials in 58.24. He came back Friday for the longer race and placed 71st.
Freshman Ian Decker swam in the first round of the 400-meter individual medley on June 25. He secured a time of 4:37.53 in the race. While Kaylin Burchell competed in the 100-meter breaststroke on Tuesday and ended her season with a time of 1:11.73 and a 63rd position finish.
The swim team also had three future members compete in Omaha. Michelle Rielly competed in the 100-meter backstroke and closed the race with a time of 1:04.23. She was joined at the trials by future Alabama athletes Crews Wellford, who placed 85th in the 200-meter backstroke, and Brian Westlake, whose time of 15:48.85 in the 1500-meter freestyle led him to a 42nd place finish in the preliminaries.
Alabama also had two competitors at the USA Track and Field Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. Current student-athlete, Krystle Schade, looked to make Team USA in the high jump after clearing a personal best of 6’1.5 at the NCAA Championship. She placed 14th in the qualifying round with a jump of 5’10.5, just missing the 12th spot needed to move on to the final competition.
“It was the most sensational feeling a person can ever have,” Schade said. “To know you have made it this far and are one of the best athletes in the world is something you can never forget. Competing against the world’s best and representing your country, I would say it was an opportunity of a lifetime.”
Former track athlete Augustus Maiyo was able to advance to the final round of the 3000-meter steeplechase with the fourth fastest time in the qualifying race. He finished the meet in 10th place with a time of 8:35.61.
Two other current Tide track athletes competed last week in Olympic Trials for their countries. Dushane Farrier ran a personal best time of 10:34 in the preliminaries of the Canadian Olympic Trials held in Calgary, Canada. Farrier’s fifth place finish in this round led him to the finals where he ran the same time to finish seventh overall.
Kamal Fuller, who received All-American honors for an eighth place finish at the NCAA Championship in June, competed in the long jump at the Jamaican Olympic Trials. Fuller’s jump of 6.81 meters landed him in eighth place in the competition.