Wolfpack Swimming Impressive at UltraSwim Meet
RALEIGH, N.C. With a history steeped in the tradition of placing talent in the Olympics, NC State men's and women's swimmers, both past and present, are hard at work in pursuit of securing roster spots for the upcoming Olympic games.
Several Wolfpackers put up solid showings at the UltraSwim meet in Charlotte this past Saturday, June 7. Current swimmer Mason McGee highlighted the performance by clinching two Olympic trial cuts.
McGee offered times of 1:52.25 in the 200-free and 3:58.02 in the 400-free. He will now continue along to Omaha, Neb., where he will compete alongside teammate Dan Forsythe and former teammate Cullen Jones for a spot on the United States Olympic roster. Dan Velez, who has already secured a spot on the Puerto Rican team, will also compete at the meet.
"This is a huge accomplishment for Mason, making it not just in one event but two," said head NC State coach Brooks Teal. "The USA Olympic Trials is the most hotly contested swim meet in the world, because of the incredible depth of excellence in American swimming. Just qualifying for this meet is a big step, and for Mason to accomplish this just three months after breaking his collarbone, this speaks volumes about his desire and determination, and should send a message that his career is headed for big things."
Despite swimming unrested at a meet in Puerto Rico, Velez still swam to a lifetime best in the 200-IM with a 2:11. He also posted impressive times in his specialties the 100-breast (1:04) and 200-breast (2:24).
Kevin Woodhull-Smith competed in four events, barely missing an Olympic trial cut in the 200-IM with a 2:07.68. Woodhull-Smith, along with Erica Smith who missed a cut in the 100-back (1:04.90) by three-tenths of a second, will get back to work this weekend at the Capital City meet in Cary, N.C. Danny Voss, who clocked in with a 1:08.81 in the 100-breast and a 2:24.67 in the 200-breast at UltraSwim, will also take to the pool in Cary.
"It has been so exciting to see Kevin emerge as one of the toughest competitors in numerous events," said Teal. "In the individual medley his proficiency in every stroke makes him on the verge of being an elite competitor. He has consistently improved throughout his NC State career, and I know he will find a way to swim faster this weekend and make it to Omaha.
"Erica has had an amazing year and continues to drop time," said Teal. "Since March, she has trimmed almost five full seconds off her 100-back time, putting her just three-tenths away from her Olympic Trials cut. I am confidant her perseverance will pay off this weekend in Cary."
Andrew Lester (400-free, 1500-free, 400-IM) and Anna Linkenauger (200-back, 100-breast, 200-breast, 200-IM, 400-IM), both of whom competed at UltraSwim, will participate in Cary alongside Woodhull-Smith, Smith and Voss.
Jones, a 2006 NCAA Champion and a 2007 World Championships Gold medalist, won both the 50-free (22.33) and 100-free (49.37). His showing in the 100-free established a new UltraSwim meet record.
Steve Mellor, who competed at the NCAA Championships and picked up All-ACC accolades in the 200-IM and 200-back this past year, swam a 57.53 in the 100-back and a 2:02.64 in the 200-back. His showing in the 200-back was good for third-place overall.
Andrew Keenan (100-free, 200-free), Greg Baskwell (50-breast, 100-breast, 200-breast, 200-IM) Allen Lee (50-fre, 100-free, 200-free), Tyler Mills (200-free, 50-fly, 100-fly, 200-fly) and Mike Seiferth (100-free, 100-back, 100-fly, 200-fly, 200-IM) rounded out the current State roster in Charlotte.
Incoming men's swimmer Gaites Brown swam the 50-free, 100-free and 200-free, while Jen Kopenitz competed at the Omaha Swimvitational in the 100-back, 200-back and 400-IM.