New Swimmers Looking to Make Their Mark
Jun 28, 2008
Adam Sioui

So by now you have probably heard of a guy named Michael Phelps. He has been to the Olympics, won a few medals. The same goes for Ryan Lochte, Natalie Coughlin, Brendan Hansen etc. In the swimming community these are all household names that, unless something extraordinary happens, will make the team and bring back multiple hardware from Beijing.

Well let us forget them for a few moments and instead focus on a few individuals that have a chance to crash the Olympic party and with any luck include their names in a few households as well.

Caitlin Leverenz - The Pan American Games champion in the 200 breaststroke, she is also entered in the 200 and 400 IM. To make the team in her signature event, she will have to top Megan Jendrick, the Olympic Champion in the 100 breast from 2000.

Randal Bal - Tough time to be a backstroker in America right now. Bal is seeded fourth in the 100 back behind three world record holders (Peirsol, Phelps, Lochte). Still, only tenths separate Bal from making the team, and who knows if Phelps will even swim it.

Christine Magnuson - The NCAA champion in the 100 butterfly from this past year is one of a handful of women that could snag one of the spots to Beijing. There is a logjam at 58 seconds, and this Tennessee Volunteer has a good chance as any to crack the lineup.

Mary Descenza - Along the same lines as Magnuson. Descenza won the 200 butterfly all four years in college, yet in Trials she finds herself seeded third in both the 100 and 200. Again, mere tenths separate the top few swimmers so anything can happen on the day of the race.

Scott Spann - This Texan native recently returned home after a stint in Ann Arbor with Coach Bob Bowman. He has already bested Brendan Hansen head to head in both breaststrokes this summer. Can he do it when it really counts?

Whitney Myers - Myers was one of the stars of the 2006 Pan Pacs in Victoria when she upset Katie Hoff in the 200 IM and came away with the Female Performance of the meet. Although off her form for the last two years, she is looking once more to pull another upset out of her hat.

It is near impossible to pick the outcome of every event. With fields deeper than any Trials in the past, favourites could falter and underdogs scoring the win could become a common theme this upcoming week in Omaha. With prelims starting tomorrow morning, the fun is just beginning. Stay tuned.