Swimming at U.S. Olympic Trials Preview

Swimming at U.S. Olympic Trials Preview

BATON ROUGE – Eighteen current and former Tiger swimmers have qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials June 26 – July 3 at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska, aiming to compete at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

Preliminary sessions begin each day at 10 a.m. CT and will be live on the NBC Sports extra app. Prelims and finals for the evening session will be live on the NBC Sports Network and NBC. Live results of the meet can be found at www.usaswimming.org.

“This is the moment every four years where the world of swimming has their eyes on the United States and what we are doing at every level of our sport,” co-head coach Dave Geyer said. “The venue set up for this is amazing with nearly 12,000 tickets sold for every session. This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity for our athletes to literally take center stage.”

Seniors Kara Kopcso, Colleen O’Neil, Brandon Goldman, Logan Rysemus, Makenna Wilson, Silas Dejean, and Garrett House, junior Jake Markham, and sophomores Matt Klotz, Thomas Smith, Gabrielle Pick, Tyler Harper, Haylee Knight and Will Arthur will represent LSU in Omaha.

Alumni Michael Saco, Amber Carter, Caley Oquist and Sophie Weber also qualified for the trials. Carter will compete in the 100 fly and Saco will swim the 50 free.

Kopcso leads the way with three qualified events in the 100 fly, 200 fly and 200 IM. The Mandeville, Louisiana native owns the 14th-best seed in the 100 fly with a time of 59.16. Kopcso is also seeded 20th in the 200 fly (2:11.06) and 26th in the 200 IM (2:15.43).

Carter represented LSU at NCAA Championships and earned honorable mention All-America honors in the 100 fly her senior year. The Austin, Texas native owns the 15th-best time in the 100 fly in 59.22.

Dejean is the top seeded swimmer on the men’s side at 43rd in the 100 breast. The senior qualified for trials with a time of 1:02.29 in the 100 and also qualified in the 200 breast.

Smith set the school record in the 200 back and also earned a spot in the championship finals of the event at SEC Championships. Smith, of Huntington Beach, California, earned the 45th seed in the 200 back (2:01.85) and also qualified in the 100 back.

“It can become really easy to get lost in the excitement here, we just need to focus on our eight foot by 50 meter lane and do what we are capable of doing,” Geyer said. “If we can do that, individuals certainly have a shot at making semifinals or finals.”

This group of U.S. Olympic Trials qualifiers joins seven current, former and future members of the LSU program who competed across the world and represented six other countries this spring.

Alex Linge competed at the 2016 European Championships and represented his home country of Sweden for the first time.

Junior Leah Troskot also competed at the Canadian Olympic Trials. The NCAA Honorable Mention All-American finished fourth in the 50-meter freestyle (25.59) and ninth in the 100-meter freestyle (55.50).

Taryn MacKenzie swam competitively for the final time at the South African Olympic Trials. The Johannesburg native finished fourth in the 200-meter breaststroke (2:32.62), fourth in the 100-meter breaststroke (1:10.10), and also finished second in the 50-meter breaststroke.

“I can’t emphasize the growth of this program enough well over doubling our qualifiers from four years ago,” Geyer added. “I’m thrilled with the personal commitment and sacrifice this group has made to compete at this meet.”

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Kara Kopcso – 100 butterfly, 200 butterfly, 200 IM
Colleen O’Neil – 100 breaststroke
Matt Klotz – 100 backstroke, 200 backstroke
Thomas Smith -200 backstroke, 100 backstroke
Brandon Goldman – 200 IM, 100 backstroke, 200 backstroke
Logan Rysemus – 100 butterfly, 100 backstroke
Jake Markham – 200 freestyle
Gabrielle Pick – 100 butterfly, 200 butterfly
Silas Dejean – 100 breaststroke, 200 breaststroke
Tyler Harper – 50 freestyle
Haylee Knight – 100 butterfly, 50 freestyle
Will Arthur – 100 backstroke
Makenna Wilson – 100 backstroke
Garrett House – 200 breaststroke

Amber Carter * – 100 butterfly
Caley Oquist*^ – 100 backstroke
Sophie Weber*^ – 200 IM

* Indicates Alumni
^ Indicates qualified but not attending