NEW HAVEN, Conn. – In just a few days the Yale men's swimming and diving team will see two of its sons get a chance at going to the London Olympics. Two Bulldogs are scheduled to compete at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Omaha, Neb., from June 25 to July 2.
The first Yale swimmer set to race is incoming freshman Kevin Stang (Highland Heights, Ohio). Stang met the cut of 2:04.99 in the 200-meter backstroke at the 2011 Speedo Junior National Championships in August of last year. His time of 2:02.61 means he is seeded 36th out of 113 qualifiers that will race in the heats on Friday, June 29. Stang will be representing the Lake Erie Silver Dolphins.
Stang will be going up against some big names in the 200 back. Ryan Lochte, the gold medalist in the event from Beijing, is seeded first with a time of 1:52.96. Michael Phelps is seeded third with a time of 1:56.98.
The other Bulldog set to race at the trials is Rob Harder from nearby Redding, Conn. Harder finished second in all three of the distance events contested at the 2012 Ivy League Swimming and Diving Championships: the 1650-yard freestyle (15:17.50), the 1000-yard freestyle (9:04.64) and the 500-yard freestyle (4:20.66). For each of his second-place finishes Harder earned NCAA B cuts and second-team All-Ivy honors, and his 500 free time broke an 11-year-old Yale record by four seconds.
Next week Harder's focus will be on swimming distance freestyle once again. He is seeded 57th out of 96 in the 1500-meter freestyle with a time of 15:45.89 from the 2011 Speedo Junior National Championships in August of last year, well below the trials standard of 15:53.59. Harder will be representing the Wilton YMCA Wahoos Swim Club. Heats are scheduled for Sunday, July 1.
Prelims will begin at 11 a.m. and finals at 7:45 p.m. EST each day at Omaha's CenturyLink Center. As many as 2,000 male and female swimmers are expected to compete at these Olympic Trials, and the top two finishers in each event will punch their tickets for the London Games.
Report filed by Tom Lynam '13, Yale Sports Publicity