Princeton Swimming Represents Well In First Half Of US Olympic Trials Week
The Princeton men’s and women’s swimming programs have been well represented at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, which are being held this week in the CenturyLink Center Omaha.
Two members of the Ivy League champion Princeton men’s squad opened the Trials with impressive showings in the 400 IM. Junior Corey Okubo, who has qualified for the NCAA Championships in both of his first two years at Princeton, took 26th in the event in 4:24.43, while rising senior captain Sam Smiddy finished 40th in 4:27.51. Okubo came back later in the week and had a Top-50 finish in the 200 fly in 2:01.97.
One of the most decorated swimmers in the history of the women’s program, Lisa Boyce, made her debut in the 100 fly, the event she earned First-Team All-America honors in during the 2013 NCAA Championships. Boyce took 69th in the event in 1:01.06.
Cole Buese, who helped Princeton repeat as Ivy champion during an impressive freshman season this past year, opened his week with an 82nd-place finish in the 400 free (4:00.74); he followed that up by going 1:52.39 in the 200 free for a Top-80 finish. Christina Chong, who hopes to have a similar impact when she begins her Princeton career this fall, made her Trials debut by going 1:04.81 in the 100 back.
Both the present and the future of the men’s program were on display in the 100 back. Alex Lewis, a member of Princeton’s All-America 200 free relay this past season, made his Trials debut with a time of 57.95 in the 100 back, while incoming teammate Wade O'Brien wasn’t far off that pace with a time of 58.58.
Buese’s third event of the week provided his best finish; he went 2:02.46 in the 200 fly to finish 55th, while incoming Tiger Derek Cox went 2:04.36 to finish 73rd.
The Tiger women closed out Wednesday’s events with two competitors in the 200 fly. Rising sophomore Isabel Reis went 2:22.37 in the 200 fly, while junior Claire McIlmail — a former Ivy League individual champion in the 200 free — went 2:23.78 in the same event.
The Olympic Trials will continue through July 3. Thursday should be a fun day for Princeton fans, as nine members of the PUCSDT family — past, present and future — could race in the women’s 100 free, men’s 200 back and/or men’s 200 IM.