Posted: Jun 13, 2012 9:17 PM by Andrew Masuda
Updated: Jun 13, 2012 11:16 PM
Two Santa Maria Swim Club members, Meghan Zimmer and Josh Prenot, are preparing for the biggest meet of their lives, the U.S. Olympic Team Trials.
"I can't wait to get there and race .The atmosphere there is going to be ten times beyond any other swim meet I've ever been at. There's going to be every Olympian in the nation there so it's just going to be quite an experience," said Zimmer, a Santa Maria native.
The 2012 Olympic Trials are in Omaha, Nebraska and run from June 25 to July 2.
The 22 year old Zimmer qualified for the Trials in the 200 freestyle. She missed qualifying for the 2004 Trials by one second and by an even smaller margin in 2008. The third time proved to be the charm as the San Diego State swimmer hit the qualifying mark of 2:03.19.
Zimmer credits foot surgery last summer for giving her that extra kick of motivation and determination that paid off this year. "As my swimming career is sort of coming to an end, it's just nice to finally reach something that I've been dreaming of since i was a young girl," she added.
Zimmer ranks 129th out of 132 women qualified for the 200 free. Heats for the event are on Wednesday, June 27.
The 18 year old Prenot qualified in five events, the 200 and 400 individual medley, the 100 and 200 breaststroke and the 200 butterfly.
"It's the fastest swim meet in the world. Some events are even faster than the Olympics themselves so it's going to be good to go tryout," said Prenot, who attended classes at Allan Hancock College this year.
Prenot competed for Team USA earlier this year in Europe at the World Cup with Olympians like Michael Phelps. This month, the UC Berkeley recruit will swim in events against Phelps and other greats like Ryan Lochte. "I'm focused on swimming as fast I can in Trials. My goal is to make top 8 in the 400 I.M. and try to get into the semifinals in the other swims," said Prenot. "People can come just out of nowhere and have the best swim of their life and make the team."
Prenot ranks 11th in the field of 138 in the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:18.44. Lochte is first at 4:07.13 and Phelps ranks third. Prenot also ranks 22nd out of 149 in the 200 IM (2:02.24), 34th out of 154 in the 200 butterfly (2:01.02), 23rd out of 136 in the 200 breaststroke (2:14.91) and 38th out of 144 in the 100 breaststroke (1:02.89).
Prenot will compete with Arroyo Grande junior-to-be Zach Stevens in the 200 breaststroke. Stevens is seeded 96th in the event with a time of 2:19.67.
Regardless of what happens in Omaha, the two, who are coached by Mike Ashmore at the SM Swim Club, are proud of what they've already accomplished. "We're kind of a little fish in a big pond and I think that shows a lot and represents our city well as well as ourselves and our club team," added Zimmer.
Four other SM Swim Club members have participated in the Olympic Trials. Most recently, Rachael Wahl swam in the 100 and 200 butterfly in 2008.
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