June 4, 2008
Berkeley - USA Swimming has announced that six Olympians, including Dana Vollmer and Natalie Coughlin, are slated to compete in the Janet Evans Invitational at the McDonalds Swim Stadium at the University of Southern California, June 6-8. The meet will serve as one of the final opportunities for swimmers to compete prior to the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials, which will be held in Omaha, Neb., June 29 July 6.
Vollmer and Coughlin will be joined by 2004 Olympic teammates Jason Lezak (Irvine, Calif.), Tara Kirk (Bremerton, Wash.), Larsen Jensen (Bakersfield, Calif.) and Klete Keller (Phoenix, Ariz.) at the three-day competition. Also entered in the meet are USA Swimming National Teamers Ben Wildman-Tobriner (San Francisco, Calif.), and Rebecca Soni (Plainsboro, N.J.).
Vollmer is striving for a spot on her second U.S. Olympic team after winning a gold medal in 2004 as part of the 800-meter freestyle relay. Her extensive international resume includes winning a gold medal and setting a world record in the 800 free relay and earning a silver medal in the 400 free relay at the 2007 World Championships; earning a gold medal in the 800 free relay at the 2006 Pan Pacific Championships; and winning three gold medals at the 2003 Pan Am Games (200 free, 400 medley relay, 800 free relay). In 2000 at the age of 12, she was the youngest competitor at the U.S. Olympic Trials. As a collegian, Vollmer has won a pair of Pac-10 titles in the 100-yard butterfly, and she broke Mary T. Meagher's 1986 Cal dual record in the 200 fly with a time of 1:53.96 vs. Stanford this past February. She captured the 2007 NCAA title in the 100 fly (50.69) and was runner-up (51.32) in 2008. Vollmer swam her freshman year at Florida, where she earned All-America honors in four relays. Vollmer also recently collected two gold medals (both in the 100m butterfly) in the Toyota Grand Prix Series at Santa Clara (May 17) and Stanford (Apr. 7).
At the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Coughlin became the third American woman to win five medals at one Olympics (the others are Mary Lou Retton and Shannon Miller). She took gold in the 100m backstroke and the 4x200m freestyle relay, breaking the world record in that event. Coughlin also won silver medals in the 4x100m free relay and the 4x100m medley relay, and a bronze in the 100m free. Coughlin is no stranger to dominance in her sport. She has held the world record in the 100m back for six years, becoming the first woman to swim the event in less than one minute in 2002. She lowered her record at 2007 World Championships, winning gold in the 100m back with a time of 59.44.
Prelim sessions begin at 9:00 a.m. PST each day and finals are scheduled for 5 p.m. PST. Tickets for prelims are $3 and tickets for finals are $5.