Aug. 10, 2011
Rice swimmers, some new to the team and some returning from a year ago, posted solid results and gained valuable experience competing in last week's 2011 USA Swimming National Championships in Palo Alto, Calif. The highlight from the week-long meet was incoming Owl freshman Erin Flanigan who reached the qualifying standard in the 400-meter freestyle which clears her to participate in the United States Olympic Trials in 2012.
Flanigan finished her 400-freestyle at the U.S. Nationals with a time of 4:18.99. The Austin native, who begins freshman orientation at Rice next week, competed in four different events while at the meet. Earlier in her swimming career Flanigan qualified for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials as a 15-year old.
Another incoming Owl freshman, Casey Clark, competed at Nationals in three events. Two Rice sophomores who helped lead the Owl swimmers to the 2011 Conference USA championship last spring also competed. School record holder Michelle Gean swam the 100-meter backstroke while C-USA individual champion Quincy Christian was in the 400-IM. Christian swam a 4:56.60 and just missed qualifying for the Olympic Trials by six-tenths of a second.
The Rice swim team opens the 2011-2012 collegiate season at home with a C-USA dual meet against longtime rival SMU on October 15. The start time is set for 11:30 am at the Rice Aquatics Center.