Mac swimmers faced with tough challenge

The McMaster swim team will be well represented at the upcoming Canadian Olympic Trials being held March 27 to April 1, 2012 in Montreal. The meet will select the Canadian team that will compete at this summer’s Olympic Games in London.

The Maroon contingent of four women and seven men that have qualified to swim at the Olympic Trials will all use the event as great experience, as they compete with the best in the nation.

Making the trip from McMaster are Alexandra Vanommen, Sarah Taylor, and Natasha Strass-Hundal from the women’s team, and from the men’s team Cameron Bailey, Matt Vogelzang, Ben Stubbs, Ian Blechta, Konrad Bald, Michael MacDonald, and Alexander Parent.

McMaster swim coach Andrew Cole says gaining a spot on this summer’s Olympic team will be a tough challenge for the Marauders heading to Montreal.

“It would mean swimming much better times than their current personal bests, which isn’t impossible but will be tough,” said Cole. “I am hoping they can make some event finals, but this is more about getting the experience of competing with the best and keeping an eye on where they need to get, in order to challenge for the national team in 2016.”

Cole points out that the International Swimming Federation sets standards for Olympic competition, and those standards represent the top16 times in each discipline.

“To understand the quality of competition, the swimmers who make the Olympic team can be considered to be among the top16 swimmers in the world in their event,” says Cole. “At this point, if one of our guys makes the Olympic team, it would be an incredible achievement.”