Strong Showing By MoCo Swimmers in First Two Days Of Olympic Trials

By Eric Meany

Montgomery County was well represented in the first two days of the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials in Omaha, Nebraska, this week, with local swimmers advancing past the preliminary rounds in four events.

15-year-old Katie Ledecky, a rising sophomore at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda, fell just short of securing a spot on the Olympic Team on Tuesday when she finished third in the final of the women’s 400-meter freestyle. Ledecky was in second place behind Allison Schmitt in the early stages of the final but was overtaken by Elizabeth Beisel, who held on to finish as the runner-up. Ledecky won’t have long to think about her third-place finish, as she is scheduled to compete in the women’s 200-meter freestyle preliminaries Wednesday morning.

Two swimmers from Good Counsel, Jack Conger and Sarah Haase, fared well enough in their preliminary heats on Tuesday to qualify for the semifinals in their respective events. Conger is still alive in the men’s 100-meter backstroke, as he finished fourth in his semifinal heat Tuesday night and is seeded eighth for Wednesday’s final. Haase finished eighth in her semifinal heat and 13th overall in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke.

On Monday, Walter Johnson alum Eric Friedland qualified for the semifinal round of the men’s 100-meter breaststroke with a preliminary time of 1:01.60. He finished eighth in his semifinal heat and 16th overall in the event.

In Wednesday’s preliminaries, Ledecky will be joined by Walter Johnson alum Elizabeth Pepper in the women’s 200-meter freestyle, while Haase will be back in action in the women’s 200-meter individual medley. Siblings Adam and Mark Meyer, both Whitman graduates, will compete in the men’s 200-meter butterfly.

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