Recent USC graduate Larsen Jensen, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist in the 1500-meter freestyle, locked up a spot to race in the event again at the Beijing Games when he finished second in the race on the final day of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb., on Sunday (July 6).
Larsen Jensen swims in the men's 1500-meter freestyle preliminaries at the US Olympic swimming trials in Omaha, Neb., Saturday, July 5, 2008. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Jensen, whose American record performance in Athens in 2004 still stands in the freestyle mile, swam a 14:50.80, more than five second off his record but more than enough to comfortably secure a spot in the 1500. Jensen already made the U.S. team when he won the 400m free earlier in the Trials.
Larsen Jensen leaves the pool after swimming in the men's 1500-meter freestyle preliminaries at the US Olympic swimming trials in Omaha, Neb., Saturday, July 5, 2008. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Jensen led the 1500m free on Sunday for much of the race before he was overtaken by Peter Vanderkaay not long after completing 1200 meters. Vanderkaay won the race in 14:45.54, a quarter second off Jensen's American standard. Jensen owns the American record in the 400m, 800m and 1500m free.
Erik Vendt, like Jensen a former distance freestyle NCAA champion at USC who already made the 2008 Olympic team on the 4x200m free relay, finished fourth in the 1500m free on Sunday in 15:07.78. He swam a 14:50.24 in prelims but couldn't duplicate the effort in the final.
Other Trojans joining Jensen and Vendt on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Swimming team are senior Rebecca Soni, who won the 200m breast, former Trojan Klete Keller, who qualified in the 4x200m free relay, and Mark Warkentin, who will swim in the open water 10K.
Next, the entire U.S. Olympic swim team will head to Palo Alto, Calif., on Monday (July 7) for the team's domestic training camp prior to its departure to the Olympics in Beijing.
The Olympic pool competition will take place Aug. 9 through Aug. 17 at the Beijing National Aquatic Center. The women's and men's 10K Olympic marathon swim will take place on Aug. 20 and 21 at the Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park in Beijing, China.
From Trojan Athletics