Carly Piper, a senior swimmer at Wisconsin, is headed for the Olympics after finishing fifth in the 200-meter freestyle at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Long Beach, Calif., July 10.
Piper was named to the team several days after her performance because only the top four swimmers in that event were guaranteed spots on the roster. She will participate in the 800-meter freestyle relay at the preliminaries in Athens and possibly in the finals. Piper will team up with Kaitlin Sandeno (University of Southern California), Rhi Jeffrey (Florida Atlantic Swim Team) and Rachel Komisarz (Lakeside Swim Team), who finished third, fourth and sixth, respectively. They will probably compete together in the 800 free relay preliminaries Aug. 18 in Athens. Two will then be selected to swim with Dana Vollmer (Fort Worth Area Swim Team) and Lindsay Benko (Trojan Swim Club), whose first and second-place finishes in the 200 freestyle granted them automatic berths on the team in races after the preliminaries, while the remaining two swimmers will be alternates. All six women will receive medals if the team places.
Piper is not the only Badger headed for the Olympics. Senior Adam Mania has dual citizenship with Poland and will compete with the Polish National Team after he won the 100-meter backstroke at Poland's team trials in June.
"What Carly has accomplished in the past three years and this past week is phenomenal," Wisconsin head coach Eric Hansen said. Hansen coached the Wisconsin Aquatics Swim Club, consisting mostly of current and former Badger athletes, at the trials. "Having someone from both our men's and women's programs is very special."
Junior Sarah Hernandez finished 26th in the preliminary race of the 50-meter freestyle in 26.43 Tuesday. She is the final Badger to compete in the Olympic Trials.
Former Badgers advance in Olympic trials
Two former University of Wisconsin track and cross country athletes advanced to the finals of the 3,000-meter steeplechase Monday night at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field trials in Sacramento, Calif.
Jared Cordes, who was a Badger from 1998-2001, finished fifth overall and clocked a personal-best time of 8:30.01. Isaiah Festa, who competed at UW from 2001-03, finished in 8:30.89, good for sixth place overall. Both men will compete Thursday in the finals of the steeplechase.
Anthony Famiglietti, competing with adidas, placed first in the semifinals in 8:26.51.
Cordes was a two-time Big Ten and four-time All-American selection in track and cross country; Festa was also a four-time All-American and earned four Big Ten championships. They compete with the Wisconsin Runner Racing Team.
Matt Downin, a former Badger running with New Balance, placed seventh in the finals of the 10,000 meters in 28:33.96. He did not qualify for the Olympic team. Downin competed for the Badgers from 1997-2000 and was the 1998-99 UW Male Athlete of the Year. He was a four-time All-American in track and cross country and was the Big Ten Athlete of the Year in 1998 and 1999.
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