Olympic swimming trials update: Minnesota underwhelms on first day

by Megan Ryan

The Gophers contingent at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials in Omaha, Neb., failed to advance to any final rounds during the first day of competition Monday.

Former Minnesota swimmer Alex Wold led the Gophers' results with a ninth-place finish in the 400-meter individual medley. His time of 4:19.84 barely missed the eight-man cutoff for the final.

Another former Gophers swimmer, Russell Payne, finished 57th at 4:29.00. Sophomore Brandon Hatanaka placed 88th with a time of 4:34.01.

Wold competed again in the 400 freestyle, and his time of 3:57.28 earned him 34th place. Sophomore CJ Smith followed in 42nd place after winning his heat in 3:57.95. Recently graduated Mike Vernoia finished in 72nd place at 4:01.05.

More Gophers swimmers were in action in the men's 100 backstroke. Senior Jared Anderson won his heat but placed 31st overall at 1:02.65. Another senior, Josh Hall, was five places behind his teammate at 1:03.02. Sophomore Max Cartwright also competed and placed 68th with a time of 1:04.16.

The women's results followed a similar pattern as the men's. Kristen Steenvoorden was the only Gophers' competitor in the women's 400 medley, and her time of 4:57.94 placed 77th.

In the 100 butterfly, Rebecca Weiland placed 101st, touching the wall in 1:02.28. Sophomore Tori Simenec's time of 1:02.83 was good for 123rd, and senior Annalise Colton came in at 146th at 1:03.46.