STANFORD, Calif. - UCSD's Matt Herman became the fourth Triton to qualify for the USA Swimming Olympic Trials after his performance in the 1500-meter freestyle prelims Friday at the U.S. National Championships.
Herman, who recently completed his junior season at UCSD, recorded a personal best time of 15:51.50 (39th place), just over two seconds below the Olympic Trials qualifying time of 15:53.59.
"Matt held a good pace (1:03) over the first 800 that gave him a little cushion for the middle section and then he came home strong," said UCSD assistant coach Matt Macedo. "Since we don't swim long course during the season and you have to qualify for Olympic Trials on long course, this took a lot of pressure off him. He really rose to the occasion."
After competing for NCAA Division I UC Davis for two seasons, Herman transferred to UC San Diego and won two national titles - the 1000 freestyle and the 1650 freestyle - this past year. The San Anselmo native is a history major.
Herman joins three other Tritons that had already qualified for the Olympic Trials - Nick Korth (100 breaststroke, 200 breaststroke), Emily Adamczyk (200 breaststroke) and Alex Henley (200 backstroke).
Henley, who qualified for the Trials in mid July by swimming a 2:17.47 in the 200 back, bettered that mark Friday at nationals with a 2:15.75 (25th place). The required Trials qualifying time for the event is 2:17.99.
"Alex has always represented UCSD at the highest level, but she exceeded our expectations today," said Triton assistant coach Corrie Falcon. "Previously, she had hit 2:17 once in her career, but today she went 2:15 three times (once in a swim off) and hit a best of 2:15.75 twice. It was an incredible performance and a true reflection of her attitude and the work she's put in."
As a junior in 2010-11, Henley won a third NCAA title and was nominated for the Division II Athlete of the Year. The Thousand Oaks native is a physiology and neuroscience major and an educational studies minor.
Saturday, Korth added a second event to his Trials list by recording a 2:19.95 (48th place) in the 200 breast at nationals. The time to qualify is 2:20.79.
"Nick looked great," said Macedo. "He felt like he got out a little slow but he closed nicely and broke 2:20 for the first time. Getting Trials cuts in two events is pretty impressive."
A sophomore from Valencia, Korth had already qualified in the 100 breast in late June. After transferring from Division I UC Irvine, Korth won the 2010-11 NCAA title in the 200 breaststroke to help propel UCSD to a second place finish, its highest placing at the Division II level.
Adamczyk qualified for the Olympic Trials in the 200 breaststroke in July at the Los Angeles Invitational. A freshman biology major from Altadena, she qualified for the 2008 Olympic Trials as well.
Since 2000, UCSD has had at least one swimmer qualify for the Olympic Trials in each of the past three Summer Games. Matt Payne qualified in 2000, while Mark Latronica qualified in 2004 and Rosanna Delurgio qualified in both 2004 and 2008. Both Payne and Delurgio qualified in the breaststroke while Latronica swam the backstroke.
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