April 7, 2008
Swimming in the USA Swimming Grand Prix meet in Ohio last weekend, Rachel Heim made her Olympic Trial cut in the 100 M Butterfly with a time of 1:02.31.
Rachel has had her sights on making it to olympic trials for the past 4 years (maybe longer). From 2003 to 2004 she dropped from a 1:09.3 to a 1:05.25; in 2005 she lowered her time to 1:04.95, in 2006 she dropped it to 1:03.79, and in 2007 dropped it to 1:03.58. During this time she was also focussed on a broad spectrum of other events.
Since going to college last fall she has been able to really focus on the 100 fly as her primary event. This helped to give her the final drops she needed. On Friday she swam a 1:02.7, and fell just short of the 1:02.39 qualifying time. On Saturday, she entered a time trial, and dropped the final .4 seconds she needed (with .08 to spare).
Now, the naieve question that less experienced people will ask is, "do you think she can make the Olympics". They think I’m being negative when I say "no". I’m only being realistic. . . No she won’t make the Olympics this time around. But . . . Just qualifying for Olympic trials in the U.S. puts you in the top 100 - 150 in the U.S. (and top 3- 400 in the world), and is a huge accomplishment. Only the top 2 U.S. swimmers go to the Olympics . . .right now they’re going 57’s in the 100 fly.
Rachel’s goal is to go to trials and better her time, move up, gain some experience at the highest level meet you can go to outside the Olympic games, and have fun (actually, I am assuming those are her goals after working with her for so long). Rachel doesn’t complete her school year until late June, just 1 week before trials in Omaha, so she won’t be back in San Diego until after the meet.
Awesome job Rach . . . congrats!!!!!