HARRISONBURG, Va., June 20, 2012 – James Madison swimming and diving rising junior Kelsey Holmgaard (Roanoke, Va./George Mason) travels to Omaha, Neb., next week to take part in the USA Swimming Olympic Trials at the CenturyLink Convention Center and Arena.
“I consider this a blessing,” Holmgaard said. “I always dreamed of this ever since I was a little girl. When I first started swimming, I was nine and I wrote down on a goal card, ‘Go to the Olympic Trials’ and now that it’s finally here, I’m not sure that it’s hit me yet that I’m actually going. I’m so excited and can’t wait to get there.”
The Olympic Trials run from June 25 to July 2. Holmgaard qualified in the 100-meter and 200-meter breaststroke events. The preliminaries of the 100 breaststroke are on Tuesday, June 26 with the finals running on June 27. The 200 breaststroke preliminaries are on June 29 with the finals the next day.
Holmgaard qualified for the trials back in March by traveling with three of her teammates to a meet in Greensboro, N.C. She was one of three Madison swimmers to post qualifying times at the meet.
The sophomore from Roanoke, Va., is looking to cap off a fantastic first season with JMU where she won All-Colonial Athletic Association honors in the 200-yard breaststroke and in three different relay events. She also set a school record in the 200 breast, timing a 2:12.87 at the CAA Championships to finish second in the event.
The Olympic Trials will be a bit of an adjustment for Holmgaard as she’ll be swimming in a 50-meter Olympic style pool as opposed to the college standard of 25-yard pools.
Holmgaard added, “It’s a really big difference. It’s double the size of a college pool so you don’t have as many turns which is actually helpful for me, but I didn’t have a lot of opportunity to train in a long-course pool, so it can psych people out. You just have to go in knowing you can swim fast.”
Holmgaard has set goals for the meet of swimming the 100-meter breast in a time of 1:10.00 and the 200-meter in 2:32.00.
She is looking to become the second JMU swimmer to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics, joining Eva Hannesdottir (2011-12) who qualified as part of the Icelandic National Team. Hannesdottir will be swimming the anchor leg in the 400-meter medley relay.
The 2012 London Olympic Games run from July 27 to August 12. The swimming portion of the event takes place from July 28 through August 4.
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