OMAHA, Neb. – Kentucky swimming is set to appear on one of the biggest stages in the sport, the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials. The Trials will be held in the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb., and will be an eight-day event starting on Sunday, June 26, and ending on Sunday, July 2.
At the beginning of the season, head coach Lars Jorgensen noted to his team that a benchmark of a program’s success is not only how they perform at the conference and national collegiate level, but how many athletes represent the university at the Olympic Trials. He had set a goal for the team to have 25 athletes qualifying, and the Wildcats exceeded their expectations with 28 swimmers posting a Trials cut. Of those 28, 25 headed to Omaha on Friday to represent UK throughout 37 entries in the upcoming Trials.
“In our sport, the biggest thing we can do is the Olympic Trials,” explained Jorgensen. “In Omaha, the venue is sold out every night for the championships. To get 14-15,000 people a night to come watch swimming, it’s pretty exciting for our athletes.”
The venue is expected to not only sell out for the championship sessions in the evening, but has reported an estimated total attendance of over 200,000 fans with all 15 sessions sold out.
The preliminary heats for each day will begin at 10 a.m. CDT, with semifinal and final heats starting at 6:45 p.m. The top two swimmers in each championship heat will earn a berth to Rio on the US Olympic Team.