Day 2 - U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials - Omaha, Neb.
June 26, 2012
Schedule of Events | Webcast | Media Kit | Complete Results | 100 Back Prelim Results
Missouri State backstroker Paul Le admitted that he was nervous leading up to his first swim at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials, but he got the best of those nerves during the fifth heat of the 100-meter backstroke on Tuesday (June 26).
Despite drawing a far outside lane, the Moore, Okla., native swam a lifetime best in the event and skyrocketed up the rankings with his time of 56.59. Le was originally seeded 93rd, but with his .72 second drop, he shot all the way up to 38th.
"This is an atmosphere that he had not been exposed to before, but he swam a very smart race today," Missouri State head coach Dave Collins said. "In a meet where there are very few people dropping time, for him to do what he did was phenomenal."
In comparison to the rest of the field, Le was just 1.10 seconds behind the 16th-place finisher who snagged the final spot for tonight's semifinals. Matt Grevers, who won silver in the 100 back at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, recorded the morning's fastest split (52.94) and was a few hundredths shy of the Trials record.
"We are always trying to move our athletes up the ladder of elite-level swimming and what Paul [Le] did today really showed that he's on the right track," Collins added.
Le, who placed third in the 100-yard back at the 2012 MAC Championships behind Eastern Michigan's Jacob Hanson and Buffalo's Matt Schwippert, avenged his loss at the CenturyLink Center on Tuesday, defeating the two by more than .40 seconds.
Up next for the All-MAC first team selection is the 200-meter backstroke where he is seeded 70th with a time of 2:03.95.
*For daily recaps and video features, check out MissouriStateBears.com. For additional updates from Omaha, follow the Bears on Twitter @MissouriStBears and @MoStateSwim.