All-MAC first team selection Paul Le swimming the 100, 200 back; Novak to compete in 100, 200 breast
June 25, 2012
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OMAHA, Neb. - Four years have passed since thousands of elite swimmers gathered for the U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb., to earn a spot on the 2008 squad. After months and possibly years of training, the CenturyLink Center is once again filled with swimmers looking to punch their tickets for the 2012 London Olympics.
Included in the list of more than 1,500 swimmers are current Missouri State standout Paul Le (Moore, Okla.) and former swimmer Chris Novak (Kansas City, Mo.). The duo will compete in two events each throughout the week, as Le will represent the Bears in the 100- and 200-meter backstroke and Novak is set to swim the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke.
The Trials will run eight days, beginning Monday, June 25 and will come to a close Monday, July 2. On each day of competition, the prelims begin at 10 a.m. CT, with finals following at 6:45 CT.
"Having the opportunity to compete under the United States flag is a special experience for Paul [Le] and Chris [Novak]. The Olympic Trials is the fastest swim meet in the U.S. and it only comes around once every four years," said Missouri State head swimming coach Dave Collins. "The amount of time and effort put in by both athletes is incredible and they deserve to compete with the best in the world. The training is done and now it is time for them to enjoy the atmosphere."
Le scored his first-ever Olympic Trials qualifying time at the RAC AquaHawks Long Course club meet in Fayetteville, Ark. when he recorded the exact cut-off time in the 100 back (57.59) on Saturday, April 21. With his 100 back Trials cut secure, the All-MAC first team selection turned his focus to the 200 back, an event in which he was just .50 seconds shy of the qualifying time at the Arkansas meet. Le returned to his home state a month later in Jenks, Okla. to record his second Trials cut and was more than a second under the qualification standard.
Novak qualified for the 2012 Olympic Trials in 2010 while competing with his club team, the Tsunami Swim Team of Kansas City. His time of 1:04.69 in the 100 breast was the Trials cut right on the dot, while his 200-meter back time at U.S. Nationals qualified him for the event and was the 50th-fastest time in the nation from October 1, 2009 through August 24, 2010.
Prior to Le and Novak, the last Missouri State swimmers to compete at an U.S. Olympic Trials event was Matt Beasley and Josh Wegrzyn in 2004.
All but the three fastest heats of preliminaries will be webcast live at USASwimming.org, June 25 - July 1. The fastest heats of preliminaries are broadcast on tape delay by NBC Sports later that day. Finals air live on NBC at 7 p.m. CT.
Missouri State at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials
Men's 100 LC Meter Breaststroke (prelims and semifinals - June 25; finals - June 26)
Chris Novak - seeded 142nd with 1:04.69
Men's 100 LC Meter Backstroke (prelims and semifinals - June 26; finals - June 27)
Paul Le - seeded 93rd with 57.31
Men's 200 LC Meter Breaststroke (prelims and semifinals - June 28; finals - June 29)
Chris Novak - seeded 100th with 2:19.89
Men's 200 LC Meter Backstroke (prelims and semifinals - June 29; finals - June 30)
Paul Le - seeded 70th with 2:03.95