All-American Schwendenwein qualifies for 2012 Olympics
By placing in the top 16 at the NCAA Championships, swimmer Sasha Schwendenwein achieved All-American status and qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
The swimming and diving team finished 17th in the NCAA Championships and Schwendenwein was the lone UH swimmer partaking in the competition.
Schwendenwein set a school record of 4:41.73 in the 500-yard freestyle, finishing in 21st place. She finished 13th in the 200-yard butterfly prelims (1:55.90) and 16th (1:57.48) in the finals. The last Cougar to place in the top 16 at the NCAA Championships and gain All-American honors was Nicola Fibbens in 1985.
The NCAA Championships is one of the biggest events in swimming, providing a place for some of the fastest swimmers in the world to showcase their skills.
‘The NCAAs were the biggest competition for me – a different mindset and ballgame,’ Schwendenwein said.
‘I’m just an example of what you can achieve when you train hard and you work with your coaches.’
Hard work has paid off for Schwendenwein in the water and on land, as her 3.6 grade-point average grants All-American academic honors. Being one of the team’s captains has also allowed Schwendenwein to lead her fellow swimmers both vocally and by example.
‘She is a good leader because she always motivates us,’ teammate Andrea Kells said. ‘Watching her hard work and success through the years is inspiring to me as an athlete.’
Schwendenwein will head to Austria in an attempt to qualify for the World Championships with the Austrian team next month. After that, the 2012 Summer Games are just around the corner, and Schwendenwein can’t wait for another notch in her already illustrious career.
‘All my sacrifices (and) the sacrifices my family made will all be worth it just to say that (I) have gone to the Olympics,’ she said.