Ziegler Named to U.S. Olympic Swim Team

Posted: July 9, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Kate Ziegler
Kate Ziegler
Photo by Nicolas Tan

Mason sophomore Kate Ziegler has been named to the U.S. 2008 Olympic swim team after finishing second in both the 400-meter and 800-meter freestyle events at the Olympic trials in Omaha, Neb.

Ziegler’s time of 8:29.39 was the fastest among the 54 entrants in the preliminary heats on July 4, and she followed that up with a 8:25.38 performance in the finals, but was eclipsed by Katie Hoff’s winning time of 8:20.81.

In the 400-meter, Ziegler swam the third-fastest time of the preliminary heats a week ago, finishing in 4:06.04. Later that evening, her personal-best 4:03.92 mark in the finals ranked second, as she finished 1.60 seconds behind Hoff.

Ziegler, who struck gold in the 2007 World Championships in the 800-meter and 1,500-meter freestyle in Melbourne, Australia, will be making her first appearance in the Olympics.

Ziegler, of Great Falls, Va., is a professional, so she does not swim for Mason. However, she serves as a volunteer assistant coach for the swim team.

Mason was also represented at the Olympic Trials by former Patriots standout Tom Koucheravy, who competed for Mason from 2004 to 2007. He finished sixth in the finals of the 1,500-meter freestyle with a personal-best mark of 15:16.38. He placed fifth out of 74 in the preliminaries with a time of 15:16.68.

The swimming portion of the 2008 Summer Olympics will begin in Beijing, China, on Saturday, Aug. 9. Preliminary heats for the 400-meter freestyle will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 10 (6:30 a.m. EDT), with the finals set for the 10 a.m. session the following day (10 p.m. Sunday EDT). The 800-meter freestyle heats are set for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 14, with the finals scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 16, in the morning session.

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