Kansas Aquatics Heads to Nationals with Wave of Momentum

July 31, 2011

PALO ALTO, Calif –

Seven current KU swimmers will represent Kansas Aquatics this coming week as they compete at the National Championships in Paolo Alto, Calif. In total, eight swimmers from KA (Kansas Aquatics), will be making the trip with head coach Clark Campbell, looking to ride the wave of momentum they have from finishing in first place at Sectionals in Columbia, Mo.

“The eight that are going are very excited and have a good shot of confidence from their performances at sectionals,” said Campbell. “They have been racing well and are really looking forward to going to California and swimming against some of the best competition in the country.”

Making the trip to nationals (Aug 2-6), for Kansas Aquatics will be seniors Abigail Anderson, Stephanie Payne and Shannon Garlie, juniors Brooke Brull and Rebecca Swank, sophomores Malia Johnson and Alison Lusk and volunteer assistant coach Danielle Herrmann.

Payne has made the biggest splash out of the group thus far. She earned a trip to Omaha, Neb., for the 2012 Olympic Trials, with her 2:16.39 time in the preliminaries of 200 meter butterfly during sectionals last week.

“We are really proud of her accomplishment,” Campbell said. “It is every swimmer’s goal to have an opportunity to go to Olympic trials and represent their country in the Games.”

The co-captain from derby, Kan., is scheduled to compete in the 200 and 400 IM and the 200 butterfly.

Fellow senior Abigail Anderson will join Payne in the pool, but for the 100 butterfly as well as the 100 and 200 backstroke. Senior co-captain Shannon Garlie will represent her team in the relays events in Paolo Alto.

Rounding out the competition for the upperclassmen will be Brooke Brull (200 backstroke), who scored a combined 21 points for her team during sectionals and Rebecca Swank, who along with Garlie will be designated relay specialists.

Alison Lusk and Malia Johnson will swim a combined three events. Lusk is penciled in for the 100 and 200 breaststrokes, while Johnson will swim the 200 butterfly along with Stephanie Payne.

“I am very excited for us to compete at nationals against the fastest swimmers in America,” Payne said. “We are all hoping for lifetime bests, while we are there.” 073111aaa_642_5538185.jpeg

While Payne and the rest of her teammates will get back in the pool for the Jayhawks during the fall, there is one KA swimmer who is continuing her legacy within the KU program.

Former Kansas standout and current volunteer assistant Danielle Herrmann is scheduled to swim a total of three events, including the 100 and 200 breaststrokes and the 200 IM. Herrmann is coming off a strong showing at sectionals, where she scored 17 points with her 2nd place finish in the 200 IM.

“I think all of our swimmers who are going to nationals will have a good shot at making their trial cuts,” said Coach Campbell. “Alison Lusk is looking especially good in her breaststroke events and Stephanie (Payne) can pick up another trial cut in her 400 IM as well as Danielle (Herrmann) in the 200 IM, so I think we have potential in a lot of different events. This is just such a big year with trials around the corner that everyone is going to be gunning for those standards,” Campbell added.

Out of the eight Kansas Aquatics swimmers headed to Nationals from next Tuesday through Saturday, a total of five have national championship experience. Abigail Anderson, Shannon Garlie, Stephanie Payne, Brooke Brull and Danielle Herrmann all made the trip to Irvine, Calif., last August.

Herrmann had the two performances on her team in 2010, swimming to a 53rd place finish in the 200 IM and 59th place in the 100 meter breaststroke. KA will be looking to best their 11th place finish in the 4×200 meter freestyle relay that earned them the 12 total points they scored during last year’s competition.

Competition from Nationals will be re-aired on NBC, Saturday, August 6th (3-5pm) and Sunday, August 7th (4-5pm).

Complete coverage from USA Swimming’s National Championships can be found here: http://www.usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?Alias=rainbow&Lang=en&TabId=1418