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OLYMPIC BOUND: Bronson, Cantwell, Carson To Compete in USA and Canada Olympic Trials
Junior Justin Bronson will compete at the Canadian Olympic Trials this week.
Junior Tina Cantwell will compete at the USA Olympic Trials in the summer.
Freshman Mat Carson will compete at the Canadian Olympic Trials this week.
BALTIMORE—Two members of the UMBC men’s swimming and diving team will compete for their home country of
Junior Justin Bronson (
Cantwell, the 2008 America East Conference champion in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke and part of the conference champion 400-yard medley relay, qualified for the 2008 USA Olympic Trials two weeks ago at the Speedo Championship Series Eastern Zone South Region meet at the
Cantwell finished second overall in the finals, bettering her time to a 1:12.02 and also finished third overall in the 200-meter breaststroke with a time of 2:36.59 (2:37.83, preliminaries). The Sinking Spring,
Cantwell is UMBC head coach Chad Cradock’s second representative of the university to qualify for the USA Olympic Trials, and he hopes to see more swimmers at the prestigious meet in the next four years.
“Tina [Cantwell] qualifying for the USA Olympic Trials is a huge accomplishment,” Cradock said. “I am extremely proud of her. She was worked so hard for this and finally broke through.
“As far as our program is concerned it shows a bright future for UMBC and shows development. Success breeds success and the fact that we have a swimmer going to the Olympic Trials will certainly help in our recruiting efforts. There is definitely the potential to have even more qualifiers in the next four years; this will really help us bring in more and more quality swimmers.”
Cradock is no stranger to quality swimming himself, as he achieved a great deal of success while swimming for his native country of
He knows what it takes to be successful in the pool and he knows what awaits Bronson and Carson over the next week in
Bronson, the 2008 America East champion in the 100- and 200-yard freestyles and as part of the 400- and 800-yard freestyle relays, is entered in four events for the Canadian trials—the 100-, 200-, and 400-meter freestyles and the 100-meter butterfly.
“Justin’s best shot [of making the Canadian Olympic team] is in the 200-meter freestyle since four swimmers qualify for the team,” Cradock said.
As of Monday afternoon, Bronson is seeded 40th in that event as well as 57th in the 200m freestyle, 89th in the 100m freestyle, and 88th in the 100m butterfly.
“Justin is an extremely hard worker and I’m very proud to see him competing on the national stage,” the coach said.
That venue is nothing new for Bronson, who competed at the 2004 Athens Olympic Trials, finishing as high as 23rd in the 100-meter butterfly.
“I’ve been to Olympic Trials before,” Bronson said, “so I sort of know what to expect, but quite honestly I’m trying to keep my mind off of the meet. Obviously I think about my races at night, when I visualize how I’m going to swim, but I’m trying to stay as relaxed as possible. My goal is to get best times, and then the next step from there is to finish in the top eight.”
Carson, the silver-medalist in the 400-yard individual medley and fourth-place finisher in the 200 IM and the 1650 freestyle at the conference championships, will also be looking towards those same goals when he competes in his first Olympic Trials meet and will also be competing in four events—the 200- and 400-meter individual medleys and the 100- and 200-meter backstrokes.
“Mat has an extremely bright future here at UMBC,” Cradock said. “He has a positive attitude and is an extremely hard worker. That hard work and dedication will continue to show in his next three years at UMBC.
Mat is an excellent IM’er and is very well-rounded in all the strokes, which allows him to have a great opportunity to really stand out at the Olympic Trials.”
As of Monday afternoon,
The Canadian Olympic Trials runs from Tuesday, April 1 through Sunday April 6 with preliminary sessions beginning at 10:00 a.m. and finals sessions at 6:00 p.m. Tues.-Fri. and prelims at 9:00 a.m. and finals at 4:00 p.m. Sat.-Sun. The top 16 swimmers in each event will qualify for the finals session at night.
Both Bronson and Carson will compete on Tuesday, with