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Tuesday, Dec. 5
The Indiana Daily Student


Top talent heads to U.S. Open

The Hoosiers travel to Nassau County Aquatic Center in East Meadow, N.Y., tomorrow for the start of the three-day U.S. Open swimming tournament. But the entire team will not go, as only 10 swimmers who swam times qualifying for USA Swimming standards will compete.\n"The U.S. Open is an excellent opportunity to swim fast, make some NCAA cuts, get some points for IU and show internationally that we have a viable team," head coach Kris Kirchner said. "I'm expecting (strong performances) from the 10 people that we're taking. That's the only reason for going." \nRepresenting the Hoosiers in the tournament are senior Heath Montgomery, juniors David Schulze and Rob Dabrowski, sophomores Claes Andersson, Matt Leach and Mike Payne and freshmen Richard Bryant, Murph Halasz,Val Milkov and David Winck. \n"I want to try and make the finals in my events," Bryant said. "And I know that making the finals is a big thing, because there's lots of world-class swimmers there. So, the competition is really high, but that's what I came here for."\nHalasz expects a strong showing. \n"I want to swim fast," Halasz said. "I've been working a lot more on my turns and my breakouts. (As a team), a lot of guys have been working hard in practice, and they should get faster throughout the year as they get used to college swimming."\nSchulze's qualifying times have him seeded third in the 200-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard individual medley and in fourth for the 100-yard breaststroke. The relay teams also posted high seedings, garnering the top spots in the 800- and 400-yard freestyle races, and in the 400-yard medley. \nThe U.S. Open traditionally has been a tournament where the top swimmers in the world compete. At the 1999 U.S. Open in San Antonio, 16 competing swimmers went on to win individual gold medals at the 2000 summer Olympics in Sydney. \nKirchner said the outcome of the U.S. Open was in the hands of the swimmers, but that he was confident in their ability. \n"I think it's up to them," he said. "We've prepared them, and physically, I think they'll be better than at the (Indiana) Invite. Everybody is going there to swim their best event. In a big meet situation, you don't get many opportunities to make mistakes at all, and you have to go over there with the intention of swimming really well." \nThe World Cup meet, a prestigious tournament that offers more than $60,000 in prize money to competing swimmers was held yesterday and continued today. The World Cup draws top competition, potentially toughening the field at the U.S. Open, Kirchner said.\n"Basically, the World Cup is a professional league-guys and girls racing for money," he said. "Those people can stay for the US Open, maybe not all of them, but most of them. So, that brings up the level of competition." \nThe event continues through Sunday, with prelims at 9:30 a.m. and finals beginning at 6 p.m.

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