Sports

King Aquatic Club sends three to Olympics in Beijing

King Aquatic Club was already recognized around the Pacific Northwest as one of the top competitive swim teams in the region.

Now, the Federal Way-based organization, is recognized as one of the best swim teams in the United States.

The King Aquatic Club, who swim out of the King County Aquatic Center, had 15 swimmers participate in the recently-completed United States Olympic Swimming Trials in Omaha, Neb. and two will be competing at next month’s Olympics in Beijing. Margaret Hoelzer and Megan Jendrick qualified for the US team by finishing in the top-two places in their respective events in Omaha.

King Aquatic head coach Sean Hutchinson will also be heading to China. Hutchinson was named an assistant coach on the women’s US Olympic Team on Sunday. The coaching staff includes head coach Jack Bauerle, and assistant coaches Paul Yetter, Teri McKeever, Hutchison and women’s open water coach Bill Rose.

Hoelzer, from Alabama, set the world record in the 200-meter backstroke at the Olympic Trials with a time of 2:06.09, three-tenths ahead of the former mark held by Zimbabwe’s Kirsty Coventry.

“This is my first world record,” Hoelzer said. “It’s a wonderful surprise. I’m in awe and amazed. I’m happy to be where I am right now.”

Hoelzer also qualified in the 100 backstroke by finishing second in the event.

Jendrick, who hails from Puyallup, finished second in the 100 breaststroke in a time of 1:07.50. It will be the second Olympic games for both swimmers.

Todd Beamer High School graduate and current Auburn University swimmer Jon Hiett competed in the 100-meter breaststroke in Omaha. Hiett, a 2006 Beamer grad, finished up in 42nd place overall in the event, which was held on June 29.

Hiett, who barely missed qualifying for the NCAA Championships in March, swam a time of 1:03.90.

On Monday, the entire U.S. Olympic swim team headed to Palo Alto, Calif., for the team’s domestic training camp prior to its departure to the Olympics in Beijing.

The Olympic pool competition will take place Aug. 9-17 at the Beijing National Aquatic Center.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, sports@fedwaymirror.com

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