Concludes Career at U.S. Trials
By Phil Pierce, UA WOMEN'S COMMUNICATIONS
LONG BEACH, Calif. - University of Arkansas
Lady Razorback senior Peggy Stoner concluded her fabulous swimming career
at the United States Olympic Trials in Long Beach, Calif., with another
strong performance in the 50-meter freestyle.
An all-American in the pool for the Lady Razorbacks
in 2003, Stoner qualified for the trials just two weeks ago when she swam
26.36 at the Hog Course Time Trials in Fayetteville. At the time, her
mark was the 42nd-fastest time in the United States and placed her in
elite company. At the U.S. Trials, Stoner prepared to compete against
some of the World's best swimmers, finishing her heat of the sprint with
a time of 27.06, good for 45th overall.
"The U.S. Trials marks the end of Peggy's
swimming career," Arkansas head swimming coach Anne Goodman James said.
"We are so proud of her accomplishments. She had goals set to qualify
for the NCAAs, become an all-American, then qualify for the Olympic trials.
She accomplished all of these goals and has been an amazing example of
how far one can go with hard work and persistence."
The fastest time during prelims at the U.S.
Trials was 25.02 by three-time Olympic Gold medalist Jenny Thompson as
she torched the field by 0.12 seconds to secure a middle lane for the
finals. The stacked U.S. field saw six competitors swim under the Olympic
'A' standard for 50 meters, 25.64, with an additional six knocking at
the door with times under 26 seconds.
"Peggy's participation at the Trials is very
special," Goodman James said. "She becomes a member of a very elite 0.2%
of American swimmers who were able to qualify for this meet, the toughest
in the world. This meet has an amazing atmosphere, with 10,000 fans and
world records falling. It can be a bit overwhelming."