LONG BEACH, CA – Four members of the Rutgers swimming and diving program – three current and one former – will begin competition today at the United States Swimming Olympic Trials, held July 7 – July 14 in Long Beach, CA. Current swimmers Kelly Harrigan (Bristol, CT), Sean Smith (Oklahoma City, OK) and Matt Campbell (Haddonfield, NJ) will join Michelle DeFreese in competition over the next seven days.
The first day of competition will showcase Harrigan and DeFreese in the 100m butterfly and Smith in the 400 IM. For DeFreese, the 100m butterfly represents her best opportunity to earn an Olympic berth. In the 400 IM, Smith will be competing with world record holder Michael Phelps, who is trying to become the first male swimmer since Mark Spitz to win seven gold medals this summer in Athens.
Harrigan and Campbell will be competing in their best events later in the week. Harrigan’s best opportunity for the berth on the Athens team will be in the 200m backstroke, an event in which he placed fifth at this year’s NCAA Championships. Harrigan will also be competing in the 100m backstroke. Campbell, a school record holder and BIG EAST Champion, will be competing in the 50-meter freestyle at the end of the week.
Harrigan ranks 52nd in the country in the 100m butterfly and 15th in the 200m backstroke. Smith ranks 30th in the country in the 200m butterfly, 19th in the 400m IM and 31st in the 400m freestyle. He is also among the top 100 in the world in all three events.
Campbell ranks 34th in the country in the 50m freestyle and his current time places him 66th in the world. DeFreese is ranked 15th in the country in the 100m butterfly and tied for 41st in the world.
The swimming trials will be televised by NBC this week from 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. on July 9 and July 11. There will also be additional coverage of the event on July 18 (1-3 p.m.)