by Josh Huger (MrUtopia)
Created June 29th, 2012 05:28:46 PM
Modified June 29th, 2012 05:28:46 PM
OMAHA, Neb. -- Missouri State’s presence at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials came to a close on Friday (June 29) when sophomore Paul Le hopped out of the CenturyLink Center pool following his 200-meter backstroke swim.
Le, who kicked off his Trials debut with an exciting 38th-place finish in the 100 back on Tuesday, was seeded 70th for the longer of the two backstroke events.
On the right pace for his first 100 meters (59.05), Le was unable bring it home in the second-half split that he was hoping for. His time of 2:04.64 was not enough to advance to the semifinals, however, the 2012 All-MAC first teamer still finished within a second of his career best. With the 2:04.64, Le finished the preliminaries ranked 58th out of 107 swimmers.
Missouri State head swimming coach Dave Collins couldn’t have been happier following Le and Chris Novak’s performances at this year’s Olympic Trials.
“It has been a really positive experience for us,” Collins said. “It’s been our goal to have athletes at this meet and it is something that we can really build on with the program. I’m extremely proud of Paul [Le] and Chris [Novak] for making their Trials cuts, and on top of that, they both swam really well while they were here.”
There is no doubt that Collins would like to bring a bigger group of Bears to participate in the 2016 Olympic Swimming Trials, wherever they end up.
“One of my favorite moments was watching our guys swim. It is an unbelievable atmosphere,” Collins added. “It’s neat when you’re walking around and it’s Michael Phelps and Paul was warming up with Ryan Lochte. That’s an experience that he is going to be able to remember for a long time.”