OMAHA, Neb. – Junior to be Julia Kucherich
of the University of Arkansas swimming & diving team placed 30th in the 400 individual medley at the 2012 U.S. Olympic team trials with a personal best time of 4:51.16.
The York, Pa., native entered the competition with the 76th best seed time and improved on that mark by more than a second in the prelims of the race (1.11). She finished just eight seconds off of qualifying for the event finals.
“Julia went after it and had a great swim,” Arkansas coach Todd Mann
Aggressive from the start, Kucherich opened with a 50-meter split of 34.57 in the butterfly and made the switch to the backstroke with a time of 1:05.36. Her opening 100 meters of the race was nearly her all-time best for the long-course race. In the backstroke, she went out very fast and hit the mid-way point of the race at 2:16.83.
In the breast stroke portion of the competition, Kucherich had a tough time over the opening 50 meters, but recovered nicely to make the final transition at 3:44.41. A strong freestyle ended her competition with a 100-meter split of 1:06.6 for her final time of 4:51.16.
The IM race is the first of two competitions for Kucherich as she now looks toward Friday’s 200 backstroke to complete her Olympic dream. Also upcoming for the Razorbacks are Nikki Daniels
who is scheduled to compete in the 100 breastroke and Chelsea Franklin
who makes her debut in the 400 freestyle.