FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas swimming and diving team welcomed Leah Pierce to the squad head coach Jeff Poppell announced this week. Pierce, a Columbia, Mo., native, is a 2008 Olympic Trials qualifier in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes and comes to Arkansas from Purdue University where she competed for one season. "We are thrilled to have Leah joining us this coming year,” said Poppell. “An Olympic Trials qualifier, Leah is a very talented breaststroker and I feel that she can be a force not only at the SEC Championships but the NCAA Championships as well." As a Boilermaker, Pierce scored at the Big Ten Championships in the 100 breast with a 10th-place finish in a time of 1:03.45. Her time ranks as the fourth fastest in Purdue history. She also competed in the 200 breast and 200 individual medley at Big Ten’s. Pierce won the 100 breast in her college debut and also took home two wins in the 200 breast. Pierce’s other collegiate top times include a 2:17.77 in the 200 breast and a 4:37.34 in the 400 IM. The 2006 Rock Bridge High School graduate swam for the Columbia Swim Club. Prior to college, she finished second in the 100 breast and third in the 200 breast at the Pro-Am meet with times of 1:02.11 and 2:14.07. Pierce had personal-best times of 1:11.59 in the 100 breast and 2:37.31 in the 200 breast at the U.S. Nationals in 2006. At the 2004 Pro-Am she touched in third in the 100 and 200 breast. Pierce was also a 2003 Illinois State Champion in the 100 breast. Pierce is the daughter of John and Angela Pierce and has two older sisters, Laura and Libby. For more information about Arkansas swimming and diving, please log on to LADYBACKS.COM.