Chattahoochee GOLD Swimmers Heading to Olympic Trials
5:00 AM practices, thousands of laps, and a few hundred swimsuits, goggles, and a never ending battle against chlorine hair are finally paying off for three Chattahoochee GOLD swimmers.
Lauren Case, Zach Bunner and Hannah Martin have qualified to compete in the 2012 Olympic Swim Team Trials set for June 25-July 2 in Omaha, Nebraska. The results will provide up to 26 men and 26 women with the highest athletic honor – to represent the U.S. at the 2012 Olympic Games. Each of the top two swimmers in every event, plus four more in the 100m and 200m events, will soon start packing for London.
But to call these GOLD athletes “men and women” might be a misnomer. Brunner and Martin at still in high school. And Case just finished the 8th grade at Woodstock Middle School!
13 year old Lauren Case shies away from the media, but with her already long list of swim accomplishments she probably should start toning up for many future interviews. Case is only one of five 13 year olds to make the Olympic Trials. She will compete in the 200-meter Butterfly.
Etowah High School senior, Hannah Martin, has competed in national swim meets before but this is her first trip to the Olympic Trials. Her specialty is the 200-meter Backstroke and is very excited about representing GOLD and her home town of Woodstock.
Zach Bunner attends Lassiter High School in Marietta where he will be a senior next fall. He qualified for the 100-meter Backstroke. At the end of May, Zach received a special blessing from Monsignor Pat Bishop at Transfiguration Catholic Church. Zach says he will take all the help he can get!
The swimmers have trained with a number of Chattahoochee GOLD coaches over the years including Falco Fleischmann, a former member of the German National Swim Team, and Mark Schilling, a letterman for Georgia Tech’s Varsity Swim Team. “This will be a very different experience for the swimmers”, comments Coach Schilling. “The odds of them making the team are slim to none, but that isn't the goal in them going. The goal is to swim their best, and be just a small part of the Olympic experience.”
Bunner and Martin just completed a special training session at the highest altitude pool in America in Flagstaff AZ. The hope is that this sets them up well for a good performance at this meet and for the rest of the summer.
Coach Schilling adds, “We also have two post graduate swimmers who will be representing our team. Anna Neumeister, a sophomore at UGA and will compete in the 400-meter Individual Medley Relay. Michael Arnold just graduated from UGA. He is GOLD's best bet at having a swimmer make finals at the meet, competing in the 50-meter Freestyle, 100-meter Freestyle, and 100-meter Butterfly.”
Chattahoochee GOLD year round swim team is owned by Pat and Beth Murphy. Ironically, their Woodstock based pool was built as a training sight for the Russian swim team during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Good luck GOLD!