Swimmers set to compete in Olympic Trials

Edward Mei, Author

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Two Palo Alto High School swimmers will compete in the Olympic Trials this June after recently participating in the Missouri Grand Prix, a highly competitive event hosted by USA Swimming from Feb. 10-12 in Columbia, Missouri.

The Grand Prix featured some of the best swimmers from around the world.

Sophomore Andrew Liang and senior Jasmine Tosky, both representing the Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics swim team, swam multiple events.

Liang swam the 50,100 and 200 meter freestyle, the 100 and 200 meter butterfly, and the 100 and 200 meter backstroke. Tosky swam the 200 free, the 100 and 200 meter butterfly, the 200 and 400 meter IM, the 200 meter breaststroke and the 200 meter backstroke, according to the USA Swimming website.

Although neither swimmer won an event, Tosky finished sixth in the 200 meter butterfly and eighth in both the 100 meter freestyle and 100 meter butterfly, while Liang’s highest finish was twentieth in the 200 meter backstroke.

Despite his winless performance, Liang decided to stay positive.

“I didn’t swim as well as I would’ve liked to, but, nonetheless, it was not bad, especially since this wasn’t my main focus meet,” Liang said. His main goal is to work towards either the 2012 or 2016 Olympics.

Instead, he enjoyed the opportunity to swim in one of the world’s most prestigious events and has taken the experience as positive growth.

“It was a nice opportunity to race some of the top end professional swimmers in the world,” Liang said. “The experience was good: just being able to race some of best of the best in our sport and seeing how I stack up against them and what I need to work on to keep improving.”

Tosky felt less enthusiastic about the competition, but agreed with Liang that there was strong competition throughout. 

“I thought the Grand Prix was a nice low key meet where college teams weren’t around but lots of graduates and professionals were,” Tosky said.

Some of the competitors who participated included Olympic gold medalist Jason Lezak, a Brazilian world record holder for the 50 and 100 meter freestyle Cesar Cielo and Canadian national team member Samantha Cheverton, according to the USA swimming website.

Even though Tosky placed in three events, she kept humble and maintains a work hard attitude.

“I feel that, with a little more time and work, I will better reach my expectations in the pool,” Tosky said. “Even though we weren’t rested or tapered for this meet I know I could have tried new and different things to get me better prepared to race.”

Liang and Tosky’s next tasks are to work towards the Texas Sectionals at the end of February followed by the Santa Clara Grand Prix in May.

“Then, hopefully,” Liang added, “London in July.”