Cheer them on! Five local swimmers who have trained at Arden Hills are qualified and are competing in the USA Swimming Olympic Trials that start today. Known for incredibly fast, exciting and suspense-filled competitions, a number of local swim athletes have their eye on competing in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials through July 2 in Omaha, Nebraska, in hopes of representing the United States at the upcoming London Olympic Games. Watch for them:
- Randall Bal -- a graduate of Stanford University in 2003, Bal qualified for the Olympics trials cut a couple of years ago and recently began training at Arden Hills in preparation for competing in the upcoming Olympic Trials in the 100-meter backstroke and 100-meter freestyle.
- Kevin Ferguson -- a graduate of UC Santa Barbara, Ferguson qualified for the Olympics trials cut in July 2011 in the 100-meter freestyle and 100-meter breaststroke. In addition to other prestigious honors, he was voted as team captain of the UCSB swimming & diving team in 2012. Prior to his impressive college swimming efforts, Ferguson trained extensively year-round for five years at Arden Hills.
- Nick Johnson -- during the recent 2012 Columbus Grand Prix competition, Arden Hills swim athlete and University of Southern California (USC) student Nick Johnson successfully made his 400-meter free Olympic trials cut that took place March 9-11 in Columbus, Ohio.
- Kate Mills -- a graduate of Harvard University, Kate Mills started her swimming career as an Otter at Arden Hills. Mills impressively continued with the Arden Hills National Group program before being accepted into Harvard University. In 2007, Mills qualified for the 2008 Olympic trials at the USA Swimming Junior Nationals. While at Harvard, Mills was named Ivy League Career High-Point Swimmer during her senior year. Kate has qualified for Olympic Trials and currently trains in North Carolina for SwimMac.
- Daniel Smith -- a graduate of UC Berkeley and currently training with Cal Aquatics, Smith qualified at the U.S. Long Course Nationals in August 2010 in the 100-meter backstroke. A graduate of Jesuit High School, Smith trained extensively at Arden Hills for approximately 10 years before being awarded a coveted swim scholarship to UC Berkeley. In addition, he was selected to the Pac-10 All Academic First Team in 2011. Smith looks forward to competing in the upcoming Olympic Trials in the 100-meter backstroke.
Open to all swimmers with athletes being placed according to skill level, Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa has a year-round USA Swim Team that is recognized by USA Swimming as a Silver Medal team, one that is classified in the top two percent of all teams in the U.S. First opened in 1954, Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa has trained an amazing number of world champion swimmers. In fact, athletes that have trained at Arden Hills have collectively set more than 200 world and American records, earned 31 Olympic medals, 21 gold, seven of which were won by legendary swimmer Mark Spitz.