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 June 25-July 2 in Omaha, Nebraska, in hopes of representing the United States at the upcoming London Olympic Games. In fact, four local swimmers who have trained at Arden Hills are already qualified to attend the USA Swimming Olympic Trials and three others are headed soon to qualifying meets.
The community at large is encouraged to keep watch and cheer on a number of talented local swimmers, including:
- 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 with USA Swim Team Head Coach & Director of Aquatics Brian Nabeta at Arden Hills in preparation for competing in the upcoming Olympic Trials in the 100-meter backstroke and 100-meter freestyle.
- Katie Edwards — currently a junior at UC Davis, Edwards has trained extensively for a number of years at Arden Hills and the talented athlete is working toward making the Olympic Trials cut in the Santa Clara International Grand Prix in the 200-meter freestyle and the 200-meter individual medley.
- Kevin Ferguson — currently a senior at 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.
- Michael Franz — currently a sophomore attending Texas Christian University, Franz has trained at Arden Hills since he was six years old (and trained year-round since he was 13). A dedicated athlete, Franz is working toward making the Olympic Trials cut in the Santa Clara International Grand Prix in the 400-meter freestyle, the 1500-meter (or one mile) freestyle and the 200-meter freestyle.
- Sydney Johansen — currently attending Boise State University, Johansen is an accomplished swimmer who trained with Coach Nabeta year-round at Arden Hills for more than 10 years. Sydney is working toward making the Olympic Trials cut in the Santa Clara Grand Prix in the 200-meter breaststroke, 100-meter breaststroke and the 200-meter individual medley.
- Nick Johnson — during the recent 2012 Columbus Grand Prix competition, Arden Hills swim athlete and University of Southern California (USC) sophomore Nick Johnson successfully made his 400-meter free Olympic trials cut that took place March 9-11 in Columbus, Ohio.
- 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.
For the three swimmers hoping to qualify, the Santa Clara International Grand Prix takes place May 31-June 3 at the George F. Haines International Swim Center in Santa Clara, California.
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 United States. 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.