2 Tigers earn Olympic Trials swim berths

Friday, August 8, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 6:48 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 5, 2008

Two Missouri swimmers are one step closer to the Olympics.

Senior Rebecca Wolfe and junior Matt North qualified for the U.S Olympic Trials at the U.S. Summer Nationals on Wednesday in College Park, Md.

Wolfe finished 12th in the 200-meter butterfly in 2 minutes, 14.63 seconds.

North, swimming for St. Charles (Ill.) Swim Team, finished 14th in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:19.55.

By finishing under the qualifying time, each advances to the U.S. Olympic Trials in July in Long Beach, Calif.

To make the Olympic team, Wolfe and North will need to finish in the top two at the trials.

Going to the Olympic Trials is nothing new to Wolfe. She went to them in 2000 and said she has a better understanding of what it will take for her to advance.

Wolfe said she is relieved to have qualified again and was excited about her race time.

“Going into the meet, my goal time was 2:14,” Wolfe said.

Brian Hoffer, MU swimming coach, said he talked to Wolfe before the event and isn’t surprised at how she finished. Wolfe qualified last year for the Olympic Trials, but by only a few tenths of a second, Hoffer said. This year, she came in two seconds under the qualifying time.

“We felt comfortable that she had a chance, but for her to drop two seconds at this stage is very good,” Hoffer said.

Hoffer said Wolfe is confident and a leader on the MU swim team.

“No one on team works harder then Rebecca,” Hoffer said.

Wolfe was 13 when she first qualified for the U.S. Summer Nationals.

Hoffer said North’s finish at the summer nationals was surprising and said it will probably change his place on the team next season.

“It really puts him at a different level for the team,” Hoffer said. “I think he is going to be the guy to lead us next year.”

North was swimming in his second national meet.

North also is competing in the 100-meter breaststroke at the Summer Nationals.

“He is as good in 100 as he is in 200,” Hoffer said.

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