Luchsinger tops LI Olympic swimming hopefuls
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Former state high school champion Tom Luchsinger of Mount Sinai, now a University of North Carolina senior, leads a group of eight Long Islanders competing in the U.S. Olympic swimming trials, which begin Monday in Omaha, Neb.
Luchsinger, 21, a multiple champion at Mount Sinai High School and with the Three Village Swim Club of East Setauket, is entered in four events, with his best shot at an Olympic berth in the men's 200-meter butterfly.
Luchsinger's seed time in that event (1 minute, 57.01 seconds), is sixth-best among the 145 entrants. The first two finishers in each event -- in the 200 butterfly, those are multiple Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps (1:53.34) and University of Michigan all-American Tyler Clary (1:55.72) -- will qualify for this summer's London Games.
Luchsinger also is entered in the 400-meter individual medley (with the 36th-best time), 400 freestyle (48th) and 200 freestyle (89th).
Other Long Islanders among swimmers in the 26 events (which average 138 athletes per event and will be contested from Monday through July 2), are:
Jack Wagner, 20, of Malverne, who swims for Long Island Aquatics and the University of Southern California, in the 200 freestyle (31st-best time), 50 freestyle (47th), 200 backstroke (52nd), 100 freestyle (54th), 100 backstroke (91st) and 200 medley (110th).
Roger Dent, 23, Muttontown, LI Aquatics, in the 200 butterfly (47th) and 100 butterfly (100th).
Michael Lennon, 18, Herricks High, LI Aquatics, in the 1,500 freestyle (90th).
Christian Yeager, 18, St. Anthony's High, LI Aquatics, in the 200 backstroke (110th).
Erik Heinemann, 19, Cold Spring Harbor, Bucknell, LI Aquatics, in the 200 butterfly (143rd).
Mount Sinai High graduate Julia Smit, an alumna of Three Village Swim Club, has not entered the trials. Smit won bronze and silver medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics for her preliminary-round contribution to two U.S. relay teams.
Smit, a 24-year-old graduate of Stanford and nine-time medal winner in major international competition, decided this spring to retire from the sport, according to her agent, David Arluck.