Luchsinger tops LI Olympic swimming hopefuls

Independent swimmer Tom Luchsinger of Mt. Sinai practices

Independent swimmer Tom Luchsinger of Mt. Sinai practices with the Three Village Swim Club at Ward Melville High School. (February 23, 2009) Photo Credit: Newsday/ Joseph D. Sulivan

advertisement | advertise on newsday

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).

Oliver Lee, 19, Cold Spring Harbor, LI Aquatics, Harvard, in the 50 freestyle (25th) and 100 freestyle (59th).

advertisement | advertise on newsday

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).

Dave Modrov, 22, Hauppauge High and Auburn University, in the 100 freestyle (99th).

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.

Subscribe to Newsday’s sports newsletter for stories, photos and videos about your favorite New York teams plus national sports news and events.

Comments now uses Facebook for our comment boards. Please read our guidelines and connect your Facebook account to comment.

You also may be interested in: