Only The Fast & Furious Will Go On To Represent The USA

Only The Fast & Furious Will Go On To Represent The USA

The USA Swimming selection for the 2012 Olympic 10km Marathon Swim qualification race in Portugal in June is coming up on April 27th. The Open Water Swimming Festival in Miromar Lakes in Fort Myers, Florida will showcase a group of elite American women who will undoubtedly pop off the most competitive open water race ever held on American soil.

For the stakes cannot be any higher.

Only the top two women will be able to represent the United States of America in Portugal. Years of training and a lifetime of dreams are on the line.

The venue in Fort Myers will be a six-loop course in flat water with easy-to-navigate straight-line buoys. But the ease of the course will conflict with the difficulty in being victorious.

With the caliber of athletes among the top women and their current level of fitness, it is unlikely that the race will be like four years ago where the pace in Miromar Lakes was rather pedestrian. As the women have stepped up their game over the last four years, it is more likely that the pace will be very fast at the start and go from there. While the athletes will attempt to remain controlled in the early stages, it will only take a break by one these women for a furious battle to ensue. When one athlete steps up her pace, the field will undoubtedly follow, punishing each other in a long lung-busting, gut-wrenching, heart-pounding battle that will come down to the final stretch of 432 meters … and most likely the very last stroke.

For these women also all realize that their competitors are leaving no stone unturned in their pursuit of an Olympic berth.

Ashley Twichell is swimming hot after her two-medal performance at the 2011 World Swimming Championships in Shanghai. She moved across the country to train under Coach Bill Rose of the Mission Viejo Nadadores after college. After recently training at high altitude, she is coming down and getting ready to take the next step on the world’s stage. If the race comes down to the last stroke, expect Duke University graduate Ashley‘s long arms to secure her a berth in Portugal.

Two-time FINA World Cup champion Christine Jenning is also swimming with a mission. While her train was temporarily unrailed with broken bones in her leg, her passion pulled her through and she is swimming fast with plenty of racing experience under her belt. If the race is rough, expect the physicality of the former University of Minnesota star Christine to give her the edge.

Tall and tough Haley Anderson, who trains with dozens of other Olympians at USA, is ready to pull off a great swim and will be right there physically and mentally in the middle of the pack the entire way. If the race is one long fast dash, expect Trojan Haley to start making her reservations to Portugal.

Well-established open water veteran Eva Fabian has literally grown up in the open water over the last quadrennial. The multi-talented intellectual took off a year at Yale University to focus on making the Olympic Team and all systems are a go. If strategy and tactics play a major role in the race, expect the Yalie Bulldog to be wearing red, white and blue in Portugal.

Two-time FINA World Cup champion Emily Brunemann moved across the country to train with one of the most successful Olympic swimming coaches in history, Jon Urbanchek…at an appropriately named swim club called FAST. Whatever the pace, whatever the tactics, former University of Michigan NCAA champion Emily will be there in the scrum. If it is her day, expect tears of joy at the finish.

Of course, the race always lives up to the mantra of expect the unexpected. 14-year-old national record holder Becca Mann from Florida will be in the mix, trying to make her mark early in her career. With this first-of-many opportunities to represent her country, Becca adds a youthful belief that anything is possible.

It will be a hard-fought, high-pressure race throughout the six loops where each of these women know the stakes involved and the tremendously fast pace that will be required for 10,000 meters…before a climatic finish where it will be anyone’s game.

The race will be called by Mike Lewis with tweets flying as fast and furious as the women will be swimming.

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