Olivia Harper, swimming for the Bath YMCA, recently became the second swimmer in Maine to qualify for the 2020 United States Olympic Trials set for June 2020 in Omaha, Nebraska, at the CHI Health Center.
Harper, who will be a senior at Morse High School, finished in 1 minute, 2.66 seconds in the 100-meter backstroke at the YMCA Long Course National Championship held at the University of Maryland last week.
Her time was 0.03 seconds under the Olympic Trials standard of 1:02.69.
“We are ecstatic with Olivia achieving the trial cut time. Less than 1 percent of American swimmers reach this level so it is something special in the world of swimming,” said Jay Morissette, Harper’s coach.
“She had a great race strategy and executed it perfectly. She had terrific support from her teammates and was one of only three girls in the event to achieve the Trials standard,” Morisette said. “Now, we will evaluate her training schedule and until the Trials in June. It is a fun time at Long Reach Swim Team.”
Harper joins James Wells, who trains with Morissette and assists with LRSC, as the only Trials qualifiers from Maine. The qualifying window will extend until the Olympic Trials entry deadline, expected to be late next spring.
Wells, who started his swimming career at LRSC, is a former two-time Big Ten Champion in the 100 backstroke and a 14-time All-American for Indiana University.
Morissette, a member of the Maine Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame, is experienced at preparing swimmers for the Trials. The former University of Maine swimmer has coached eight athletes who achieved a Trials standard.
Camden Holmes from the Downeast YMCA in Ellsworth finished fourth in the 50-meter free (23.88) and 15th in the 100 free (53.7). Holmes is a member of the 2019 recruiting class for the Maine Black Bears.
Kennebec Valley YMCA swimmer Ceci Guadalupi finished 11th in the 50 breaststroke (34.0).
In addition to her performance in the 100 back, Harper collected a silver medal in the 50-meter butterfly (27.49) and the 50 backstroke (29.63) and finished seventh in the 50 freestyle (26.32). On the opening day of the meet, Harper placed second in the 200 back.
LRSC teammate Brandon Johnson placed third in the 50 fly (25.16)
and 11th in the 50 free (24.25). Haily Harper finished 15th in the 50 breaststroke (34.72).
The LRSC 200 medley relay made up of Cora Spike, Haily Harper, Olivia Harper and Margie McLeod placed 12th in 2:01.57.
The Bath YMCA women scored 17th in the field of 43 teams and the men were 32nd among the 41 men’s teams collecting points.