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Novaquatics Begins Road to Athens -- July 5, 2004 Irvine Nova Coach, David Salo.

IRVINE, Calif., July 5 - With two days before the USA Swimming Olympic Trials in Long Beach, California (July 7-14), Head Coach Dave Salo of the Novaquatics Swimming Team based in Orange County (Irvine, Soka University and Fountain Valley) announced his team will take no fewer than 23 athletes to the blocks to compete for 52 spots on the USA Olympic Team.

Several NOVA swimmer have experienced the thrill of victory in the Olympic Games, many of whom will be contending for their second and for a couple their third Olympic team. The experienced include Olympic Gold Medalists, Jason Lezak, Staciana Stitts, Lenny Krayzelburg, Scott Tucker and Brad Schumacher along with Olympic Silver Medalist Aaron Peirsol.

“Peirsol probably has the most credentials with three world championships, a handful of world records and several other international titles, but what eludes him in his young, yet storied career is the Olympic Gold Medal,” commented Head Coach Dave Salo. “I think he is ready to take care of that this year in Athens.”

Among the 23 athletes that will be representing the NOVA team at the trials will be long-time NOVA standout, Jason Lezak. A member of the team for over 20 years, the recently married sprint specialist approaches these trials as one of the top sprinters in the world. In 2000, Lezak was a member of the Gold Medal Medley relay as well as the silver medal winning 400 free relay. This time around his sights are on individual performances as well as the ever-exciting relay events.

Lezak will attempt to earn a berth in the 50 and 100 meter freestyles, in which only the top two swimmers will qualify. “Jason has been the most consistent improving swimmers in the world at this level”, observed Salo. “Few sprinters make continued progress, he has each year over the past five – this year should be no different and that will be the difference between winning a medal.”

Salo’s squad will be one of the largest club teams competing at this year’s Trials and will be one of the most formidable groups in attendance. “We are not going to Trials to sit around and watch,” quipped Salo, “we hope to make a presence that will prepare us at the Athens Games as well.”

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Preliminary Event Highlights:

Day 1
Dan Shevchik – 400 IM
Beth Goodwin – 100 Butterfly
Tara Thomas – 100 Butterfly
Michala Kwasny – 400 IM
David Denniston – 100 Breaststroke

Day 2
Erin Volcan – 100 Backstroke
Jeri Moss – 100 Backstroke
Lara Pease – 100 Backstroke
Jessica Cruzat – 100 Backstroke
Scott Tucker – 200 Freestyle
Aaron Peirsol – 200 Freestyle
Staciana Stitts – 100 Breaststroke
Jessica Hardy – 100 Breaststroke
Aaron Peirsol – 100 Backstroke
Lenny Krayzelburg – 100 Backstroke

Day 3
Colleen Lanne – 200 Freestyle
Dan Shevchik- 200 Butterfly
Michala Kwasny – 200 IM

Day 4
Jason Lezak -100 Freestyle
Scott Tucker – 100 Freestyle
Greg Busse – 100 Freestyle
Gabe Woodward – 100 Freestyle
Luke Anderson – 100 Freestyle
Brad Schumacher – 100 Freestyle
Michala Kwasny – 200 Butterfly
Beth Goodwin – 200 Butterfly
Dave Denniston – 200 Breaststroke

Day 5
Colleen Lanne -100 Freestyle
Emily Silver – 100 Freestyle
Aaron Peirsol – 200 Backstroke
Lenny Krayzelburg – 200 Backstroke
Dan Shevchik – 200 Backstroke
Staciana Stitts – 200 Breaststroke

Day 6
Jason Lezak – 50 Freestyle
Greg Busse – 50 Freestyle
Gabe Woodward – 50 Freestyle
Luke Anderson – 50 Freestyle
Brad Schumacher – 50 Freestyle
Delonte Stephens - 100 Butterfly
Erin Volcan – 200 Backstroke
Jeri Moss – 200 Backstroke
Jessica Cruzat – 200 Backstroke

Day 7
Colleen Lanne – 50 Freestyle
Emily Silver – 50 Freestyle


Editor's note: This is another of the many releases we have received from clubs and colleges around the country expressing understandable pride in the accomplishements of their members who have earned their way to the 2004 US Olympic Trials.