MINNEAPOLIS, MN, October 20 (Reposted October 22). UNIVERSITY of Minnesota senior swimmer Justin Mortimer finished third in the last event of this summer’s Olympic Trials, just missing a ticket to Athens.
But Mortimer recently got the opportunity for a taste of representing the USA in international competition and the university was happy to announce his success in winning a gold and a bronze medal at the 2004 FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Mortimer's performance continued an amazing season that saw him win four national titles at the 2004 Summer Nationals and a narrow miss of the U.S. Olympic team.
Mortimer earned a gold medal in the 800-meter freestyle relay, swimming the anchor leg. The American team barely edged the Australians by .07 seconds. The Americans posted a time of 7:03.71. Mortimer held off Australia's Joshua Krogh on the final lap to secure the gold. The rest of the U.S. winning relay team included Ryan Lochte, Chad Carvin and Dan Ketchum. This relay was a nearly identical affair to the matchup in Athens, with Mortimer playing the Klete Keller role in Indy.
Mortimer won the bronze medal in the 400-meter freestyle. He made a late push, touching out Kvetoslav Svoboda of the Czech Republic in the final lap to take the bronze in 3:44.70. American Chad Carvin took the silver (3:43.77) behind gold medalist Yuri Prilukov of Russia (3:40.79).
The Milton, Mass. native also swam the 1500-meter freestyle.
Mortimer is a senior for the Gophers this 2004-05 season. Minnesota looks to defend its 2003-04 Big Ten title and improve on a ninth- place finish at the NCAA Championships.