BATON ROUGE, La., April 28. THERE will be an Olympic feel this weekend to the Gulf States Challenge, sponsored by Crawfish Aquatics. The competition, held Friday through Sunday, will feature special 50-meter races including the likes of Aaron Peirsol and Brendan Hansen.
Organized by Jan Ripple, the Gulf States Challenge will be held at the Louisiana State University Natatorium and will provide more than 700 age-group swimmers the opportunity to go head-to-head. Meanwhile, a handful of international standouts will highlight the action with special races and will be on hand to sign autographs and pose for pictures.
Peirsol, triple-gold medalist in Athens, and Hansen, who won three medals at last summer’s Olympics, make up half of the Longhorn Aquatics contingent expected to be deckside. Nate Dusing and Neil Walker, Olympic medalists themselves, are also expected to swim.
Other big-time names anticipated to compete are Stanford products Gary Marshall, Peter Marshall, Randall Bal and Jayme Cramer. More, Texas’ Eddie Reese and Stanford’s Skip Kenney are the top coaching names at the competition and will be joined by Don Gambril, the former head man at the University of Alabama and a multiple-time Olympic coach.