Rachel Richardson and Adam Kiefaber report
A Lakota West graduate and former member of the Mason Manta Ray swim team will go up against some of the nation’s best swimmers Thursday at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Omaha, Nebraska.
Stephen Koch, who helped set school records at Lakota West and now swims at Ohio State, will compete in the 200-meter breaststroke against the likes of Michael Phelps, who won a record-breaking eight gold medals in swimming at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.
Koch is vying for one of 52 spots – 26 men and 26 women – on the USA Olympic swim team to represent the nation at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Of the 300,000 registered swimmers in USA Swimming, only about 1,700 — or less than one-third of one percent — were invited to try out for the USA Olympic swim team.
The trials are being televised live each night from 8-9 p.m. on NBC. Results are also posted on the USA Swimming website.
Koch, along with Alex Hart, Michael Hart and Brendan McNamara hold the Lakota West record in the 200-meter medley relay with a time of 1.38.75, as well as in the 400-meter freestyle relay with a time of 3:15.51. Koch also holds the Lakota West record in the 200-meter individual medley with a time of 1.54.24. All three school records were set in late February of 2009, according to WestFirebirds.com.