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Swimming: Korth eyes 2012 Olympics

Hart High grad wins NCAA title, heads to Olympic trials

Posted: July 1, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 1, 2011 1:55 a.m.

An individual NCAA Division II national title was great, but Nick Korth has his eyes set a little higher.

The Hart High graduate and University of California, San Diego junior qualified for the 2012 Olympic Trials in the 100-meter breaststroke on Sunday at the Fran Crippen Memorial Swim Meet of Champions in Mission Viejo.

Korth won the consolation championship with a time of 1 minute, 3.90 seconds, which was a new open team record for locally based Canyons Aquatic Club.

The Olympic Trials will take place in 2012 from June 25 to July 2 in Omaha, Neb.

“I don’t want to have any delusions of grandeur or anything like that,” Korth said. “I set goals that are achievable for myself, and when I achieve those goals, I set more.”

He is the fourth local standout and Canyons swimmer to qualify for the 2012 Trials.

West Ranch graduate Riley Mita, Hart grad Konrad Antoniuk and Golden Valley grad Michelle Duraj all locked up trips in 2010.

Mita and Antoniuk both qualified in the 1,500 freestyle, while Duraj will swim the 200 breaststroke.

“It’s the first time we’ve had four swimmers a year away from the Olympic Trials qualify,” said Canyons head coach Jeff Conwell.

On Sunday, Korth cut time off his personal best during the prelims when he swam a 1:04.81.

Still feeling like he could go faster, he said he began to get increasingly nervous as the consolation finals approached.

The five-time individual Foothill League champion and two-time high school All-American said he found peace in the fact that he would have other opportunities to qualify for the trials by the time his race rolled around.

He started fast and by the final leg, he held a full body-length on the rest of the field.

Korth won the NCAA Division II championship in the 200-yard breaststroke on March 12 with a meet-record time of 1:57.19. The win came after a forced season off that was the result of UC Irvine cutting its swimming program. Korth was set to swim for the Anteaters following his graduation from Hart.

That time off only fueled him further. He resumed training with Canyons Aquatic and enrolled at UCSD.

“It still carried it over to this thing,” Korth said of his Div. II title. “Canyons needed a breaststroker, and I hope to step up every time I’m on the block.”

While Korth’s expectations for the Trials are tempered, he said he still hopes to qualify in the 200 breaststroke at the Los Angeles Invitational on July 15-17.

And only five years into his swimming career, Korth added that he is just as fired up as when he first started swimming.
“Being that he was a late bloomer to our sport and didn’t start swimming seriously until he was a junior in high school, it’s hard to tell,” Conwell said of Korth’s potential. “It’s limitless at this point.”


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