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Husker All-American Haebig gets top seed for Wave I of Olympic Swim Trials
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Husker All-American Haebig gets top seed for Wave I of Olympic Swim Trials

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CHI Health Center Omaha pool

A member of the Omaha Fire Department fills the U.S. Olympic Team Swim Trials competition pool Tuesday at CHI Heath Center Omaha.

The main competition pool takes over 8 hours to fill up.

Now that both pools at the CHI Health Center have been filled, the next step is to begin filling lane assignments for the first set of events at the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials.

That task began Monday when the psych sheets for Wave I of the Trials were posted online by USA Swimming. While heat sheets won’t be released until later in the week, the number of participants in each event is now known.

The four-day meet begins Friday with prelim swims in four events starting at 10 a.m. There will be two races in each event in the 7 p.m. finals, a B final followed by an A final. The B final will be the swimmers who finished ninth through 16th in the prelims, while the A final will have the top eight finishers from the morning races.

Swimmers who finish first or second in the A final will advance to the Wave II event that serves as the qualifying meet for the U.S. Olympic team that will participate in the Tokyo Games scheduled to begin with opening ceremonies on July 23.

Two swimmers with local connections are seeded first in Wave I races.

Former Council Bluffs Lewis Central standout Mykenzie Leehy is the No. 1 seed in the women’s 100-meter freestyle, which also is the first event of the Wave I meet. Leehy’s time of 55.68 leads four others who have posted times below 56 seconds.

The former Houston star, who is transferring to Auburn for her extra year of eligibility, also is tied for the No. 11 seed in Monday’s 50 freestyle.

Nebraska All-American Autumn Haebig is entered in three events and is the top seed in the 200 freestyle. Haebig won the Big Ten 200 free championship earlier this year and has a qualifying time of 2:00.55. She also is seeded fourth in the 100 backstroke (1:01.91) and eighth in the 400 freestyle (4:14.96).

Two of Haebig’s Husker teammates also have qualified in one event apiece. Tori Beeler is No. 52 in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.99) while Audrey Coffey is seventh in the 1,500 freestyle in 16:48.76.

The 1,500 freestyle is a new Olympic event for women in 2021. There are just seven entries in the Wave I 1,500, but Coffey’s time is just 3.77 seconds behind top seed Juli Arzave of UC San Diego.

Wisconsin senior Alana Palmer, who helped lead Lincoln Southwest to three state team championships, is the No. 59 seed in the 50 freestyle. Her younger brother Tommy, who will be a senior at Southwest, is the No. 60 seed in the men’s 50 free.

Papillion-La Vista graduate Luke Barr also qualified in three events. His highest seed is at No. 12 in the 50 freestyle (22.91). The Indiana recruit also is No. 13 in the 100 breaststroke (1:02.44) and No. 32 in the 100 backstroke.

Three other former or current Nebraska prep swimmers also have qualified for the 100 backstroke, another event that will be contested Friday. Millard West graduate Mateo Miceli is the No. 12 seed in the 100 backstroke and also is No. 6 in the 200 backstroke.

Former Elkhorn/Elkhorn South star Ryan Patterson, who now competes for George Washington University, is No. 29 in the 100 backstroke, while Omaha Westside junior-to-be Nate Germonprez is seeded 18th.

Conner Funke, a 2018 Omaha Creighton Prep graduate who swims for Cincinnati, is the No. 32 seed in the 200 breaststroke.

Had she chosen to participate in Wave I, former Lincoln Southwest and North Carolina State standout Olivia Calegan would have been the No. 4 seed in the 200 breaststroke. Calegan has already qualified for Wave II in the 100 breaststroke.

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