April 3, 2012By Dakota Busby of Jeffersonville High School
Over spring break senior Zach Blankenbeker qualified for the 2012 Olympic Trials competition that will take place in Omaha Nebraska this June. Zach will be competing in the 200 meter butterfly in a field of about 80 invited swimmers which will be made up of mostly professional and college athletes – including World Record holder Michael Phelps. The top two athletes in each event will make the 2012 Olympic team that will travel to London in August.
Zach qualified at a meet that took place in Oxford, Ohio the first weekend of spring break. The Olympic Trials time to qualify is a 2:03.99, Zach finished with a time of 2:03.93. Zach will compete on Wednesday and Thursday, June 27th and 28th and will then report to West Point the following weekend where he will swim for the Black Knights.
Zach will join Jeff High graduates Ben Hesen and Ariel Martin who have previously qualified for the meet. Ben graduated from Jeff High in 2004 and Indiana University in 2008, he is currently a professional swimmer living and training in Florida with Ryan Lochte. Ben currently has trials cuts in the 100 and 200 meter backstrokes and the 100 meter butterfly. Ariel Martin graduated from Jeff High in 2007 and Purdue University this past December and has continued to train with the Boilermaker team. Ariel has the trial cut in the 200 meter freestyle and will be trying to qualify in the 50 and 100 meter frees this spring as well.
The trials will take place between June 24th and 30th at the Qwest Center in Omaha.
All three of these athletes are true GCCS kids. All three went to school at Utica Elementary, moved onto Parkview Middle School and graduated from Jeffersonville High School. (Zach will graduate this June.) They are true home-grown athletes. All three trained and competed with the Pacesetter Aquatics team – the local USA Swimming affiliated club, the Jeffersonville Aquatic Club – the local summer swim club, Jeffersonville Middle School team – the combined Parkview/River Valley team and of course Jeffersonville High School.
These three swimmers are true ambassadors of the Jeffersonville Community.