NCAA: Mia Nonnenberg to compete at Olympic Swimming Trials
BY JOBY FAWCETT / STAFF WRITER / PUBLISHED: JUNE 19, 2016
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COURTESY OF UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA Mia Nonnenberg has been named the University of Alabama swim team’s most valuable player in both of her years with the Crimson Tide.

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01/09/16 MWSD Vs TennesseeMia NonnenbergPhoto by Daniel Melograna

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This is Mia Nonnenberg’s dream come true.

A swimmer who set a standard of excellence during a decorated career at Scranton Prep, and who is leaving her mark at the University of Alabama, will be competing against the best in the nation.

With her expectations realistic and her goals in perspective, Nonnenberg will swim at the United States Olympic Trials next weekend in Omaha, Nebraska.

She will be in the 400-meter Individual Medley on June 26, the 200 IM on June 28 and the 200 Butterfly on June 29.

“I’m excited, but perspective is the biggest thing you have to have going into a challenge like this,” said Nonnenberg, who turns 20 on June 26. “You don’t want to fool yourself. Yes, you have a chance. Any time you are in a lane, you have a chance and I want to go and race the best I can.

“Just being there and racing against athletes who are the best in the world is just amazing.”

Since rewriting the record books at Scranton Prep and for District 2, Nonnenberg has elevated her performance as a member of the team at Alabama.

In her two seasons with the Crimson Tide, she earned team most valuable player honors twice and has a work ethic that has endeared her to teammates who selected her a team captain for the 2016-17 season.

Making the transition from high school superstar to NCAA Division I athlete helped Nonnenberg mature as she learned to balance a rigorous practice regimen with a heavy academic workload.

“I was the big fish in a little pond at home, and things were much different at Alabama,” Nonnenberg said. “The standard is very high at Alabama, I had huge adjustments to make with swimming and I had to make a name for myself as far as training goes. If I wanted to get better, I had to work harder. This had to come from myself and it was all up to me.”

Nonnenberg made an almost immediate splash at the Southeastern Conference school while also acclimating herself to college life. Much like her career in high school, she started setting school records, establishing marks in the 200-yard individual medley in 1 minute, 58.12 seconds and the

400-yard individual medley in 4:09.03. She earned a spot on the SEC Academic Honor Roll, was named a CSCAA Scholar All-American and made the President’s List for the fall semester with a 4.0 grade-point-average.

“Every college kid goes through an adjustment period, too,” Nonnenberg said. “You get a little homesick and everything going on in your life has to do with swimming and schoolwork.

“I found a good balance.”

During the summer following her freshman year, Nonnenberg turned in a strong performance in the 400-meter IM at the Phillips 66 USA Long Course National Championships San Antonio, Texas. She led the race at the mid-way point and finished fifth with a time of 4:43.80.

Caitlin Leverenz, the 2012 Olympic medalist, won in a time of 4:38.81.

That performance elevated Nonnenberg’s enthusiasm heading into her sophomore season.

“My freshman year didn’t go exactly how I planned,” Nonnenberg said. “With all of the adjustments, that’s normal. But in the summer, I was on a mission. I got sick, but I still pulled it all together and had a good meet at nationals. I really wanted to keep that momentum going into my sophomore year, because a lot of times you hear about athletes having that sophomore slump.

“I wasn’t going to let that happen to me.”

It didn’t.

Focused on the 400-yard individual medley, Nonnenberg broke her school record with a time of 4:06.99 at the SEC Championships, while also qualifying for the NCAA Championship race where she placed 12th and earned honorable mention All-American honors.

Her signature swim came at the 2016 Atlanta Classic Swim Championships. Facing a field of past Olympic medal winners, Nonnenberg touched in 4:42.19 for fifth place. Elizabeth Beisel, the silver medal winner at the 2012 Olympic Games, won in 4:33.55. Maya DiRado, Stanford University, placed second in 4:36.98 and Katie Ledecky, an Olympic gold-medal winner in the 800 freestyle at the 2012 games, placed third in 4:37.93.

That put Nonnenberg on the fast track for the Olympic Trials.

“I have come a long way,” Nonnenberg said. “This is the highest most swimmers get, obviously with the exception of the Olympics. I am so thankful to have this opportunity. I see it as something I won’t take for granted.

“I have a lot of people to thank who have helped me reach this goal. My parents, my coaches at Alabama and my coaches at home, and all the people and teammates who have believed in me have really helped. They have all taught me to not sell myself short.”

Heading into her three-event meet, Nonnenberg is focused on Day 1 and the 400-meter IM.

She enters with the 13th-best time. DiRado (4:31.71), Beisel (4:31.99) and Leverenz (4:35.46) have the top three qualifying times. The top two finishers at the Trials make the Olympic team that will compete in Rio de Janeiro.

So, Nonnenberg has set her sights first on having a strong preliminary race that would advance her to the eight-person final. A top five finish would land her on the United States National Team.

“Going to the Olympic Trials, you never know,” Nonnenberg said. “Anything can happen. But realistically, this is a big country with great swimmers. It’s definitely going to take a whole lot to make the team. I just want to make the finals. If I can make it into the top eight anything can happen.

“Either way, I will know that I gave it my best shot.”

Contact the writer:

jbfawcett@timesshamrock.com @JobyFawcett26 on Twitter

U.S. OLYMPIC SWIM TRIALS

When: June 26-July 3.

Where: Omaha, Nebraska.

TV/Webcast schedule: The Trials will be shown exclusively across NBC networks and mobile platforms. Prelims will be LIVE daily at 11 a.m. Eastern Time on the NBC Sports app.

Day TV Time Event Network

June 26 6 p.m. Heats NBC Sports Net

8 p.m. Finals NBC

June 27 6:30 p.m. Heats NBC Sports Net

8 p.m. Finals NBC

June 28 7 p.m. Heats NBC Sports Net

8 p.m. Finals NBC

June 29 7 p.m. Heats NBC Sports Net

8 p.m. Finals NBC

June 30 6 p.m. Heats NBC Sports Net

8 p.m. Finals NBC

July 1 6 p.m. Heats NBC Sports Net

8 p.m. Finals NBC

July 2 5 p.m. Heats NBC Sports Net

8 p.m. Finals NBC Sports Net

July 3 7 p.m. Finals NBC

Source: www.usaswimming.org

BDA at Bucknell Day 1

Bailey Babarsky started out BDAs first session at Bucknell with a 23 second drop and 5th place on the BDA top 10 charts in her 1500 (1932.78) and 13 second drop going out in her 800 (1015.08) for a 6th place spot on the charts. Bailey’s swim was SWIM OF THE SESSION and she earned SWIMMER OF THE SESSION.

 40.52.  1532.66
40.11
40.94. 1653.71
40.74
40.93.  1815.38
39.30
38.10.  1932.78 5th all time bda

Peyton McNulty came alive throughout her swim going a 5 second best 800
(10:50.04) and 4 second drop in her 1500
(20.25.98)

Haley Thier had an outstanding warmup and finished with a triple best knocking 9 off her 400 (521.26), 14 off her 800 (1101.90) and a little off her 1500 (2107.85)