DURBAN, South Africa – Whitworth swimming star Rory Buck and Pirate head coach Steve Schadt are in South Africa this week to prepare for the final steps of achieving Buck's dream of making the 2012 London Olympics.
Buck will compete in the 100-meter and 200-meter breaststroke events at next week's South African National Aquatics Championships, which serve as the country's Olympic Trials for swimming.
And Buck's dream is not out of the realm of possibility. He goes into the meet seeded third in both distances.
In order to qualify for the 2012 Olympics, Buck will have to finish among the top two in his event and reach the automatic Olympic Qualifying mark in that event. His lifetime best time is just under two seconds off of the Olympic "A" cut in the 100 and just under five seconds off in the 200.
Schadt is optimistic that Buck has a shot at his dream of qualifying for the Olympics.
"Rory's training has gone well the last couple of weeks," Schadt said. "Rory has some substantial time to drop to make his Olympic team, but he's made big time drops before so it's doable. I think we both feel like he can swim a good bit better than he did a few weeks ago at the NCAA championships."
Buck is the two-time NCAA Division III champion in both the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke events. He holds the NCAA Division III record in the 200-yard distance.
Last year Buck competed at the South African Nationals and finished second in the 200 and third in the 100-meter breaststrokes.
The competition at this year's meet will be fierce. He will race against former Olympians Cameron Vander Burgh, Neil Versfeld, and Terrin Parkin, as well as University of Michigan standout Kyle Duckit.
Buck will compete in the prelims and semifinals of the 100 breaststroke on Monday, April 16th with the finals to be held on the 17th. Buck will not race on the 18th. Prelims and semifinals of the 200 breaststroke will be on Thursday, April 19th with finals to be held on the 20th.
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