Aug. 2, 2011
Golden Gopher swimmer Ashley Steenvoorden won her first national title on Tuesday at the ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships in Palo Alto, Calif. She won the 400-meter freestyle in a personal-best time of 4 minutes, 7.63 seconds--a time fast enough to earn her a spot on the U.S. roster for the Pan American Games in October.
Steenvoorden was seeded first going into the final after posting a time of 4:09.16 in the preliminary heats. In the final, she had the lead by the 250-meter mark and kept it until the end. Steenvoorden beat out several swimmers who competed in last week's FINA World Championships, including second-place finisher Chloe Sutton (who was ninth in the event at worlds), followed by Elizabeth Beisel and Allison Schmitt.
Other 400 free competitors with Gopher ties were Kiera Janzen (t-43rd), Lauren Weis (51st), Kristen Steenvoorden (55th), Hannah Whitehead (80th), and Loren Brandon (119th). Those competing in other events included: Annalise Colton (87th) and Tori Simenec (t-147th) in the 100 butterfly, and Haley Spencer (80th) and Molly Belk (147th) in the 200 individual medley.