Oct. 11, 2011
This weekend the Golden Gophers will be well represented at the Pan American games in Guadalajara, Mexico. Minnesota's men's and women's head swimming coach Kelly Kremer will represent Team USA as one of three assistant coaches on the women's staff, while Golden Gopher captains Haley Spencer and Ashley Steenvoorden were selected by the United States Olympic Committee to represent the United States for the first time in their respective careers.
Steenvoorden and Spencer both earned their spots on the roster with impressive performances at the ConocoPhillips National Championships in August. Steenvoorden won the 400 freestyle (4:07.63) and added a fifth-place finish in the 800 free (8:36.83). Spencer finished second by .03 seconds in the 200 breaststroke (2:27.09) after finishing sixth in the 100 breast (1:08.64).
"We are so excited," Steenvoorden said. "This will be our first international meet, and just getting all of our gear has been very exciting."
Steenvoorden will be competing in the 400 freestyle and Spencer will be swimming the 200 breaststroke.
The Pan Am Games represent the second-largest multi-sport event after the Summer Olympics. Some 6,000 athletes from 42 countries in the Americas will compete in 36 different sports, including all the Olympic sports. The Pan Am Games take place every four years, and always the year before the Summer Olympics. This is the second-consecutive time the Gopher program will have representatives at the Pan American games, the last took place in 2007 in Rio de Janeiro.
Gopher fans can follow Steenvoorden and Spencer at usaswimming.org.