Ledwith looking to qualify for Olympic swim trials
KEENE, N.H. 6/13/12 – Keene State College’s swim season might have ended several months ago, but Drew Ledwith continues to make waves in the pool.
The Keene, N.H. native, who returns for his third season swimming for the Owls next year, will be competing at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., this weekend with the hope of posting an Olympic Trials qualifying time in the 1,500-meter event. “I’m three seconds off, so I definitely think I can do it,” said Ledwith.
The 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials will be held June 25-July 2 in Omaha, Nebraska.
Ledwith prepared for the trials by attending the recently held U.S. Swimming Open Water Select Camp in Fort Myers, Fla. He was one of 24 swimmers (12 men and 12 women) who received an invitation to the camp, which brings together some of the best distance swimmers in the nation. “I think it helped me out,” said Ledwith. “I learned some training tips and techniques that I can use to my advantage next year.”
The camp gave Ledwith the opportunity to work with the USA national team coaching staff and to train with some of the best distance swimmers in the country. “A lot of swimmers at the camp have already qualified for the Olympic Trials, and Drew is just as good as they are,” said KSC coach Jack Fabian. “Drew hasn’t swum his best race, so he has a good chance to hit the trials qualifying mark of 15:53.59 in the 1,500.”
According to US Swimming, the camp offers “a unique motivational and educational experience. The National Open Water Camp is viewed as an integral step for athletes to move from the pool to open water, then to the international scene.”
Fabian got a glowing report on Ledwith’s progress from the staff at the camp. “They told me Drew distinguished himself in every training set held in the pool and in the ocean,” said Fabian.
Along with standing out in the training sessions, Drew also won both the 5K individual open-water competition and the 1.5K relay open-water race at the camp.
Ledwith has the distinction of being the first three-time All-America male swimmer at Keene State. He finished third in the 1,650-yard freestyle race as a freshman and placed fifth in the 5,000 and second in the 1,650 at last’s year’s NCAA championship.
Ironically, Ledwith’s roommate at the camp was Allan Weik from Denison (Ohio) University. Ledwith and Weik have competed at the NCAA championships the past two years. Weik, a sophomore on the two-time national Division III championship Denison team, broke his own national record to finish ahead of Ledwith in last year’s 1,650 race.
“It was interesting rooming with him at the beginning, but we became friends,” said Ledwith. “I’m looking forward to competing against him next year at nationals. Hopefully, I can get him next year.”