Otto placed ninth in the 200 fly at the 2012 Olympic Team Trials (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Rising sophomore Courtney Otto created a buzz in the swimming world this past week with her ninth-place performance in the 200 fly at the 2012 Olympic Team Trials as 12 current, future and former members of the Harvard women’s swimming team competed for a spot at the London Olympic Games.
Otto competed in a total of three events during the eight-day meet and placed in the top 30 in all three. Otto, the reigning Ivy League Champion in the 400 IM, began the meet on Monday in the same event and took 28th in a time of 4:51.05. On Wednesday she competed in the 200 IM and placed 22nd, narrowly missing the cut for the semifinals. The top 16 finishers from the preliminary round moved on the semis, and her time of 2:16.67 put her less than one second behind the pack.
Otto’s big breakthrough came on Thursday as she not only qualified for the 200 fly semis, but was just edged out for a place in the finals. Otto entered the race seeded 48th out of 135 competitors before winning her preliminary heat with a personal-best time of 2:12.22, the 11th fastest prelim time overall. In the semis, Otto again posted a personal best with a time of 2:11.35, but this time fell just short as she was beat out for the eighth spot in the finals by 0.35 seconds.
Otto’s performance in the 200 fly marked the second-best finish by a Harvard student-athlete at the Olympic Trials under Stephanie Wriede Morawski, the Costin Family Head Coach for Harvard Women's Swimming & Diving, behind only Noelle Bassi’s ’07 sixth-place finish in the 200 fly in 2004.
Not the be outdone, 2011 grad Kate Mills joined Otto in the 200 fly semis after turning in the eighth-fastest prelim time of 2:22.68. Mills finished 13th overall in the semis, clocking in at 2:12.11. She began her meet on Monday in the 100 fly, placing 35th in 1:00.50.
Also competing in Omaha for the Crimson were current team members Kelsey Hojan-Clark, Mackenzie Luick, Faith Martin and Danielle Schulkin, incoming freshmen Kendall Crawford, Connie Hsu and Margaret Ramsey, and 2012 graduates Meghan Leddy, Hilary Roberts and Catherine Zagroba.
To view the complete results, click here.