March 30, 2007
EAST MEADOW, N.Y. - Former Lady Vol Jacque Fessel won the 100m backstroke at the USA Spring Championships in East Meadow, N.Y., today. Fessel's personal-best 1:02.24 time qualified her for the 2008 Olympic Trials. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native also produced an Olympic Trial qualifying time in the 200m backstroke by earning a ninth-place 2:16.18 on Wednesday.
"Jacque took a big step forward both with the time and the win," Lady Vol Head Coach Matt Kredich said. "She has a lot more work to do, but she's putting herself in a position to be a serious contender for a spot on the team in 2008."
Fessel's 100m mark today was 1.38 seconds faster than the Olympic Trial qualifying time of 1:03.62 she swam in the preliminaries at the U.S. Open in West Lafayette, Ind., last December. The cutoff time is 1:04.59. The selection meet to determine the 2008 Olympic Team will be held in Omaha, Neb., starting June 29, 2008.
Fessel is the Lady Vol record-holder in the 100y and 200y backstroke and as part of the 200y medley relay team which tops the charts. Her 53.67 mark in the 100y backstroke and 200y medley relay time of 1:39.22 were achieved at the 2006 NCAA Championships, while her 1:55.53 time in the 200y back was at the 2004 Southeastern Conference Championships. The nine-time All-American graduated from UT in 2006 after leading the Lady Vols to a 12th-place finish (its highest since 1997) at the NCAA Championships her senior year.