Kansas senior Stephanie Payne and soon-to-be KU freshman Chelsie Miller swam to fast finishes on the first day of the 2012 U.S. Swimming Olympic Trials. The Pair were the first of five total past, current and future Jayhawk athletes to compete in the week-long event.
Payne, who completed her KU career at the Big 12 Championships in February, finished the 400 IM with a 4:56.46 time on Monday.
"Stephanie put together a very good race and her fly looked really good," thought KU head coach Clark Campbell. "She got caught up racing the person next to her instead of going for the time, but it was still a solid swim."
Payne's lifetime best performance in the event came last summer during Nationals, where she finished in 4:51.46. She still has one more race to swim as she will toe the blocks for the 200 fly on Thursday.
Not to be outdone by her soon-to-be KU counterpart, Topeka, Kan. native Chelsie Miller also competed in the 400 IM. The Washburn Rural graduate finished the event in 4:57.34.
"Chelsie has improved a lot in her backstroke and overall had a solid first swim of the meet, with two more still to go," Campbell explained.
Miller came to Omaha with the most trial times out of the KU crew as she will also be competing in the 200 IM and 200 breast.
"It is tough competing on the first day because it's a major ice breaker," Campbell thought. "It took a lot to get here and there are a lot of nerves going, but they did very well."
With the first day of competition now history, former KU swimmer Danielle Herrmann (2005-09) is next up on the trials schedule, as she will compete in the 100 meter breast on Tuesday.
"The advantage Danielle has is that she has done so many national meets of this caliber," Campbell said. "So she is very comfortable in this environment and is coming in here looking great."
Log onto kuathletics.com for complete coverage following the second day of competition at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha.