Chapman University’s Ariana Kukors ’12, business administration, captured a spot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic swim team Thursday night with a second-place finish in the 200 individual medley final at the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials in Omaha, Neb.
Kukors pulled ahead in the third leg of the four-leg medley race and finished with a 2:11.30 time. She battled pre-race nerves and jitters, but counted on family support to help her rally in the event that was her ticket to the London games. In a Seattle Times interview Kukors said, “The last 24 hours have been the most painful 24 hours of my life. I was an absolute nervous wreck. My family, they’re my absolute rocks.”
And in an ESPN interview Kukors and her family describe the sisterly solidarity that has helped buoy the swimming family. All three of the Kukors sisters are competitive swimmers and have been known to call themselves “Team Kukors.”
Kukors currently holds the world record in the 200 individual medley (long course) and has won seven medals in major international competition, two golds, three silvers, and two bronze spanning the World and the Pan Pacific Championships.
Chapman student Katie Hoff ‘14, the 2008 silver medalist in the 400 freestyle and the bronze medalist in 400 individual medley, has been struggling with a stomach virus during the trials. She did not qualify in her preferred 200 or 400 events, but she may yet try to qualify for London as an entry in Saturday’s preliminaries for the 800 freestyle.
Watch Kukors’ Thursday night race at NBC Olympics.