Team Santa Monica swimmer Andi Murez earned a trip to the 2008 U.S. Swimming Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska with qualifying times in both the 100-meter butterfly and freestyle events at the Janet Evans Invitational Saturday and Sunday, June 7th and 8th.

Murez is the first Team Santa Monica swimmer to qualify for the Olympic Trials in a number of years and is one of the few swimmers in the Los Angeles area to have earned that opportunity, coaches said.

She was among the elite swimmers who competed at the Janet Evans Invitational at the McDonalds Swim Stadium on the campus of USC, coaches said. In one of the last meets to qualify for the Olympic team selection meet, Murez, a rising senior at Venice High School, achieved qualifying times in the 100-meter butterfly (1:02.38) and the 100-meter freestyle (56.97).

Reaching the Olympic Trials was one of Murez’s goals since the beginning of the year. She undertook a rigorous training program that not only included up to ten water workouts per week, but also an equally demanding dry land program to keep her body in tune, coaches said.

Murez also sought out help to fine-tune her diet. All of the hard work came to fruition at her latest competition, coach Jon Carroll noted.

“She has undertaken a program similar to many of the elite athletes in our sport and it has paid off for her,” Carroll said.

“I could not be more happy for Andi and her family as they have been willing to make every sacrifice necessary to realize this goal.”

In addition to making the trials, Murez’s time in the 100-meter freestyle has put her on the path to making the National Junior Team, which will travel to Guam for a competition in January 2009.

The Olympic Trials in swimming are scheduled from Sunday through Sunday, June 29th through July 6th, at the Qwest Center in Omaha.

Team Santa Monica is a nonprofit swimming club that serves Santa Monica and its surrounding areas. The team trains daily at the Santa Monica Swim Center and the Culver City Plunge.

Information, www.teamsantamonica.org/.

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