9/29/2017 LSU vs. Tulane and Loyola swim meet

LSU sophomore Matthew Klotz starts off the means 200 yard backstroke race strong during the Tigers’ swimming and diving meet against Loyola and Tulane on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017, at the LSU Natatorium.

Five members of the LSU swim and dive team have qualified for this year’s Team USA Olympic trials at the CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska, this June — seniors Matthew Klotz, Helen Grossman and Nicole Rozier; junior Cassie Kalisz; and freshman Brooks Curry.

Klotz and Kalisz will lead as veterans where Grossman, Rozier and Curry are competing for the first time.

“The coaches knew this has been a goal of mine forever, and they gave me a lot of support,” Grossman said. “They had confidence in me so it made it so much easier to have confidence in myself.”

The US is the powerhouse of the world in swimming, winning a total of 462 international titles. This is over twice as many titles as the second best in the world, Germany.

“I’m so excited to have qualified for the U.S. Olympic trials,” Rozier said. “Since I was 7-years-old, and I first started swimming, it was my goal to eventually make trials, so I pushed myself this summer so I’d be able to qualify before I graduate.”

Klotz will compete in the 50-meter freestyle, 100-meterback stroke and 200-meter bacstroke, Kalisz in the 200-meter backstroke, Grossman in the 100-meter butterfly, Rozier in the 200-meter individual medley, and Brooks in the 100-meter freestyle.

There are still opportunities to qualify for the 2020 trials and other Tigers have their sights set on qualifying. Kalisz is close to qualifying in the 100-meter backstroke as well and hopes to shave a few seconds off her time this season.

“I’m really excited to have qualified this past summer because I didn’t really have high expectations for myself following a kind of disappointing collegiate season,” Kalisz said. “LSU and the coaches have been huge on getting me back on my feet and back into a winning mindset.”

The coaches are very supportive of their athletes and support them in all of their swimming goals, not just in the collegiate season but internationally as well.

“My two sprint coaches Lyle Robelot and Steve Mellor has been very invested and passionate towards my training these past years, and we know what my strengths and weaknesses are,” Klotz said. “Using that to my advantage, we’re able to know what works for me and what doesn’t training wise going into a year of preparation for trials.”

The Tigers are looking forward to training hard this Olympic year and are ready to cheer each other on in both the collegiate season and the international circuit.

The LSU swim and dive team’s season starts this weekend with the annual intersquad meet.

“My team and my coaches pushed me beyond my limits, and I hope more of my teammates get to join me in Omaha.” Kalisz said.

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