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Lolo Blair Swims to Personal Best in 200 Backstroke

Santa Barbara Swim Club's Karl Boscacci and Emro Williams also shine at Janet Evans meet.

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Lolo Blair may be bashful when it comes to photo opportunities but the Santa Barbara Swim Club star is out in front with her events at swim meets. (Santa Barbara Swim Club photo)

The Janet Evans Invitational kicked off Friday at USC with an American record by Natalie Caughlin of Cal Aquatics in the 200IM with a time of 2:09! Santa Barbara Swim Club National Team members Emro Williams and Lolo Blair followed suit with new best times in their morning swims. Williams, a Dos Pueblos freshman, blazed a 27.9 in the 50 free and Blair, a Santa Barbara High junior, ripped up her heat in the 400 free, dropping eight seconds to a 4:26 that earned her a spot in the finals.

Karl Boscacci, a Santa Barbara High sophomore, started the Saturday prelims with a 2:01 200 free. Blair then stepped up to the blocks determined to get another new best time, and she did just that with a 2:08. Later in the morning session came the 200 backstroke and she was out in a 1:10 in the first 100, good for about fourth place. But determined and feeling great, she began to advance on the field, taking the lead and winning her heat with her first Junior National time standard of 2:22.11! Just a few heats later, Boscacci got up for the 400 free and took down his best time by racing to a solid 4:15.

“For a practice group of 15 swimmers on a 200-member team, it is remarkable to have seven individuals reach the national and international level of the sport,” said head coach John Dussliere.

Click here for complete Santa Barbara Swim Club results from last weekend’s Janet Evans Invitational meet.

Dussliere, meanwhile, has been appointed to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Team USA coaching staff and will serve as a men’s assistant coach to the potentially 27-member — 26 pool, one open water — men’s Olympic team under USA head coach Eddie Reese. Once the pool swimming ends in Beijing, Dussliere will also serve as the USA Men’s Open Water Swimming coach. Open-water swimmer Mark Warkentin of the Santa Barbara Swim Club was the first to be named to the 2008 U.S. Olympic team. He’ll compete in the 10K marathon swimming event in Beijing, which marks the event’s first-ever appearance in Olympic competition.

“It is such an honor for me personally and professionally to have been appointed as a coach to the U.S. Olympic Team,” Dussliere said. “When I came to Santa Barbara in 2005, it was obvious to me that this community could support great swimming. Here we are two years later with a swimmer and a coach on the U.S. Olympic team, as well as six more young talents on the nationals scene. The greatest thing to me about the team is that high performance is only one of our goals, we have a place for anyone who can swim.”

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