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Incoming Mustang Houck in Top 25 at Olympic Trials; Speak Also Swims

Incoming Mustang Houck in Top 25 at Olympic Trials; Speak Also Swims

OMAHA, Neb. — Hailey Houck, who will join the Cal Poly swimming program as a true freshman next season, posted a top-25 finish Sunday at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, and Sage Speak, set to be a junior in 2016-17 for the Mustangs, also improved upon her seeding Monday as the duo opened competition at the CenturyLink Center.

Houck, a recent graduate of Nevada state champion Palo Verde High School in Las Vegas and a member of the Sandpipers Club, won Heat 1 of the women's 400-meter individual medley from Lane 8, posting a time of 4 minutes, 50.41 seconds.

Her time finished 25th overall — 8.37 seconds back of qualifying for the finals.

Houck closed strongly; after her first 50 meters, her fastest splits (32.73 and 32.13 seconds) came on her final two turns. In taking 0.24 seconds off her previous career-best performance, she jumped 30 spots up from her No. 55 seed coming into the meet.

Sarah Henry, the 2015 NCAA national champion while at Texas A&M, posted the prelims' top time, 4:36.93, edging the 4:37.61 from 2012's Olympic silver medalist, Elizabeth Beisel. Then in the final, Stanford's Maya DiRado clinched her first Team USA berth while winning by more than a three-second gap at 4:33.73.  

Houck will be back in the water at 8:19 a.m. PDT (10:19 in Nebraska) Wednesday for the 200-meter butterfly (in which she's ranked 85th in the country, at 2:14.59), before returning Friday for her third event, the 800 freestyle (as the No. 60 seed, via 8:47.23) at 8:25 a.m. Pacific (10:25 Central).

Speak also rose up 32 spots from her ranking in the 100-meter breaststroke, finishing in 91st place overall at 1:12.24 in the opening heat. Her splits in Lane 4 were 34.05 and 38.19.

Lilly King, who this past college season won a pair of national championships as a freshman at Indiana to earn the coaches association's National Swimmer of the Year honor, had the morning's top time: 1:06.45.  

Speak, a three-time TURBO/Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Swimmer of the Week as a sophomore, also still has another race scheduled: the 200 breast (in which she's the 80th entrant, at 2:33.51), at 9:06 a.m. West Coast time Thursday (11:06 local).

All events are shown live on the NBC Sports Extra app., later broadcast again from 3 to 5 p.m. PDT on NBCSN. Finals air on NBC each evening.

Rio de Janeiro will host the Olympics from Aug. 5-21. Team USA's rosters will be comprised of up to 26 individuals selected on each side, with several planned to swim in multiple events and relays.

In addition to Speak and Houck, Mustang alumnus Jimmy Deiparine, who recently became the all-time Filipino record-holder for the 100m breast (at 1:02.08), is aiming to represent the Philippines by qualifying through the FINA-sanctioned Scotland Open Championships on July 3.