Sept. 6, 2002
Team USA's upward climb will face a steep challenge among the Alps when the United States National Team ventures to the 10th FINA World Cup, Sept. 12-15 in Zurich.
The United States is in the hunt for a medal following a stellar fourth-place sweep of the solo, duet and team events at the 2001 World Championships, the latest improvement in a steady string dating to the 1999 World Cup.
With a perfect mix of experience and youth, Team USA enters the world's elite event of 2002 with high expectations.
"We were at a turning point last summer, and the athletes responded very well. The talk around the pool was that the USA was back to form," coach Chris Carver said. "A strong showing at this event less than two years before the Olympic Games will give us a great read on how far we've come and how far we have to go before Athens."
The 12 team members average 23 years old with more than 14 years competition experience and six National Team appointments.
Leading the way is two-time Olympian Anna Kozlova. Kozlova, 29, will Team USA in solo, and will pair up with Alison Bartosik in duet. The Kozlova-Bartosik pair is now the seventh different duet to represent the United States in the past seven major events.
For Bartosik, winning the Swiss Open duet event in July gives her a good vibe as she prepares to return to the high altitude environment for the World Cup.
"Since returning home from the Swiss Open in July, we have watched and analyzed many synchro videos," Bartosik said. "We studied ourselves and our competition. We have made some changes and are continuing to strive for perfection."
Team USA took a new twist on training in '02. All three teams trained at altitude at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center, utilizing the facility's aquatic center, sport science and sport medicine resources to study and perfect training techniques.
Returnees from the 2001 World Championships Team include Bartosik, Tammy Crow, Becky Jasontek, Kozlova, Lauren McFall, Katie Norris, Gina Pietras and Kendra Zanotto.
New to Team I are Stephanie Nesbitt and Sara Lowe, two up-and-comers who swam with the U.S. Junior National Team in 2001 and 2002. Also re-joining Team I after a 12-year layoff is 1989 World Cup Solo, Duet, Team and Figures Champion Tracy Long.
2002 U.S. National Team I
Name Height Age Experience Appts. Hometown Club Alison Bartosik 5' 8" 19 11 5 Santa Clara, Calif. Santa Clara Tammy Crow 5' 3" 25 18 6 St. Louis, Mo. Santa Clara Erin Dobratz 5' 6" 19 11 6 Clayton, Calif. Stanford Becky Jasontek 5' 4" 27 20 12 Loveland, Ohio Walnut Creek Anna Kozlova 5' 10" 29 19 3* St. Petersburg, Russia Santa Clara Tracy Long 5' 4" 34 16 7 Richmond, Va. Walnut Creek Sara Lowe 5' 6" 18 8 3 Desoto, Texas Santa Clara Lauren McFall 5' 9" 22 12 6 Sunnyvale, Calif. Santa Clara Stephanie Nesbitt 5' 4" 16 9 3 Riverside, Calif. Riverside Katie Norris 5' 5" 20 9 5 Tallahassee, Fla. Stanford Gina Pietras 5' 8" 26 20 7 Tacoma, Wash. Walnut Creek Kendra Zanotto 5' 3" 20 10 5 Los Gatos, Calif. Santa Clara
Head Coach - Chris Carver; Asst. Coach - Michelle Costanza; Manager - Nancy Hines