Jan. 17, 2003
Anna Kozlova's threepeat of Olympic berths seems well under control after teaming with partner Alison Bartosik for the top preliminary score of 96.001 on Friday at the 2003 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Synchronized Swimming Duet. The Santa Clara, Calif. pair, swimming a Spanish-themed technical routine in honor of the upcoming World Championships in Barcelona, scored a 95.834 on Friday night to maintain the lead. The pair competed in the Duet Free Routine Preliminary earlier in the day, scoring a 96.167 for a three-point lead over Sara Lowe and Stephanie Nesbitt at 93.000.
"We had a good swim today, but we always know we can do better," Bartosik said. "Anna and I have our sights set on winning a medal in the Olympics. This is the first step to making that dream come true."
Kozlova, 30, and Bartosik, 19, are considered a heavy favorite after finishing fourth in the 2002 World Cup in Zurich, Switzerland. Kozlova also finished fourth in the 1992 Olympic duet event with Russia, and fourth in duet at the 2000 Olympics for the United States.
The winner of Saturday's 5 p.m. final competition will be named the first two U.S. athletes selected for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Lowe, 18, and Nesbitt, 17, who scored bronze in duet at the 2002 Junior World Championships, earned the day's second-best composite preliminary mark of 92.917. In third is the Santa Clara pair of Janet and Jennie Culp from Littleton, Colo. at 88.688.
Technical routines are weighted to 50 percent and combined with 50 percent of Friday's preliminary free routine to determine the eight finalists in each event. In the final, the 50 percent free prelim score is replaced with 50 percent of the final free routine score.
The Trials are exactly 573 days before the Opening Ceremonies of the 2004 Olympic Games. The early date is necessary to prepare the team to compete in three major international events prior to the Games - the 2003 FINA World Championships, 2003 Pan American Games, and 2004 Olympic Qualifying Open. Duet competition concludes at 5 p.m. Saturday. Trials tickets are available at the door for $10 for adults, $7.50 for children and seniors, or by calling at 800-325-6165 x4444. For more information, contact Brian Eaton, USSS Media Relations Director, at 317-414-7962.
2003 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Synchronized Swimming Duet Preliminary Composite Scores (50% tech. routine, 50% free prelim routine, determines seeding for finals) 1, Alison Bartosik, Anna Kozlova, Santa Clara, 96.001. 2, Sara Lowe, Stephanie Nesbitt, Unaffiliated, 92.917. 3, Janet Culp, Jennie Culp, Santa Clara, 88.668. 4, Annabelle Orme, Kim Probst, Walnut Creek, 88.084. 5, Rachel Rife, Rebekah Rife, Walnut Creek, 83.918. 6, Lacey Brooten, Sally Winchester, Univ. of Washington, 82.501.