Mavericks’ Hernandez struggles in Olympic trials

Alejandro Hernandez’s Olympic swimming dreams have been dashed — for now.

The Colorado Mesa University senior and Caracas, Venezuela, native competed in the Venezuelan Olympic Time Trials a couple of weeks ago, but it didn’t go as he hoped.

“It was a different setup,” Hernandez said. “I was nervous. I hope that’s what happened. It made me feel like a rookie.”

He was the first alternate to the championship finals in the 400-yard individual medley and placed seventh in the 200 butterfly.

Although he missed making the Olympic team this time, there will be more opportunities in 2012. Each country has until the end of May to choose its Olympic team.

Hernandez said there is another time trial in Venezuela in May.

“It depends on how training goes,” Hernandez said. “I’ll probably go. I have a ticket to go home in the spring.”

For now, Hernandez is turning his focus back on the rest of the Colorado Mesa season.

The Mavericks are swimming in the UNLV Winter Invitational this weekend in Las Vegas.

Mesa has its last home meet of the season at 10 a.m. Jan. 14 at El Pomar Natatorium.

Hernandez has the sixth-best time in the 200 butterfly in the RMAC (1:58.01) and the third-best time in the 400 IM (4:09.95).

Sunday in the UNLV Winter invitational, Hernandez placed second in the men’s 400 individual medley, touching the wall in 4 minutes. 3.71 seconds, cutting more than five seconds off his time in the preliminary heat.

Brock Martin won the 1-meter diving with 277.20 points and was second in the 3-meter diving with 262.75 points.

Ryan Dake was 10th in the 400 IM (4:16.38). Robert Eisendrath placed third in the men’s 100 backstroke (52.14) and Austin Detra was sixth (1:44.61), Kent Stavrakas 10th (1:47.12) and Jordan Heggen 11th (1:47.49) in the men’s 200 freestyle. Stavrakas placed 12th in the 100 butterfly (51.98) and Brian Lee placed 11th in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.63).

The men’s 200 medley relay team of Eisendrath, Lee, Stavrakas and Justin White placed fourth (1:34.60), the Mavs’ ‘A’ 800 free relay team of Eisendrath, Stavrakas, Detra and Heggen placed sixth (7:12.55) and the ‘B’ team of Taylor Adams, Hernandez, Cole Kimble and Ryan Dake finished seventh (7:17.08). The men are fourth in the team standings with 141 points.

In the women’s meet, Jaclyn McMillen placed fifth in the 100 backstroke (57.80), Kelly Hogan was 11th in the 200 free (1:55.84) and the 800 free relay team of Hogan, Briana Purkapile, Gina Panacci and McMillen placed eighth (7:52.27).

The three-day meet concludes today with 12 more event finals.


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