Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Jasontek eyes Olympics

Synchronized swimmer, 27, will make one last try

By Neil Schmidt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Becky Jasontek, 27, is nearly three years past her "last hurrah." And just a year from what could be Olympic glory.

The synchronized swimmer from Loveland, who planned to retire after the 2000 national championships, had a change of heart while in Sydney as an alternate for the U.S. Olympic team. Rededicated to her training, Jasontek now ranks No.1 in the lengthy Olympic Trials process.

"I decided to put myself full-throttle into it, and the results I'm pretty happy with now," she said.

In evaluations last weekend in Federal Way, Wash., Jasontek had the top composite score among 13 swimmers named to the 2003 World Championships and Olympic Games Training Squad. Her score will count as 40 percent in the overall Trials, with the other 60 percent determined during separate evaluations.

Cuts will be made to 10 swimmers, and that group will compete in the World Championships in Barcelona, Spain, in July and the Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in August. In May 2004, the group is cut to nine Olympians.

Jasontek, a Mount Notre Dame grad who has competed for 20 years, is a veteran of 12 U.S. national teams. She was in line for the 2000 Games until a ruptured ovarian cyst interrupted her training and left her an alternate.

She had called the 2000 nationals her "last hurrah."

"Then the whole experience in Sydney was so amazing, I decided I could stick it out another four years," she said.

Jasontek lives in Santa Clara, Calif., training with U.S. Olympic coach Chris Carver.

"She is performing now better than ever," national team director Lanai Vaz DeNegri said. "She rose to the challenge this weekend."

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