June 13, 2012
BALTIMORE - Loyola University Maryland swimmer Joe Wise will look to qualify for the 2012 Paralympic Games on Thursday, when he opens competition at the U.S. Paralympics Swimming Trials in Bismarck, N.D.
Wise, a member of the 2012 U.S. Paralympics Swimming National Team, will join the top U.S. athletes with a physical disability from around the country at the Bismarck State College Aquatic & Wellness Center for the three-day meet June 14-16. The competition is the sole selection event for swimming athletes to qualify for the 2012 Paralympic Games that will be held in London, England from August 29-September 9.
A member of the 2008 U.S. Paralympic Team that competed in Beijing, China, Wise will compete in the 400-meter freestyle and 100-meter breaststroke on Thursday and the 50-meter freestyle and 100-meter butterfly on Friday. He will conclude competition on Saturday with the 200-meter IM and 100-meter freestyle. All three days of competition feature morning preliminaries beginning at 9 a.m., followed by evening finals at 5 p.m.
The native of Menlo Park, Calif., holds 16 American Paralympic Records, in addition to two relay records. Since joining the Greyhounds this past fall, Wise has broken the American Records for the S10 200-meter butterfly (2:29.25) and the short course SB9 50-meter breastroke (38.57) and SB9 100-meter breaststroke (1:21.91).
In addition, Loyola head swimming and diving coach Brian Loeffler is also at the Trials, as he has been training Paralympic swimmers for the past several years, including Brad Synder - a U.S. Navy veteran that lost his sight in an IED attack in Afghanistan in September 2011. A link to a story and video that MSNBC has done on Snyder can be found by clicking the links.
The 14 men and 20 women that will represent the United States at the Games will be announced on Sunday, as will the coaching staff that will travel to London with the team.