A for Athlete


University of Nebraska junior Mariah Hutchinson qualified for USA Swimming Trials in 2008 in both the 100 and 200 butterfly races with her performances at the June 21 and 22, 2008, Columbia (Mo.) Swim Club Summer Invitational. The junior from Topeka, Kan., swam the 200 butterfly in 2:16.16 and qualified in the 100 fly by swimming 1:02.29 in a time trial. She joins teammate Justine Mueller at the Trials.

A five-time Olympic medalist (three gold, two silver) in the 1984 and 1992 Games, Pablo Morales has been the women's coach at the University of Nebraska for seven seasons. Two of his swimmers — junior Mariah Hutchinson and NU graduate Lauren Bailey — are competing in the Trials.

Keith Moore was an assistant men's swimming coach at the University of Nebraska for 14 years before the program was dropped in 2001. Before that happened, Moore was one of the top contenders to succeed head coach Cal Bentz when he retired. Moore now is the head coach of the Bakersfield Swim Club, and he has three athletes participating in the Trials, including 28-year-old Pan-American Games silver medalist Gabe Woodward.

David Anderson is a former Nebraska men's assistant who has gone on to a successful club coaching career. Anderson leads the Schroeder YMCA Swim Team in Brown Deer, Wis., a northern suburb of Milwaukee, and his prize pupil is native Nebraskan and former University of Wisconsin star Adam Mania.

Only two Nebraskans have ever participated in the Olympic Games in swimming — Scott Usher and Renee Magee. Usher finished seventh at the 2004 Olympics in Athens in the 200 breaststroke.

Magee helped lead Bellevue High School to the Nebraska girls state high school team title in 1974 by winning the 100-yard backstroke and 200 individual medley. She started swimming when she was 7 with the Westside Swim Club and coach Cal Bentz.

Then in 1972, Magee began competing for Jack Jackson's Bellevue Swim Club. In 1975 Magee's father, who worked at Offutt Air Force Base, was transferred to Houston, but she stayed in Omaha and lived with Jackson and his family. But being away from her family proved to be too much and was affecting her training.

Magee then moved to Houston and began training with Dad's Swim Club in Houston. Magee finished third in Long Beach at the 1976 Trials in the 100-meter backstroke — it wasn't until 1984 that the number of qualifiers was reduced to two — and she just missed making the semifinals at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal by 0.01 seconds competing against East German swimmers who decades later admitted to extensive drug use.

Both Midwestern Swimming — the local governing body for USA Swimming in Nebraska and western Iowa — and the state of Texas claim Magee as their first female Olympic swimmer. Magee is now an assistant district attorney in Houston, is married and has one son.