Duo Swim Nationals with Sport’s Elite

Daniela Moroz, Staff Writer

Freshman Ashleen O’Brien and junior Jolene Griffin competed in the AT&T 2015 USA Swimming Winter Nationals from December 2-5. The competition took place at Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Washington.

O’Brien and Griffin represented the local swim program Orinda Aquatics at the national event.

O’Brien swam the 100 yard butterfly, earning her best “unrested” time while Griffin competed in the 400 yard Individual Medley (IM) and the 100 yard butterfly.

While the primary purpose was to compete, O’Brien said she enjoyed the total experience, which included rubbing elbows with some of the sport’s superstars..

The Duke University’s women’s team and the University of California women’s team, including Olympic gold-medalist Missy Franklin and world-record-holder Natalie Coughlin were also in attendance.

“We were just hanging out on the deck and Michael Phelps walks by,” recalled O’Brien.

Griffin said he was excited to see Missy Franklin and Michael Phelps in person at the meet.