The Search For Future U.S. Olympians

  • By Erin Beresini
  • Published Nov 6, 2012
  • Updated Oct 31, 2014 at 4:40 PM UTC

The Recruits

Attention collegiate runners and swimmers: Olympian Barb Lindquist is looking for you! Since launching USAT’s Collegiate Recruitment Program in 2009, Lindquist has discovered and developed several U.S. stars including 2012 Olympian Gwen Jorgensen, Kaitlin Shiver, Kaleb VanOrt and Jason Pedersen.

Lindquist typically finds athletes through her relationships with NCAA coaches at Division I schools. Jorgensen, for example, was a swimmer and runner at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“The swim coaches know which athletes thrive on dry-land run training,” Lindquist says, and the run coaches know who’s been counting laps while injured. Athletes from smaller schools need not worry, however; if you meet USAT’s ‘A’ standard in your primary sport and ‘B’ standard in the other sport (see chart below), you’ll be sure to catch Lindquist’s eye.

As a bona fide recruit, you’ll be entitled to the benefits of entering USAT’s collegiate Olympic pipeline, which include Lindquist’s guidance and that of a local coach, the opportunity to attend a yearly training camp at the Olympic Training Center, and help with scoring gear from USAT’s corporate sponsors.

The average age of Lindquist’s collegiate recruits is 22 to 23, since they typically enter Lindquist’s program after completing collegiate eligibility. But for older triathletes whose college days are long gone, Lindquist is living proof that Olympic dreams have no age limit.

“I didn’t start triathlons until I was 24 and out of shape from my swimming days at Stanford, turned pro at 26, and made our 2004 Olympic team at 35,” she says. “There is time in triathlon to do it right even if you are a bit older.”

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