the best swimmers ever at UCI.
Lara, a 21-year-old freshman who grew up in Reykjavic, Iceland,
was named Big West Conference Co-Athlete of the Week after her
performance at the UC Irvine/Speedo Cup Invitational Dec. 5-7. She
broke her own school record in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of
1:52.47. In the 500-yard free, she broke teammate sophomore Alexis
Sheridan's record, finishing in 4:59.89.
Lara also broke the 200 individual medley record previously held
by another teammate, senior Sara Showalter, and broke her own record
again in the finals in 2:05.15. Lara also twice broke the record in
the 400 IM record set by Laurel Hooper in 1995 and lowered the mark
to 4:25.59. Lara also holds the record in the rarely competed 100 IM
"I'm happy with my results thus far," she said. "I've never really
(competed) in yards before. I've been getting used to that. It's
going great and getting better and better."
Lara also said she has been very pleased with her decision to
attend college in America and compete.
"I miss my family and my friends over there," she said. "But I
don't miss the weather. I like it more and more here. I really like
the weather here. In Iceland, it gets well below the 30s."
For Lara Bjargardottir, Iceland will always be a part of her.
After all, she represented her country in the 2000 Olympics in
Australia. She was 19 years young when she was in the Olympics, where
she finished 27th in the 200 free and 36th in the 100 free.
"It was amazing," she said of her Olympic experience. "It was like
nothing else I ever experienced. It was the greatest time I ever
It's also been that experience that has helped in her quest to
qualify for the NCAA Championships. UCI Coach Brian Pajer says the
freshman swimmer is on course to qualifying and that she has been
having a great season, to say the least.
"She's a determined young lady," Pajer said. "She also fits in
really well on the team. Everybody likes her. She has something in
common with the rest of the swimmers because they all love to just