DURHAM, N.H. – Amy Perrault (Kirkland Lake, Ontario), a swimmer for the University of New Hampshire women’s swimming and diving team was recently invited by Swimming Canada to participate in the Canadian Olympic trials this week at the Olympic Park Pool in Montreal, Quebec.

Perrault qualified for the trials with her impressive times in 100-meter backstroke and 200-meter backstroke in competition. However, the freshman sensation will not only participate in the backstroke at the trials, as she will also partake in the 100-meterfreestyle, 100-meter fly and the 200-meter individual medley.

She will begin Tuesday, April 1 when she swims the 100-meter butterfly. On Wednesday, April 2, Perrault will be timed in the 100-meter backstroke. After an off day on Thursday, she will be back in the pool with the 200-meter individual medley on Friday, April 4. Perrault will then swim the 100-meter freestyle on Saturday, April 5 and will conclude the week on Sunday, April 6 with the 200-meter backstroke.
Amy Perrault

For Perrault, this will be the second time in four years that she has been invited to the Canadian Olympic Trials. Her last time at the trials was back in 2004, when Perrault was attending Catholique Jean-Vanier, where she was the high school champion in the 100 back in 2005 and 200 IM champion in 2006.

“It was scary,” Perrault said of the Olympic Trials in 2004. “It was my first national meet and I was star struck. But now I have a lot more experience and I’m excited.”

Perrault will be the first Wildcat in program history to take part in the Canadian Olympic trials and also becomes only the second student-athlete to participate in any Olympic selection meet. The last Wildcat to represent UNH in the Olympic trials was New Hampshire native and breaststroke standout Kristen Zeimetz, who participated in the U.S. Olympic team trials back in 2000.

“It is a good opportunity,” Perrault said. “It is exciting to be part of something so big and so special. I’ve been looking forward to it.”

The Canadian Olympic trials take place every four years and showcase some of Canada’s most elite swimmers. This six-day event allows native swimmers to compete at the highest level in hopes of making the 2008 Canadian Olympic Team.

The honor comes at a perfect time for Perrault, as she caps off a fantastic freshman campaign in which she was a consistent contributor for the Wildcats throughout the season.

On Feb. 18 she helped propel New Hampshire to a third place finish at the America East Tournament as she was selected as Rookie of the Meet. In the event, Perrault earned a first place victory in the 100-yard backstroke (56.11) and earned second in the 200-yard backstroke, as she touched in at 2:03.67. She also finished third in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:06.34.

Her outstanding performance in the pool also sparked the America East conference to honor her with back-to-back America East Swimming Performer of the Week honors on both Oct. 24 and 30. During that span Perrault placed first in all events swam and led the Wildcats past America East preseason favorite UMBC, 156-142. In that meet, the freshman started off UNH's 200-yard medley relay, leading the relay team to a Swasey Pool record time of 1:47.21. Perrault went on to place first in the 100-yard backstroke (57.22) and the 200 back with a time of 2:07.44. She finished up the meet with a 200-yard individual medley victory, timing in at 2:08.19.

In the week prior, Perrault broke two pool records and finished first in all six events she swam to lead the Wildcats to a three-win weekend. She broke a Siena pool record in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 24.77 seconds in the first leg of UNH’s 200-yard freestyle relay versus Siena and Niagara. Perrault then broke another pool record in the first leg of the Wildcats’ 400-yard freestyle relay in the Wildcats’ meet at Wagner.

In addition, she had first-place finishes in the 100-yard freestyle (53.88) and the 200 free (1:57.07) on Oct. 20. She also placed first in the 500-yard freestyle (5:13.57) and the 200 free (1:56.98) to go along with a first-place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:43.01) on Oct. 21.

Led by Perrault’s stellar performances, the Wildcats downed all three teams they faced during that stretch as they defeated Siena University, 144-95, Niagara University, 139-78, and Wagner College, 160-101.
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