Swimmer competes in Olympic trials

Steve Yemm swims the fly

Competing in the Olympic trials “was mind-blowing,” Steve Yemm says.

UIC alumnus Steve Yemm competed in the U.S. Olympic Swimming and Diving Trials June 25 to July 2 in Omaha, Neb., missing the semifinals by just .32 seconds.

Yemm, who graduated in 2011, placed 25th in the 100-meter butterfly.

“The whole thing was mind-blowing,” Yemm said. “I knew I could go out in the first 50 meters fast enough to be in the top 16 so it all depended on how fast I could bring it back. That was just about as fast as I could go.”

Yemm competed among the world’s top swimmers. Michael Phelps, a 14-time Olympic gold medalist, claimed victory in the 100 and 200 fly.

“It was amazing to be around swimmers that I look up to,” Yemm said. “My warmup area was right next to Michael Phelps so I could hear him strategize with his coaches and talk about the races. It was a really great experience.”

“Steve worked really hard for this goal and I’m proud of the success he has achieved,” UIC head coach Paul Moniak said.  “To compete against the very best is one of the goals of our program and Steve has certainly elevated UIC’s competitive level.”

Yemm holds three individual UIC records and three relay records: the 100-yard fly (47.65), 200 fly (1:45.18), 100 back (49.05), 400 free relay (2:57.04), 200 medley relay (1:28.90) and the 400 medley relay (3:14.68).  His 100 and 200 fly times, as well as 400 free and 400 medley relay marks, are Horizon League records.