Top Laguna Swimmer Qualifies for Olympic Trials

Andrea Riegel in a 2009 200-meter relay.

Former Laguna Beach High standout Andrea Reigel will travel to Omaha next month to compete in the U.S. Olympic swimming trials. Reigel, a college senior, qualified for the 100 and 200 backstroke and the 200 individual medley as a member of the UCLA Bruins. “It’s always been a goal, but I never thought it would actually happen,” she said. “When I found out that I actually had a time, it was pretty amazing.”

With three individual and three relay records on the books, Reigel is hands down the best female swimmer to come out of LBHS. She anchored the 2009 CIF record-breaking 200 freestyle relay team that also featured 2012 Olympic water polo player Annika Dries.

In three years at UCLA, she has lowered her 200 IM time by nearly seven seconds and her 100 back by more than three seconds. “She’s really grown leaps in bounds at UCLA,” said her mother Kristine.

Swimming has consumed two thirds of Reigel’s life. “It’s like a full time job or a relationship,” she said laughing. But she has enjoyed every minute of it. “I couldn’t even image what my life would be like without swimming.”

Going up against the “biggest names in swimming” at the trials, Reigel knows her times aren’t good enough to land her in the top two and earn her a trip to London, but she is looking forward to the experience. “I really want to just have no regrets and see what I can do,” she said.

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