With fewer than eight weeks to go until the U.S. Olympic swimming trials, Rachel Bootsma's journey takes on added significance. Here's a look at how she's done in major meets this spring, as well as what she has planned for her final Olympic trials tuneup.
Jan. 13-15, Austin (Tex.) Grand Prix: Opened 2012 with a meet in the Grand Prix series, which draws many of the world's top swimmers -- including several Olympic medalists. Finished second in the 100-meter backstroke, her signature event, behind 2011 U.S. champion Missy Franklin.
Feb. 10-12, Missouri Grand Prix: Won the 100 back over multiple Olympic medalist Laure Manaudou of France and 2008 Olympian Julia Wilkinson of Canada. Also sixth in the 200 individual medley and 100 freestyle.
March 20-24, National Club Swimming Association junior national championships, Orlando: Won gold medals in the 100-yard freestyle, 50 and 100 backstroke, 100 butterfly and three relays; placed second in 50 and 200 fly, 200 IM and two relays; third in 50 free and fourth in 200 free.
May 10-13, Charlotte (N.C.) UltraSwim Grand Prix: In her last meet before the Olympic trials, Bootsma is entered in nine events. She is the No. 2 seed in the 50-meter backstroke and the No. 3 seed in the 100 back, between 2004 and 2008 Olympic gold medalist Natalie Coughlin and world record holder Gemma Spofforth of Great Britain. Bootsma also will swim in the 50-, 100- and 200-meter freestyles, the 50, 100 and 200 butterfly and the 200 individual medley.
June 25-July 2: Olympic trials, Omaha