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Douglas High grad Maynor set to go to Olympic trial for swimming

Chuck Smock

Whether it’s academics or athletics, Jeff Maynor knows that hard work is the only sure route to success.

Four years ago, Maynor left Douglas High for Louisiana State University following a senior swimming season that included his second consecutive state championship in the 100 butterfly.

He headed for Baton Rouge after posting a perfect 4.0 grade-point average in high school and having tested out of 20 college credit hours by taking advanced-placement classes.

Maynor’s dedication in the classroom continued in college. He graduated this spring from LSU with a degree in chemical engineering and a minor in chemistry.

His advancements in the pool continued as well.

In four years at LSU, Maynor has improved his time in the 100 butterfly by more than three seconds and has dropped more than 12 seconds in the 200 butterfly.

Maynor has qualified to swim the 100 butterfly at the U.S. Olympic Trails, scheduled for Aug. 9-16 at the Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis.

“This year, I’m going for the experience and not really expecting too much,” Maynor said. “I think if I can keep improving over the next four years like I have the last four I should have a decent shot at it (making the Olympic team) in 2004.”

Lars Jorgensen, an assistant coach for the men’s and women’s swimming teams at LSU, agrees.

“Jeff works extremely hard and he’s very smart,” Jorgensen said in a telephone interview Monday. “He thinks a lot about his swimming and he has a great understanding of what he needs to do to get better.

“He’s improved a ton since he got here and I think he’s just going to keep getting better. I think in four years he’s going to be a lot better.”

This fall, Maynor will start work toward a master’s degree in environmental engineering at LSU, while completing his final year of swimming eligibility.

Maynor said he expects about 50 swimmers to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 100 butterfly. The top two finishers will make the U.S. Olympic team. He added that he’s about three seconds behind the fastest swimmers in the 100 butterfly heading into the trials.

Maynor red-shirted during his freshman season at LSU. During that year, he gained 30 pounds of muscle, but the extra strength and power took some time to get used to. Maynor had to make the transition from shorter, faster strokes to longer, more powerful strokes.