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Icelandic Duo Continues Swimming Success This Summer

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: June 15, 2009
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June 15, 2009

NICOSIA, Cyprus -- Old Dominion swimmers Arni Arnason (Msfellsbaer, Iceland) and Erla Haraldsdottir (Njardvik, Iceland) are continuing their record breaking performances in the pool this summer. Both broke the Icelandic 50 meter short course breaststroke records earlier this summer at the Metatilaraun held in Vatnaveroeld, Iceland and won a total of nine medals at this year's Small Nations Games.

In Vatnaveroeld in May, Arnason clocked a time of 27.52 for a new Icelandic record in the men's 50 meter breaststorke short course, shaving .35 seconds off the mark recorded by countryman Jakob Sveninsson. Haraldsdottir, meanwhile, recorded a finish of 31.61 for a new record for her native Iceland in the women's 50 meter breaststorke short course, coming in .63 faster than the previous time captured by Hrafnhildur Luthersdottir.

Both Arnason and Haraldsdottir, who also swam for Iceland at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing last summer, participated in the Games of the Small States of Europe held in Cyprus in early June.

Arnason won a total of six medals for Iceland at the games, including four gold medals and a new games record in the 50 freestyle, while Haraldsdottir captured three silver medals for her country.

Arnason won a gold with Iceland's 4x200 meter freestyle relay team, the 4x100 meter medley relay squad, the 4x100 meter freestyle relay, and in the 50 meter freestyle. In the 50 freestyle, Arnason set a new games record with his gold medal performance of 22.87, surpassing the previous mark of 23.02 set in 2007. Swimming the third leg of the 4x200 freestyle medley, he helped his country to a winning time of 7:45.15 in the event. Arnason picked up his third goal medal of the games swimming the anchor of the 4x100 medley relay, helping Iceland to a top time of 3:49.99. His final medal came in the 4x100 freestyle relay, swimming the anchor leg in the race as Iceland recorded a finish of 3:28.80.

Arnason also placed second to earn the silver in the 100 meter breaststroke, a mere .10 seconds behind the winner. Arnason captured a time of 1:02.85, right behind gold medalist and fellow teammate Jakob Sveinsson with his time of 1:02.75.

Arnason captured the bronze in the 200 meter breaststroke, swimming the event following his gold medaling 50 freestyle performance. Arnason posted a time of 2:21.55 for third place, following Hocine Haciane of Andorra in second with a time of 2:17.10 and teammate Sveninsson in first with a time of 2:16.34.

Haraldsdottir earned three silver medals at the games. She took the silver in the 100 meter breaststroke with a second place time of 1:12.88. Fellow teammate Hrafnhildur Luthersdottir took home the gold with a time of 1:11.21. She also placed second in the 200 meter individual medley with a time of 2:22.84. Countrywoman Luthersdottir won the event in a time of 2:19.48. Haraldsdottir also logged a time of 2:36.16 in the 200 meter breaststroke for a silver just behind Luthersdottir's gold medal time of 2:32.29.

Arnason was Old Dominion's first CAA Swimmer of the Year selection and was the first in conference history to receive Swimmer of the Year and Rookie Swimmer of the Year accolades in the same season. The rising sophomore was the CAA champion in the 50 free (19.85), the 100 breast (53.48) and the 200 breast (1:58.37). He set school records in all three events, broke the meet record in the 100 and 200 breast, and set a new CAA mark in the 100 breast. Arnason went to compete in all three events at the NCAA Swimming Championship, where he placed 21st in the 200 breast, 25th in the 100 breast and 42nd in the 50 free.

Haralsdottir earned All-CAA in the 100 and 200 breast, the 200 individual medley, and as a member of both the 200 and 400 medley relay teams for the Lady Monarchs last season. She finished second in the both the 200 IM (2:02.17) and 200 breast (2:14.72). Both were new Old Dominion record times with her 200 breast finish capturing an NCAA "B" cut. Haraldsdottir also took third in the 100 breast (1:02.67), resetting yet another Lady Monarch benchmark.

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