Record-Setting Day for IU Swimmers at U.S. Olympic Trials
June 30, 2008
OMAHA, Neb. - Personal-best times were being set left and right by Indiana University swimmers Monday on day two of the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb.
Presley Bard and Leila Vaziri will race for the two Olympic spots in the women's 100-meter backstroke on Tuesday night after advancing through Monday's prelims and semifinals. Ben Hesen will join them in that quest after qualifying for the final of the men's 100-meter backstroke with a personal-best time of 53.87.
Hesen recorded the third-fastest time in the morning prelims, clocking in at a then-career-best 53.88. He went 1/100th better in the second semifinal Monday evening, placing third in his heat. Former IU teammate Todd Patrick was 26th in the prelims with his time of 56.29.
Kevin Swander swam the final of the men's 100-meter breaststroke where he placed fifth in a time of 1:00.81.
Junior Bard and alum Vaziri earned their places in the final of the women's 100-meter backstroke after strong performances in Monday night's semifinal races. After slipping into the 16th and final semifinal spot in the morning prelims, Bard had a career swim with a time of 1:00.92 to finish sixth overall in the semis. That is the second-fastest time in IU history. She is joined by Vaziri who snagged the eighth and final spot with a time of 1:01.40.
Earlier in the day, Vaziri, the former world record holder in the 50-meter freestyle, advanced to the semifinals of the 100-meter back Monday morning with a prelim time of 1:01.72 which was good for eighth place. Bard needed a swim-off to earn a place in the semifinals, out-touching Roxanne Akradi with a time of 1:02.04 to sneak into the evening session. Fellow junior Ashley Jones was 92nd (1:04.53). Natalie Coughlin qualified first for the semifinals in a world record time of 59.03. Second-place finisher Hayley McGregory was also under Coughlin's previous world record of 59.21 with a time of 59.15.
Abby Cooper set a new school record in the 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 1:11.15, finishing 35th in the preliminaries. Teammate and former record holder Sarah Stockwell was 38th, also coming in under her previous record at 1:11.21. Amilee Smith rounded out the Indiana contingent recording a time of 1:15.34 (104th).
Amanda Smith broke her own school record, set just three weeks ago in the same pool, in the 400-meter freestyle. Smith became the first Indiana swimmer to go under 4:15.00 with a time of 4:14.89, good for a tie for 20th. That is more than a second faster than her previous record of 4:15.91, set at the Mutual of Omaha Swimvitational on June 6.
Tuesday's lineup includes Weik in the 200-meter butterfly and Amanda Smith in the 200-meter individual medley, along with Bard and Vaziri in the women's 100-meter backstroke final. Hesen will also compete in the final of the men's 100-meter backstroke.
Tuesday's evening session will be broadcast live on USA Network from 8-9 p.m. ET.
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