June 30, 2008
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OMAHA, Neb. - Former Auburn swimmer Mark Gangloff became the first current or former Auburn swimmer to make the United States Olympic Swimming Team as he finished second in the 100m breaststroke Monday night at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Omaha. Neb.
Post-race interview with Olympian Mark Gangloff from FloSwimming.org
Gangloff clocked a 1:00.42, beating out Scott Spann (1:01.59) by 0.17 seconds to finish second in the 100m breast final and earn a spot on the team for the Beijing Olympics. Former Texas swimmer Brendan Hansen won the race with at time of 59.93.
"Basically, it was a sense of relief," Gangloff told Swimming World Magazine's Morning Swim Show after the race. "All I could feel was a weight off my shoulders. I am starting to feel a little happier now, but at the moment it was just a sigh of relief."
Former Tiger Eric Shanteau also swam in the 100m breast final, touching in with a time of 1:00.72 to finish fourth. Shanteau trains with Hansen at Longhorn Aquatics in Austin, Texas.
For Gangloff, this marks his second Olympic team after he made the team in 2004. He went on to win a gold medal, swimming the breaststroke leg on the winning 400m medley relay team in Athens.
Also swimming in a final Monday night was Maggie Bird, who just finished her sophomore year at Auburn. Bird, the first current Tiger to swim in a final, came in with a 4:11.67 in the 400m freestyle, finishing seventh overall.
"Swimming in the final was very exciting, very nerve-racking but very exciting," said Bird. "There are a lot of people screaming your name and clapping, then the adrenaline hits you and you are ready to race."
The 400m free was the first of three events this week for Bird and she said making the final in it only gives her more motivation to go out and swim her fastest in her other two events.
"I am excited about the rest of the week," said Bird. "I have about three days in between to relax and get focused. I think how well I did in the 400 is just motivation for my 800 and 200 back."
Auburn also had six swimmers competing in semifinals on Monday with 2004 Olympian Margaret Hoelzer leading the way to her first finals appearance of the meet.
Hoelzer led a group of four Tigers competing in the 100m backstroke semifinal. She led the way with a 59.79, placing third in the race. The finish also marks her first time in her career to break a minute in the 100m back.
Also competing in the semifinal were current Tigers Margo McCawley, Erica Meissner and Emile Ewing. McCawley was the fastest of the trio, finishing 10th with a time of 1:01.62. Meissner followed in 15th with a 1:02.58 with Ewing trailing in 16th with a 1:02.66.
The last of the Auburn representatives competing on Monday were James Wike and Doug Van Wie in the 100m backstroke semifinals. Van Wie touched in first with a 55.11, good enough for 12th overall, while Wike placed 16th with a 55.79.
Post-race interview with Doug Van Wie from FloSwimming.org
Action in the 2008 Olympic Swimming Team Trials continues at 11 a.m. CT, Tuesday with preliminaries in the women's 200m freestyle, men's 200m butterfly and the women's 200m individual medley.
Fans can watch all the action live with a video Webcast at www.NBCOlympics.com or with live timing at www.OmegaTiming.com.
For more information on the 2008 Olympic Trials, visit www.USASwimming.org.