Aug. 1, 2012
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LONDON - Auburn senior Micah Lawrence advanced to the final of the women's 200-meter breaststroke, and Cesar Cielo and Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace fell short of medal contention in the 100m freestyle Wednesday at the 2012 London Olympics.
Lawrence (USA), who will return to Auburn for her senior season this fall, posted a time of 2:23.39 in the semifinals to finish third in the heat and sixth overall in the semifinals, clinching a berth in Thursday's final. Her time was .36 seconds shy of her personal beat (and the Auburn record) of 2:23.03, which she swam at the U.S. Olympic Trials last month.
Lawrence was the fourth qualifier from the preliminary heats with a time of 2:24.50 early Wednesday morning. She will swim Thursday evening in her first Olympic final alongside USA teammate Rebecca Soni, who broke the world record in her semifinal swim with a 2:20.00.
In the men's 100m freestyle final, former Tiger Cesar Cielo (BRA) was unable to defend his bronze medal as he finished sixth in 47.92. Cielo was first at the 50-meter mark with a split of 22.60, but was unable to hold his pace over the final 25 meters as he slipped to sixth. He was, however, only .12 seconds shy of the bronze medal-winning time.
The United States' Nathan Adrian out-touched Australia's James Magnussen by .01 seconds (47.52 to 47.53) to win the gold. Brent Hayden of Canada took the bronze in 47.80.
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace saw her run to the women's 100 freestyle final come to an end Wednesday as she placed 10th in the semifinals with a time of 54.12, falling .26 second shy of the eighth-place time and a spot in the final.
Her time in the morning preliminary, however, set a new Bahamian and Auburn record as she recorded a personal-best 53.73 to post the sixth-best time in the heats and become the first Bahamian swimmer to reach an Olympic semifinal. Vanderpool-Wallace's previous best time had been a 54.46 from the 2011 World Championships. She will have another opportunity to race Friday morning as she will compete in the 50m freestyle.
Thursday will be a busy day for swimmers with Auburn ties as eight athletes will take to the water at the Aquatics Centre. Four former Tigers - Cielo, George Bovell (TRI), Adam Brown (GBR) and Gideon Louw (RSA) - will swim in the men's 50m freestyle heats, beginning at 4 a.m. CT (10 a.m. GMT). American Tyler McGill will make his Olympic debut in the men's 100m butterfly heats, set to start at 5:14 a.m. CT. And Kirsty Coventry (ZWE) will swim her third of three events at these Olympics as she looks to defend her 2004 and 2008 gold medals in the women's 200m backstroke, beginning at 5:31 a.m. CT. Laure Manaudou (FRA), a two-time Olympic medalist that trains at Auburn, will also swim the 200 back.
Lawrence's swim in the women's 200m breast final will highlight the evening session for Auburn swimmers with her race set to begin at 1:40 p.m. CT.
NBCOlympics.com has live streaming video of all events, and fans can follow @AuburnSwimming and #AUOlympics on Twitter for updates throughout the Games.
Wednesday's Auburn Olympic Results
Women's 100m Freestyle - Heats
6. Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace (BAH) - 53.73 (PR) (AU record)
T35. Megan Fonteno (ASA) - 57.45 (PR)
Women's 100m Freestyle - Semifinals
10. Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace (BAH) - 54.12
Women's 200m Breaststroke - Heats
4. Micah Lawrence (USA) - 2:24.50
Women's 200m Breaststroke - Semifinals
6. Micah Lawrence (USA) - 2:23.39
Men's 100m Freestyle - Final
6. Cesar Cielo (BRA) - 47.92
Thursday's Auburn Olympic Schedule
Men's 50m Freestyle - Heats (4 a.m. CT)
George Bovell (TRI) - Heat 6, Lane 3
Adam Brown (GBR) - Heat 6, Lane 7
Cesar Cielo (BRA) - Heat 8, Lane 4
Gideon Louw (RSA) - Heat 8, Lane 7
Men's 100m Butterfly - Heats (5:14 a.m. CT)
Tyler McGill (USA) - Heat 4, Lane 4
Women's 200m Backstroke - Heats (5:31 a.m. CT)
Kirsty Coventry (ZWE) - Heat 5, Lane 2
Laure Manaudou (FRA) - Heat 5, Lane 6
Men's 50m Freestyle - Semifinals (1:30 p.m. CT)
Women's 200m Breaststroke - Final (1:40 p.m. CT)
Micah Lawrence (USA) - Lane 7
Women's 200m Backstroke - Semifinals (1:56 p.m. CT)
Men's 100m Butterfly - Semifinals (2:54 p.m. CT)