April 4, 2008
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Auburn senior Alexei Puninski punched his ticket to the Olympics Friday night as the Croatia native finished third in the 100m butterfly with an Olympic A standard time of 52.61 at the Toyota Grand Prix at Ohio State University.
Puninski's time is a personal-best in the event and ranks second all-time at Auburn. He finished third in the event behind former Michael Phelps (51.90) and former Auburn swimmer Fred Bousquet (52.29), who set a new French national record in the 100m fly.
"I was really pleased with my time in the 100 fly," said Puninski. "I have been so tired with all the meets in the short time in the past three weeks, so it was great getting my personal-best."
Earning a win Friday night at the Toyota Grand Prix meet was former Auburn swimmer Eric Shanteau as he took the top spot in the 200m IM with a time of 2:01.74. His 200 IM race was his second of the night as earlier in the session he finished second in the 100m breaststroke with a time of 1:02.46.
Also competing at the meet at OSU's McCorckle Aquatic Pavilion is Auburn sophomore Alana Dillette. The Bahamas native came a half-second short of making her home country's Olympic team as she finished second in the 100m fly consolation final, 10th overall, with a time of 1:01.99.
She will get a second shot at making the team on Saturday as she is set to compete in the 100m backstroke.
The Toyota Grand Prix at Ohio State is a three-day meet at the Bill and Mae McCorckle Aquatic Pavilion. Action continues on Saturday with the 400m IM, 50m freestyle, 200m breaststroke, 100m backstroke, 400m freestyle and the 400m medley relay.
Also competing at the meet this weekend is Auburn junior Cesar Cielo. The Brazil native will make his first appearance on Saturday, swimming in the 50m free.
Auburn sophomore Pascal Wollach
was back in action at the Canadian Olympic Trials in Montreal on Friday, swimming in the preliminaries of the 100m freestyle. The Calgary, Alberta native finished 14th in the prelims with a time of 51.59. He will be back in action on Saturday, swimming in the 200m backstroke.