June 8, 2008
AUBURN - Ava Ohlgren set a new meet record Sunday at the Charlotte Ultraswim, leading a pack of four current and former Auburn swimmers that earned wins during the final day of the four-day meet.
Ohlgren swam one of the fastest 200m individual medley times in the world this year as she set a new meet record with a time of 2:12.97. Her former teammate, Emily Kukors, followed in second with an Olympic Trials-qualifying time of 2:16.25 while current Tiger Melanie Roberts rounded out the Auburn contingent in the final by finishing fifth in 2:21.38.
Earning a win just before Ohlgren was former Tiger and Olympic gold medalist Mark Gangloff as he posted a 27.74 in the 50m breaststroke. Bahamas native and Olympian Jeremy Knowles followed his former teammate in seventh with at time of 29.95.
Former Auburn swimmer Doug Van Wie touched in with a Trials-qualifying 2:00.44 in the 200m backstroke to earn his win while Kara Denby followed with a 55.22 to take top honors in the 100m freestyle.
Kukors, who was a senior last season alongside Denby, followed in third place with a Trials-qualifying 55.97. Incoming freshman Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, who will be an Olympian for the Bahamas this summer, qualified for the 100m free finals with an eighth-place time of 57.10 in the preliminary, but chose not to advance.
Also posting a top finish in Charlotte was rising senior Julianne McLane as she finished runner-up in the 200m backstroke with a Trials-qualifying time of 2:14.36. Melissa Marik (6th, 2:16.96), Margo McCawley (17th, 2:16.54) and Ohlgren (2:16.57) also came in with Trials-qualifying times in the event. Ohlgren placed seventh in the preliminary, but elected not to compete in the evening finals.
Others making championship finals at the meet were rising senior Chelsea Haser
and incoming freshman Adam Brown. Haser came in fifth in the 1500m free with a time of 16:52.07 while Brown, who has been selected to compete for Great Britain in the 2008 Olympics, finished sixth with a time of 51.27.
With the Charlotte Ultraswim coming to a close, another one of the Toyota Grand Prix Series events was also wrapping up at the site of the 2008 Olympic Trials as the Mutual of Omaha Swimvitational entered its final day.
Former Tiger Eric Shanteau led the charge in Omaha by taking runner-up honors in the 200m IM with a Trials-qualifying 2:01.06. Former Auburn swimmer and Olympian Margaret Hoelzer also swam in the 200m IM and posted the top finish among Auburn women as she came in fourth with a Trials-qualifying 2:17.16.
Rising sophomore Robert Looney closed out the meet strong, picking up two top-10 finishes. He opened the night by taking fourth in the 200m butterfly with a Trials-cut time of 2:01.87 and followed up with a ninth-place finish in the 1500m free, clocking a 15:58.73.
In the women's long distance event of the session, rising junior Maggie Bird barely missed the Trials cut as she came in fifth with a time of 8:51.02.
Former Tiger and Olympian from Trinidad & Tobago George Bovell also posted a fifth-place outing as he touched in with a 22.31 in the 50m freestyle.
Rising sophomore Erica Meissner rounded out the Auburn representation as she placed sixth in the 200m backstroke, touching in at 2:16.36.
The Charlotte Ultraswim and the Mutual of Omaha Swimvitational were the two final opportunities for swimmers to qualify for the 2008 Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb. Trials are set for June 29 - July 6 at the Qwest Center in Omaha. For more information, go to www.USASSwimming.org.