June 25, 2012
OMAHA, Neb. - Auburn rising junior Olivia Scott advanced to the semifinals of the women's 100-meter butterfly, and a pair of former Tigers will do battle in the men's 100m breaststroke semis as the first day of preliminaries wrapped up Monday afternoon at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.
Scott and former Tigers Mark Gangloff and Eric Shanteau will compete tonight in the semifinals in their respective events. NBC will have live national televised coverage beginning at 7 p.m. CT.
Ten swimmers with Auburn ties competed Monday morning and afternoon at the CenturyLink Center with three advancing to the semifinals and two more posting lifetime-best times in their respective events.
Scott, the Auburn record-holder in the 100-yard butterfly (short course), looked especially strong going out and was second at the turn with a 50-meter split of 27.40. She struggled a bit down the stretch, but her time of 59.87 was enough for the 16th and final spot in tonight's semifinals. The top qualifier in the heat was Dana Vollmer of California, whose time of 56.59 set a new U.S. Open and Olympic Trials record. Auburn signee Caroline Bryant finished 138th overall with a time of 1:03.03.
Two of the fastest breaststrokers of all-time - both Auburn graduates - were in the pool Monday as well. Former Tigers Mark Gangloff and Eric Shanteau both advanced to the semifinals in the 100 breaststroke as Gangloff finished third in the heats with a 1:00.43, and Shanteau was sixth overall - fourth in his heat - with a 1:00.87.
Adam Klein, who completed his eligibility in 2011, finished 30th overall with a 1:02.58 - he was 39th in the event at the 2008 Trials - and rising senior Stuart Ferguson clocked a time of 1:04.28 to take 73rd overall in the 100 breast.
Rising junior Zane Grothe continued his streak of impressive performances on the big stage. He finished 14th in the 400m freestyle with a lifetime-best time of 3:52.82, shaving nearly six seconds off his previous best. It ranks as the second-fastest 400-meter freestyle in Auburn history, a mere one-hundredth of a second shy of the school record (Kevin Clements' 3:52.81 in 2000). Grothe, who is the school record-holder in the short-course 500, 1,000 and 1,650-yard freestyle events, was seeded 75th coming into the Trials.
Former Tiger Robert Looney recorded a 3:57.90 to take 41st overall in the 400 free; he came into the meet seeded 101st.
Rising senior Chris Kramer was the first Auburn swimmer in the pool on the day, clocking a personal-best 4:28.84 to take second in his heat of the men's 400 IM, finishing 55th overall. He had entered the meet seeded 100th and dropped more than a full second off his previous lifetime-best.
Sarah Peterson, a rising sophomore, was the other Auburn entry in the opening session. She posted a time of 4:51.91 in the 400m IM to finish 36th overall in her first appearance at the Trials.
Fans can watch a tape-delayed broadcast of the preliminary heats featuring Scott, Gangloff, Klein and Shanteau beginning at 5:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Network, which leads into NBC's broadcast of the finals at 7 p.m.
Auburn Swimming & Diving
2012 U.S. Olympic Trials
Day 1 Prelims - June 25, 2012
CenturyLink Center - Omaha, Neb.
Men's 400 IM
55. Chris Kramer - 4:28.84 (PR)
Women's 100 Butterfly
16. Olivia Scott - 59.87 (advances to semifinals)
138. Caroline Bryant - 1:03.03
Men's 400 Freestyle
14. Zane Grothe - 3:52.82 (PR)
41. Robert Looney - 3:57.90
Women's 400 IM
36. Sarah Peterson - 4:51.91
Men's 100 Breaststroke
3. Mark Gangloff - 1:00.43 (advances to semifinals)
6. Eric Shanteau - 1:00.87 (advances to semifinals)
30. Adam Klein - 1:02.58
73. Stuart Ferguson - 1:04.28