Auburn Swimmers Set To Compete For Spots On U.S. World Championships National Team
July 6, 2009
AUBURN - A contingent of 31 current, former and future Auburn swimmers have made their way to Indianapolis, Ind., for the 2009 ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships with a spot on the FINA World Championships national team on the line. The five-day meet is being used as a qualifying meet for American swimmers competing for a spot on the national team.
The trials, which are being held at the Indiana University Natatorium on the campus of IUPUI and run through Saturday, July 11, will be a showcase of the top U.S. talent in search for one of 26 spots on the team that will travel to Rome, Italy for the 2009 FINA World Championships, July 26 - August 2.
Of the 31 current, former and future Tigers in the field, eight of them swam as part of national teams last summer at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Returning from the U.S. team are Margaret Hoelzer, Mark Gangloff and Eric Shanteau while Fred Bousquet (France), George Bovell (Trinidad & Tobago), Adam Brown (Great Britain), Cesar Cielo (Brazil) and Matt Targett (Australia) are also competing in the meet.
Because the meet is a national championship being used as a selection meet for the U.S. National Team, foreign swimmers will not compete in championship finals.
Bousquet, Cielo, Gangloff, Hoelzer and Shanteau all enter the meet ranked in the top three in at least one of their events with Cielo (50m free), Hoelzer (200m back) and Shanteau (100m brest) holding a top seed.
Hoelzer, along with 2009 senior Emile Ewing and rising junior Melanie Roberts, have qualified for the most events among Auburn swimmers with five each. Rising seniors Tyler McGill and Will Dove, and rising junior Robert Looney have each qualified in four events for the men.
McGill leads the way for the current Tigers, entering the meet as the fifth overall seed in the 100m fly and sixth seed in the 200m fly. He is also competing in the 50m free and 100m free. For the women, rising senior Maggie Bird leads the way as she is the eighth overall seed in the 400m free. She will also compete in the 200m free, 200m back and 800m free.
To make the team, swimmers have to finish in the top two of their respective event or be among the top four in the 100m free and 200m free as those spots are used to fill out relay teams. If a swimmer declines a spot in a particular event, the preference then goes to the next highest finisher. Each team will have a maximum of 26 swimmers.
Last time at the World Championship Trials, Auburn placed three swimmers on the 2007 National Team. Hoelzer, Hayley Peirsol and Shanteau all earned their way to the 2007 team that competed in Melbourne, Australia.
Action in the meet begins at 8 a.m., Tuesday with preliminary heats in the women's 100m fly, 400m free, women's 200m IM, men's 100m breast, men's 400m IM and the men's 400m free relay.
NBC and Universal Sports, the exclusive rightsholders for the Trials, will broadcast the finals sessions either live or on tape delay. Universal Sports will broadcast live from Indianapolis, Tuesday, July 7 and Wednesday, July 8, beginning at 5 p.m. CT. NBC will package the remainder of the meet which will be shown over two days - Saturday, July 11 from 12 - 2 p.m. CT, and Sunday, July 12 from 1 - 2 p.m. CT.
Rowdy Gaines and Ted Robinson will provide commentary for the NBC and Universal broadcasts.
Also, all Prelims and Finals sessions will be webcast live on Swimnetwork (www.swimnetwork.com). Swimnetwork will also host a live "pre-game show" each evening.
More information on the USA Swimming National Championships can be found at www.USASwimming.org.
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