Nov. 29, 2007
ATLANTA - In Thursday morning's preliminaries at the 2007 ConocoPhillips USA Swimming Short Course National Championships, 21 current and former Auburn swimmers advanced to the evening finals in the 500 free, 200 IM and the 50 free.
Sophomore Ava Ohlgren gave Auburn an impressive start as she posted an "A" cut time of 1:57.63 in the 200 IM preliminary, giving her the top overall seed going into the finals. Also advancing to the A Final in the 200 IM is former Tiger and Olympian Margaret Hoelzer as she placed eighth with a time of 2:00.72.
Emile Ewing (11th, 2:00.86), Kara Denby (12th, 2:00.93) and Emily Kukors (15th, 2:01.44) advanced to the 200 IM B Final with their morning performance.
Ohlgren advanced to her second A Final of the day as she placed eighth in the 50 free with a time of 22.71, making the final by one-hundredth of a second over the ninth-place finisher.
Joining Ohlgren in the 50 free finals are Denby (13th, 22.93) and former Tiger Jana Kolukanova (14th, 22.96) as they advance to the B Final.
In the 500 free, the trio of Caitlin Geary (10th, 4:46.05), Maggie Bird (12th, 4:46.88) and Kukors (15th, 4:48.12) performed well enough to advance to the B Final.
For the men, it was a pack of former Auburn swimmers with an impressive performance in the 200 IM, led by Eric Shanteau as he finished third with a time of 1:45.68. Doug Van Wie finished right behind him in fourth with a time of 1:46.17 while James Wike came in right behind him at fifth with a time of 1:46.18 to put three former Tigers in the A Final.
Olympian Mark Gangloff finished ninth in the 200 IM prelims with a time of 1:46.86 to make the B Final along with another Olympian and former Tiger, Bahamas native Jeremy Knowles as he finished 14th with a time of 1:48.58.
Freshman Robert Looney led the way in the 500 free, finishing 21st with a time of 4:27.56 to advance to the C Final.
In the 50 free, former Tiger Bryan Lundquist came in fourth with a time of 19.58 for an A Final appearance. Joining him is former record holder in the event, Fred Bousquet as he finished eighth in 19.73.
Making the B Final in the 50 free are Alexei Puninski with his ninth-place finish (19.79) and Scott Goodrich (15th, 20.13).
Action in the finals is set to begin at 6 p.m. ET at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center. A free video Webcast is available at www.SwimNetwork.com and live results are available at www.OmegaTiming.com.