June 25, 2012
Rising senior Kelsey Floyd and former Lady Vol Christine Magnuson advanced to the final of the 100-meter butterfly Monday at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials in Omaha, Neb.
Swimming in the first race of the semifinal, Floyd touched the wall in 58.53 seconds to tie for second in her heat and record the sixth-fastest time to qualify for the finals. Magnuson, the 2008 Olympic silver medalist in the event, finished fourth in Floyd's heat and took the eighth spot in the finals with a time of 58.72.
Jenny Connolly, who wrapped up her All-American career at Tennessee in March, missed out on the finals by finishing 12th overall in the semifinals in 59.17.
The finals will be the first race Tuesday evening at 8 p.m. Eastern at the CenturyLink Center and will be broadcast live by NBC. The top two will earn spots on Team USA for the London Olympics.
"All in all, it was a really good day for us," Tennessee swimming and diving head coach Matt Kredich said. "Having both Jenny and Kelsey in the semifinals was great. They both swam faster in semis than they did this morning. That's what you need to do, and that's difficult in an environment like this. They should be congratulated."
Magnuson now trains in Arizona, but she is still very much a Lady Vol. The former NCAA champion joins Floyd in the eight-competitor final field in the 100 butterfly.
"It's great for Tennessee," Kredich said. "Christine really paved the way for us by becoming an Olympian in 2008. It's neat for her and Kelsey to be in the same heat and both advance."
Brad Craig was the only Vol in action Monday. The former SEC champion narrowly missed the semifinals of the 100 breaststroke, finishing 20th in 1:01.92. The top 16 qualified.
Tennessee on Tuesday: The second day of the U.S. Olympic Trials will be a busy one for the Tennessee swimming program.
For the women, Floyd will swim the finals of the 100 butterfly. Connolly, Kate McNeilis and Lauren Solernou will swim the 100 backstroke. Kirstyn Colonias and Molly Hannis are scheduled to swim the 100 breaststroke. Lindsay Gendron, set to compete in four freestyle events, will swim the 400 freestyle.
In the men's races, Ricky Henahan will swim the 100 backstroke and Sam Rairden will swim the 200 freestyle.
"There were a lot of fast times today, and the group that swam really represented Tennessee well," Kredich said. "The group that didn't swim can take confidence from them and the way they performed. Pretty much everyone will be in the pool tomorrow for their first races. They're all really excited.
"When we have a couple people make the semifinals and advancing, it becomes more of a reality. It makes it more possible. I think we go into tomorrow with a lot of confidence."
U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials
Top Times & Tennessee Results
1. Dana Vollmer, 56.42; 2. Elaine Breeden, 58.18; 3. Kathleen Hersey, 58.19; 4. Natalie Coughlin, 58.27; 5. Caroline McElhany, 58.51; 6. Kelsey Floyd, UT, 58.53; 6. Claire Donahue, 58.53; 8. Christine Magnuson, UT, 58.72 ... 12. Jenny Connolly, UT, 59.17.
1. Dana Vollmer, 56.59; 2. Clair Donahue, 57.82 ... 6. Kelsey Floyd (UT) 58.66 ... 8. Christine Magnuson (UT) 59.05 ... 14. Jenny Connolly (UT) 59.73 ... 110. Brooke Watson (UT) 1:02.41.
1. John Criste, 1:00.29; 2. Brendan Hansen, 1:00.30 ... 20. Brad Craig (UT), 1:01.92.