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Michele King Helps USA Take Gold in 400M Freestyle Relay




Michele King

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil ??? Lady Vol swimmer Michele King was the youngest member of the U.S.A 400m freestyle relay squad which placed first in the preliminaries session yesterday at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. She teamed with Lauren Thies, Emily Kukors and Maritza Correia to post a 3:45.76 time for first place, 8.49 seconds ahead of the Brazilian team which followed the U.S. in the second heat. Canada was the second seed overall with a time of 3:47.18. King, a four-time All-American will be a sophomore next year at Tennessee.

While King and Thies swam in the preliminaries, Julia Smit and Sam Woodward took their spots in today???s final. Smit, Woodward, Kukors and Correia posted a gold-medal-winning time of 3:41.97, .99 seconds ahead of Brazil.

From Gettysburg, Pa., King was a standout freshman at UT last year. She was the only Lady Vol rookie to qualify for the 2007 NCAA Championships in February and earned four All-America certificates in the process (200y freestyle, 400y medley relay, 200y medley relay, 400y freestyle relay).

Thies swam for Stanford before transferring to Texas for her senior year. In March of this year, she won the women???s 100m and 200m freestyle events at the USA Swimming Spring Championships in East Meadow, N.Y.

Kukors is a 12-time All-American at Auburn University. The senior was ranked 70th in the world in the 100m free two years ago.

Correia graduated from Georgia in 2005 after earning 27 All-America certificates. She has been very successful in international competition, including earning a silver medal as part of the 400m freestyle relay team at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. She also won silver in the event at the 2001 World Championships and gold in 2003.

King is scheduled to take to the water again tomorrow evening in the preliminary session of the 100m freestyle.

Former Lady Vol Fabiola Molina is also in Rio De Janeiro at the Pan American games competing for her home country of Brazil. She placed second in the 100m backstroke today by touching the wall in 1:02.18, just .17 seconds behind American Smit.

During her time at Tennessee, Molina earned six All-America honors and represented UT at the NCAA Championships from 1996-98.

The Brazilian Olympian is expected to swim in the 400m medley relay tomorrow.


 

 

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