June 26, 2012
OMAHA, Neb. --- Georgia's Allison Schmitt qualified for her second straight Olympics by winning the women's 400-meter freestyle in the United States Olympic Trials on Tuesday at CenturyLink Center.
Schmitt, a rising senior from Canton, Mich., won the 400-meter freestyle with a time of 4:02.84, leading throughout the race and finishing more than a second ahead of the runner-up. Schmitt's time is the third-fastest in the world this year. Said Schmitt, "I definitely heard the crowd, and it was so exciting. I heard them after the first 100 and thought 'Wow, something must be going on.' I was just hoping that wall would come fast, and it did."
Schmitt also swam for the United States in the 2008 Games, earning a bronze medal as a member of the 800-meter freestyle relay.
The swimming portion of the Olympics will take place July 28-Aug. 4 in London's Aquatics Centre. Former Lady Bulldogs Wendy Trott (South Africa) and Sarah Poewe (Germany), former Bulldog Troy Prinsloo (South Africa) and signees Brittany MacLean (Canada), Matias Koski (Finland) and Yousef Alaskari (Kuwait) previously qualified for the Games. Ex-Bulldog Chris Colwill will compete for Team USA in diving Aug. 6-7.
Schmitt did not compete for the Lady Bulldogs in 2011-12, opting instead to redshirt so that she could train for long-course meters and prepare for the Trials and ultimately the Olympics. She will swim for the Lady Bulldogs as a senior in 2012-13.
"I could not be happier for Allison," Georgia coach Jack Bauerle said. "She set her mind on doing this and she accomplished her goal tonight. I thought she swam an exceptional race. She's so talented and so competitive, and that race was really something to watch."
"I've had a great year of training and I'm excited to see where I am with my swims," Schmitt said.
Also for the Lady Bulldogs, rising sophomore Amber McDermott came in eighth with a time of 4:11.13. During the prelims, rising junior Shannon Vreeland narrowly missed the finals by 4/100ths of a second, settling for ninth with a time of 4:10.42. Ex-Lady Bulldog Chelsea Nauta touched in 4:14.32 to place 24th, followed by rising sophomore Jordan Mattern (32nd, 4:15.73), incoming freshman Hali Flickinger (43rd, 4:17.74), former Lady Bulldog Adrienne Bicek (44th, 4:18.04), rising senior Kelsey Gaid (73rd, 4:20.98) and ex-Lady Bulldog Erica Malagon (101st, 4:25.31).
Rising senior Megan Romano came in sixth in the women's 100-meter backstroke with a time of 1:00.61 to advance to Wednesday's final. Former Lady Bulldog Kristen Shickora was 13th in 1:01.59. During the prelims, Gaid posted a time of 1:03.32 to place 48th.
Signee Annie Zhu paced the Georgia contingent in the women's 100-meter breaststroke as she came in 12th in 1:08.85. Ex-Lady Bulldog Michelle McKeehan placed 15th in 1:09.55. In the prelims, rising senior Jana Mangimelli came in 29th with a time of 1:10.34. Rising junior Melanie Margalis touched in 1:10.72 to place 35th. Former Lady Bulldog Sara Nicponski was 60th in 1:11.63, while ex-Lady Bulldog Mhyria Miller was 74th in 1:11.99, rising sophomore Olivia Boggs took 82nd in 1:12.17, rising sophomore Megan Molnar placed 90th in 1:12.54 and rising sophomore Shannon O'Malley came in 99th in 1:12.72.
In the men's 200-meter freestyle, ex-Bulldog Peter Benner took 48th in 1:51.36, followed by rising junior Doug Reynolds 52nd in 1:51.60, rising junior Jameson Hill 77th in 1:52.58, former Bulldog Stephen Swan 93rd in 1:53.38 and rising sophomore Alec Cohen 114th in 1:54.25.
Incoming freshman Ty Stewart stopped the clock in 56.22 to come in 27th in the men's 100-meter backstroke.
The Olympic Trials will continue on Wednesday with prelims and semifinals in the women's 200-meter freestyle, the women's 200-meter individual medley and the men's 200-meter butterfly. In the evening session, medals will be awarded in the men's 200-meter freestyle, the men's and women's 100-meter backstroke and the women's 100-meter breaststroke. Schmitt is the No. 1 seed in the women's 200-meter freestyle.
Prelims will begin at 11 a.m. and the finals will take place at 7:45 p.m. NBC and NBC Sports Network will have live and same-day video of heats and finals. NBCOlympics.com also will stream the finals live each night. For a complete broadcast schedule, see NBCOlympics.com.