OMAHA, Neb. — Three members of the Georgia swimming team advanced to the women’s 200-meter freestyle finals on Wednesday during the United States Olympic Trials at the CenturyLink Center.
Shannon Vreeland reacts after swimming in in the women's 200-meter freestyle semifinal at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials on Wednesday, June 27, 2012, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Rising senior Allison Schmitt moved closer to another event in the Olympics as she was first in the prelims and then first in the semifinals, posting a time of 1:55.59 in her second attempt. Rising junior Shannon Vreeland came in second with a time of 1:57.78, and rising senior Megan Romano was fourth in 1:57.99, giving Georgia three of the eight swimmers for today’s finals.
“All I can say is, ‘Wow,’” Georgia coach Jack Bauerle said. “You train and you work and you hope for the best, but now that it’s here and it’s happened, it’s really impressive. What our young ladies did here tonight was just tremendous. To have three in the top eight speaks volumes about what kind of competitors they all are. I can’t wait to see how things go on Thursday.”
Schmitt, a rising senior from Canton, Mich., already has qualified for the London Games in the 100-meter freestyle. Schmitt is the American and U.S. Open record holder in the 200-meter freestyle.
Former Georgia swimmer Morgan Scroggy came in 13th with a time of 1:59.07 in the semis. Six other swimmers with Georgia ties competed in the prelims: former Georgia swimmer Chelsea Nauta (23rd, 2:00.80), rising sophomore Jordan Mattern (37th, 2:01.92), rising sophomore Amber McDermott (52nd, 2:02.69), rising senior Kesley Gaid (58th, 2:03.30), rising sophomore Maddie Locus (73rd, 2:04.03) and former Georgia swummer Kelly McNichols (2:06.06).
In the only final involving a Georgia swimmer on Wednesday, Romano came in eighth in the women’s 100-meter backstroke with a time of 1:01.02.
Former Bulldog Mark Dylla kept his London hopes alive with a fifth-place finish in the semis of the men’s 200-meter butterfly. Dylla, the 2011 NCAA champion in the 200-yard butterfly, touched in 1:57.78. Former Bulldog Robert Margalis came in 16th with a time of 2:00.33. In the prelims, signees Ty Stewart (2:01.44) and Chase Kalisz (2:01.92) were 33rd and 40th, respectively, while rising junior Andrew Gemmell was 57th in 2:02.51.
Rising senior Jana Mangimelli reached the finals of the women’s 200-meter individual medley by placing sixth in the semis with a time of 2:13.48. Incoming freshman Annie Zhu took 12th in 2:14.70. During the prelims, signee Hali Flickinger placed 30th in 2:17.73 and rising sophomore Nicole Vernon came in 38th in 2:18.32.
The Olympic Trials will continue today with prelims and semifinals in the men’s 100-meter freestyle, the women’s 200-meter butterfly and the men’s 200-meter breaststroke. Medals will be awarded with finals in the women’s 200-meter freestyle, the men’s 200-meter butterfly and the women’s 200-meter individual medley.
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.