OMAHA, Neb. – Brendan Hansen qualified for his third Olympic Team Tuesday at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, capping an 18-month come-back with a win in the men’s 100m breaststroke. He was one of three swimmers to earn a spot on the team on the second night of finals at the CenturyLink Center.
Also qualifying for the 2012 London Games were Dana Vollmer with a win in the women’s 100m butterfly and Allison Schmitt with a win in the women’s 400m freestyle.
Finishing second in finals Tuesday were Eric Shanteau in the men’s 100m breast, Claire Donahue in the women’s 100m fly and Chloe Sutton in the women’s 400m free. Second-place finishers did not officially qualify for the team Tuesday, but will likely be added to the roster pending swimmers qualifying in multiple events.
Men's 100m Breaststroke
Hansen had a strong back half in the men’s 100m breaststroke, surging ahead of the field in the final 25 meters for the win in 59.68. His time was the fourth-fastest in the world this year, and three-hundredths of a second faster than his performance in Monday night’s semifinals.
“I’m building confidence with every swim,” Hansen said. “I’m really happy with the direction I’m going. This is exactly where I want to be. I’m having so much fun with it, and I’m so proud of myself for saying that I was going to come back and then doing it.”
Shanteau, the American record-holder in this event, was second in 1:00.15.
“I’ve been back and forth with that event for so long,” Shanteau said. “It’s nice for it to come together when it counted most.”
Women's 100m Butterfly
Vollmer has said a number of times this week that her goal is to go 55 seconds in the women’s 100m butterfly. She’ll have to wait for another opportunity to do that, but for now she can be content knowing she’s secured her trip to London.
Vollmer did that by winning the 100 fly with a time of 56.50. Though she fell short of the world record – and even the American record of 56.42 she set in Monday’s semifinals – she wasn’t disappointed with the results. After missing the roster in 2008, the 2004 Olympian was just happy to be back on the team.
“I don’t think I can be disappointed right now,” Vollmer said. “I just wanted to get on the team first and foremost, and I’m relieved I did that. It’s nice to put that behind me.
“This is the first meet I remember hearing the crowd as much as I did. It really helped the last 15 meters.”
Donahue, the 2011 Pan American Games gold medalist in this event, was second in 57.57.
“When I saw I was second, I was just speechless,” Donahue said. “There were no words. I was just ecstatic.”
Women's 400m Free
In the women’s 400m free, it was all Schmitt, who was ahead of world record pace through the 200-meter mark and left the rest of the field fighting for second. She finished in 4:02.84, the third-fastest time in the world this year. Sutton was second in 4:04.18.
“I heard the crowd going at it about the 100 and 200, and I fell off (pace) a little bit, but I’m still happy with that race,” Schmitt said. “I’ve had a great year of training, and I’m just excited to see where I am right now.”
Sutton fought back tears of joy after the race.
“I just don’t have any words,” she said. “I just wanted to stay as close to Allison as I could. I knew she would take it out fast.”
Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps set up another epic match-up for tomorrow night’s finals in the men’s 200m freestyle, qualifying first and second in 1:46.26 and 1:46.27. As many as six swimmers may be named to the team in this event Wednesday.
“It felt pretty good,” Lochte said. “The only thing I really worked was the last 50. I have a lot left, so we’ll see how it goes tomorrow.”
Rebecca Soni broke her Olympic Trials record in the semis of the women’s 100m breaststroke, turning in a time of 1:05.82. Missy Franklin and Matt Grevers are the top seeds heading into tomorrow night’s finals of the women’s and men’s 100m backstroke, touching in 59.06 and 53.10, respectively. Franklin’s time was a 17-18 women’s national age group record.
The 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials continue Wednesday with prelims and semifinals of the women’s 200m freestyle, the men’s 200m butterfly and women’s 200m IM. Finals will be conducted in the men’s 200m free, the women’s 100m back, the men’s 100m back and the women’s 100m breast.
For more information about the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, including complete results, go to www.usaswimming.org/trials. Also, follow all the action from Trials on your mobile device with DeckPass Plus, available now for your iPad, iPhone or Android.