AU Swimmers head to Omaha for Olympic trials - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

AU Swimmers head to Omaha for Olympic trials

A total of 42 swimmers with Auburn ties will be among more than 2,000 athletes competing for 52 spots in the 2012 London Olympics as the 2012 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials get underway next week. The meet runs June 25-July 2 at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb. 

"Every kid who wants to be a swimmer, this is what they dream of from a young age," Auburn head coach Brett Hawke said. "Every four years, you wait for this, and now it's here. It's an exciting period to put yourself up against the best in the U.S. and take a team of individuals to try and get on that team." 

Twenty-four current Auburn student-athletes will be among the contingent making the trek to Omaha, along with 10 former swimmers and eight incoming freshmen or transfers. The group of 42 athletes with Auburn ties are entered in 86 total events with multiple swimmers competing each of the eight days during the meet.  

The top two finishers in each event will be selected for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team, while the top four swimmers in the 50 and 100 freestyle will also earn selection. The swimming portion of the 2012 London Olympics will run July 28-Aug. 4. Eleven international swimmers with Auburn ties have already qualified for the Olympics. 

Auburn has 10 swimmers seeded in the top 16 in their respective events, meaning they have a great chance at making the semifinals or beyond. Among the current swimmers, rising senior Kyle Owens leads the way as the No. 6 seed in the men's 100-meter backstroke with a top time of 54.20. Owens is also seeded 18th in the 200m back (2:01.03) and 24th in the 200m IM (2:02.91). Rising junior Olivia Scott is seeded 11th in the women's 100m butterfly, posting a top time of 58.94, which is the second-fastest long-course time in Auburn history. 

Senior Karl Krug is the 14th overall seed in the men's 50m freestyle with a time of 22.54 – the same seed time as former Tigers Bryan Lundquist and Kohlton Norys. And rising junior Emily Bos is barely outside top 16 in the women's 100m backstroke, clocking a time of 1:01.77 to earn the No. 17 seed in the event. 

Two-time Olympian Mark Gangloff, a 2005 graduate who still trains in Auburn, is among the favorites in the 100m breaststroke. He enters the Trials as the No. 2 seed in the event with a time of 1:00.19; he is the U.S. Open record-holder with a 59.01 that he swam at the USA Swimming National Championships in 2009. One of his chief competitors in the event will be another former Auburn swimmer, 2006 graduate Eric Shanteau. The American record-holder in the event (58.96 at the 2009 World Championships), Shanteau is seeded fourth in the 100 breast with a 1:00.31. Shanteau is also the top seed in the 200 breast, another event where he holds the American record. Auburn alumnus Adam Klein is seeded seventh in the 200 breast. 

Tyler McGill will be another favorite for the Tigers. The 2011 graduate is seeded second in the 100m butterfly, just behind 14-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps. McGill, with a seed time of 51.26, is ranked third in the world in that event behind Phelps and Poland's Konrad Czerniak. He was the bronze medalist in the 100 fly at the 2011 World Championships, and he won a gold medal in that meet as part of the 4x100 medley relay team. 

NBC and NBC Sports Network will carry more than 17 hours of coverage of the Olympic Trials, with NBC providing a live broadcast of finals each night. NBCOlympics.com will also stream coverage of each finals session. NBC Sports Network will show the fastest heats of preliminaries on tape-delay each night leading into NBC's broadcast of the finals. Preliminaries will begin at 10 a.m. CT each day with finals getting underway at 6:45 p.m. each evening. A full schedule of events, live timing and streaming of most of the preliminaries can be found at USASwimming.org.  

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