Auburn Swimmer Tyler McGill Qualifies for Olympics; Runner-Up In 100 Fly At Trials

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Auburn’s week at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials ended on a high note Sunday night as former Tiger Tyler McGill finished second in the 100-meter butterfly final to earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team.

McGill’s time of 51.32 seconds in the final was second only to two-time defending gold medalist and world record-holder Michael Phelps, who swam the fastest time in the world this year with a 51.14. The former Tiger was sixth at the 50-meter mark, but a great turn and a strong charge down the final 25 meters – he did not breathe the final 15 meters – propelled him past former Florida swimmer Ryan Lochte and NCAA Champion Tom Shields from California into second place.

“I came here for a purpose,” McGill said. “It didn’t matter who was next to me or where I was in the race. The goal was to make the Olympic team. It wasn’t anything that I didn’t expect to do; I’m just happy that I’m going to London.”

McGill, a native of Champaign, Ill., who finished his Auburn eligibility in 2010, becomes the 14th current or former Auburn swimmer – the third American – to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics. He will join former Tigers Eric Shanteau (men’s 100 breaststroke) and Micah Lawrence (women’s 100 breaststroke) on the United States team.

Also on Sunday night, incoming freshman Jillian Vitarius recorded a seventh-place finish in the women’s 200 backstroke final, clocking a time of 2:12.69. She had qualified for the final Saturday night with a 2:11.69 in the semifinal, the third-fastest time ever recorded in the event by a swimmer with Auburn ties.

“This experience is unreal. I try to describe it to myself, and I can’t,” Vitarius said of her week at the Trials. “Just to be in this heat with all these really talented ladies is everything to me. It means so much. I can’t even put it into words. I didn’t really feel any pressure (tonight). I was hoping for a little faster time, but to get seventh at the Olympic Trials is just amazing. I wouldn’t give it up for the world.”

Earlier Sunday, four other Auburn swimmers competed in preliminaries in the women’s 50 freestyle and men’s 1500 freestyle. Rising junior Emily Bos clocked a 26.00 to finish 42nd overall, while Haley Krakoski posted a lifetime-best 26.28 to earn a 67th-place finish in the women’s 50 free.

In the men’s 1500 free, rising junior Zane Grothe turned in a time of 15:38.98 to finish 25th, and incoming freshman Steyn Funk swam a 16:08.53.

The Olympic Trials continue Monday night with two more events, neither of which will feature Auburn swimmers. The official announcement of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team will be made following Monday’s finals session. Swimming at the 2012 London Olympic Games will begin July 28 and run through August 4.

Below is a complete list of Auburn’s 2012 Olympic swimmers:

Name                                                                    Country                                                                                         Event(s)

George Bovell                                                   Trinidad & Tobago                                                    50 free, 100 free

Adam Brown                                                      Great Britain                                               50 free, 4×100 free relay

Marcelo Chierighini                                         Brazil                                                                               4×100 free relay

Cesar Cielo                                                          Brazil                                           50 free, 100 free, 4×100 free relay

Kirsty Coventry                                                 Zimbabwe                                100 back, 200 back, 200 IM, 400 IM

James Disney-May                                          Great Britain                                                                4×100 free relay

Megan Fonteno                                               American Samoa                                                                       100 free

Stephanie Horner                                            Canada                                                                                             400 IM

Micah Lawrence                                               United States                                                                         200 breast

Gideon Louw                                                     South Africa                             50 free, 100 free, 4×100 free relay

Tyler McGill                                                        United States                                                                                 100 fly

Eric Shanteau                                                     United States                                                                         100 breast

Matt Targett                                                      Australia                                                                        4×100 free relay

Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace                      Bahamas                                                                      50 free, 100 free

 

Auburn Swimming

2012 U.S. Olympic Trials – Day 7 Results

July 1, 2012

CenturyLink Center – Omaha, Neb.

 

Women’s 200m Backstroke – Final

7. Jillian Vitarius – 2:11.96

Men’s 100 Butterfly – Final

2. Tyler McGill – 51.32 (qualifies for Olympics)

Women’s 50 Freestyle – Prelims

42. Emily Bos – 26.00

67. Haley Krakoski – 26.28 (PR)

Men’s 1500 Freestyle – Prelims

25. Zane Grothe – 15:38.98

76. Steyn Funk – 16:08.53

 

Courtesy AU Media Relations

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