LONG BEACH, CA – Former Rutgers swimmer Michelle DeFreese was one of three to compete on the first day of the USA Olympic Swimming Trials, held this week in Long Beach, CA, and her performance in the 100m butterfly fell short of a spot in Athens.
DeFreese placed 14th in the preliminaries (1:01.18), which was good enough to earn a spot in the finals. In the finals, DeFreese improved her performance by four spots, finishing 10th with a time of 1:00.35, which was a personal best. The tenth-place finish makes DeFreese the second alternate to swim in the finals for a spot on the Olympic team.
“Barring an incredible circumstance, it appears as if Michelle’s bid for a spot in the Olympics has ended,” said Rutgers head coach Chuck Warner. “For an athlete to walk-on at Rutgers as a sophomore and rise to this level is remarkable, however.”
Sean Smith, competing in the 400m IM preliminaries, finished 28th with a time of 4:34.53. It was in that event that Michael Phelps established a new world record, clocking 4:09.9 to pace the field. Smith also competed in the 400m freestyle, finishing 27th, and will finish with the 200m butterfly event on Friday.
Kelly Harrigan also finished 24th (1:01.80) in the 100m butterfly, establishing a personal-best time, and will compete today in the 100m backstroke and later this week in the 200m backstroke, which takes place on Monday, July 12. Matt Campbell will compete in the 50m freestyle on July 12 as well.