Krayzelburg 2nd In 100m Back At U.S. Olympic Trials, Makes American Team

July 9, 2004

Trojan great and 2000 Olympic triple gold medallist Lenny Krayzelburg highlighted another strong twilight hour for USC swimmers, completing a long and often arduous bid to make the 2004 Olympic team by finishing second in the 100m back on the third day of the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials in Long Beach on Friday (July 9).

Krayzelburg's dramatic second-place finish that saw him out-touch former Stanford swimmer Peter Marshall by 0.04 was by no means the only Trojan storyline playing out on Friday.

Former USC NCAA title winner Klete Keller earned his second Olympic spot by taking second in the 200m free while Trojan great and 2000 Olympic gold medallist Lindsay Benko qualified for the finals of the women's 200m free with the fastest time of the day.

Then there was USC senior-to-be Kaitlin Sandeno, who already secured her spots in two events for the U.S. but clearly wasn't satisfied. She finished second to Benko in the 200m free semifinals and will race for a spot in that event on Saturday. Sandeno was also the third-fastest qualifier in the 200m IM after prelims, but decided against participating in the semifinals.

Krayzelburg's journey to make the Olympic team for a second time was a hard one as he dealt with injury after injury since winning gold in Australia. As he tried to regain his form, other top backstrokers improved. Aaron Peirsol broke his world record in the 200m back while Michael Phelps and the likes of Ball and Peter Marshall challenged as well.

Peirsol remains the backstroker to beat in Athens after finishing first at the Trials in 53.64, 0.04 off of Krayzelburg's world record in the 100m. But Krayzelburg figures to be right there with him.

Ball actually led after 50 meters at 25.81 in the final with Peirsol in second at 25.94, followed by Krayzelburg's 26.23, Dan Westcott's 26.27 and Marshall's 26.35. Peirsol accelerated past everyone in the final 50 and Krayzelburg, Marshall and Ball all touched within 0.14 within each other, Krayzelburg's reach proving to be the difference.

Keller, already on the U.S. team after winning the 400m free, took second in the 200m free in 1:46.87, behind only winner Phelps, the American record holder in the event who touched ahead first in 1:46.27. Peter Vanderkaay was a distant third (1:48.52).

Benko, a five-time NCAA winner while at USC, qualified for the finals of the 200m free with the fastest semifinal swim going 1:59.36, while Sandeno posted the second-fastest time of 1:59.68. The only other swimmer to break two minutes was teenager Dana Vollmer in 1:59.87. Sandeno will swim the 200m free and the 200m fly on Saturday, making it understandable why she would take a pass on pursuing the 200m IM.

Former Trojan All-American John Abercrombie made the finals of the 200m fly, qualifying with the fifth fastest swim in 1:58.82. And first-year USC volunteer coach Kellan O'Connor also qualified for the finals in 1:59.39.

Kalyn Keller, who made the Olympic team by virtue of her second-place finish in the 400m free, made the semis of the 200m free but finished 13th in 2:02.29. A USC incoming freshman also qualified for the finals of the event (but NCAA rules prohibit disclosing the name).

Former All-American Michala Kwasny was 52nd in the 200m IM.

You can follow the results at

USC has sent more athletes to the Olympic Games than any other university. From 1904 to 2000, there have been 340 athletes who attended USC before, during or after their Olympic appearance. They have collected 217 medals (104 gold, 59 silver and 54 bronze), including at least one gold medal in every summer Olympics since 1912.

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