Hansen swims fourth fastest time in the world to go to finals
June 25, 2012
OMAHA, Neb. -- Former Longhorn Brendan Hansen is proving he still has what it takes on the big stage as he swam the fourth fastest time in the world in the 100 breaststroke Monday night during the Olympic Trials at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb.
Hansen, who is just over one month away from his 31st birthday, recorded a time of 59.71 to move on to the finals in the 100 breaststroke. The time was just off his personal best of 59.13 set in 2006. It was just the sixth time in 2012 a swimmer has gone under a minute.
"You have no idea how hard it is to break a minute and to go in there and do it in the semifinals, to know you are getting faster every time is just what I wanted," said Hansen. "I am getting stronger and making the right moves so tomorrow is shaping up to be pretty good. As far as my confidence goes it is at an all-time high right now."
He got off to the second fastest start in his heat, the first of two heats in the semifinals. By the end of the first 50 meters he had begun to pull away from the pack. At the turn his time was 27.89 as he made it clear who the winner of the race was going to be. All that was left to decide was who was going to join him in the finals.
"Notoriously I have always felt better at night, felt looser and smoother," said Hansen. "Tonight in warm-ups when I was getting ready with Ed (Reese) he said, `just nail the first five strokes and you will be fine'. I went out and hit the first five strokes, and I was like `I am gone ... later.' I just took off."
When Hansen touched the final wall and looked up he saw that he had become the only swimmer of the day to go under one minute in the 100 breaststroke, pumping his fist in the air in celebration.
In the afternoon, Hansen had the second fastest time of the prelims with a 1:00.30. He was just shy of the top mark of 1:00.29 by John Criste, who did not make the finals. Hansen will be the top seed going into the finals on Tuesday, which will be the fourth event of the evening.
"Both swims were this afternoon but it is one of those deals that you just have to get used to it and understand when you are going to swim," said Hansen. "It was tough on all the breaststrokers and it was a little slow this morning. You know how much more you have in the tank but you also know you have to save some for the finals tomorrow night."
Another former Longhorn, Michael Klueh, just missed out on his first shot at the Olympics this week as he finished third in the 400 freestyle with a time of 3:48.17. He made a big surge from seventh to third in the second 100 meters and was coming on strong at the end but could not overtake the two leaders, Peter Vanderkaay and Conor Dwyer.
"I was a little nervous after this morning but when I got to the pool tonight a calm came over me," said Klueh. "I felt like it was going to happen but today is just day one and I have a lot of swimming left to do. The only way this is going to affect me is if I let it. As much as I want that race back it can't happen."
Also swimming in the finals were Michael McBroom in the 400 freestyle and Eric Friedland in the 100 breaststroke. McBroom finished eighth with a time of 3:56.12 after making the finals in his first Olympic Trials. Friedland wound up 16th with a time of 1:01.93 in the semifinals.
Tuesday's prelim events will begin at 10 a.m. with the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke scheduled on the men's side. The finals begin at 6:45 p.m. and will include the semifinals of the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke and the finals of the 100 breaststroke.
Monday, June 25
400 IM (109 swimmers)