Aug. 10, 2008
BEIJING -- University of Texas rising junior Susana Escobar captured her preliminary-round heat in the 400-meter freestyle and finished in the top half of the 41-swimmer field Sunday evening at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Representing her native Mexico, Escobar was victorious in the third heat of the 400m freestyle, finishing in 4 minutes, 11.99 seconds to top Brazil's Monique Ferreira, who clocked 4:12.41. Escobar placed 20th overall in the 41-swimmer field and figures to be one of a select few current NCAA swimmers to win a heat at the Beijing Olympics.
Escobar fared well in a comparable event at the 2008 NCAA Championships, earning All-America honors by placing seventh in the 500-yard freestyle.
Texas volunteer assistant women's swimming coach Kirsty Coventry followed up an outstanding silver-medal showing in the 400m individual medley by nearly taking down American Natalie Coughlin's world record in the 100m backstroke.
Coventry, who trains under UT and Zimbabwe head women's swimming coach Kim Brackin, landed the top seed in the event in 59.00, just off Coughlin's world mark of 58.97 set last month at the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Coventry's Monday morning 100m backstroke semifinal swim will air live Sunday on NBC at approximately 9:08 p.m. Central.