Hoelzer Punches Her Ticket to the Olympics

Omaha, Neb.--Margaret Hoelzer became the second Auburn swimmer to make the U.S. Olympic team as she finished second in the 100-meter backstroke on Tuesday night at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials.

The former Tiger and multiple time NCAA champ swam a personal-best time of 59.21. The race was won by Natalie Coughlin, who set a world record in the event at 58.97.

"Any time you see a world record broken, it's amazing to be in a race with people doing that," Hoelzer said.

Hoelzer swam a 29.96 for the second 50 meters to pass Hayley McGregory, the former world record holder in the event, to earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team that will compete in China this summer.

The Huntsville native joins Mark Gangloff on the U.S. team and is the 10th Tiger to qualify for the Olympics with eight others who have made national teams from other countries.

"Naturally in a 200, you're more relaxed than in a 100 and I try to take that same mentality into the 100 with me," Hoelzer said. "If I got anything going for me it is that I'm not going to be as tired, not being a true sprinter. I knew I'd be out there a little slower than the other two (McGregory and Coughlin), I just kept thinking I could squeak in there somehow."

Hoelzer is the top seed for the 200 backstroke that will be contested on Friday.

Auburn's Ava Ohlgren, who just completed her sophomore season, advanced to her first final of the meet with the fifth fastest time in the 200 individual medley on Tuesday.

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