Huntsville, Ala., native Margaret Hoelzer earned an Olympic berth in her second event Saturday night as she broke the world record in the 200-meter backstroke, winning the event with a time of 2:06.09. She breaks the world record time of 2:06.39, held by her former Auburn teammate and Zimbabwean Olympian Kirsty Coventry.
"This is my first world record, it's a wonderful surprise," said Hoelzer. "I'm in awe and amazed and I'm happy to be where I am right now.
" For Hoelzer, it gives her a second event for the 2008 Beijing Olympics after she finished second in the 100-meter backstroke on Tuesday.
She is a two-time Olympian after qualifying for the 2004 Athens Olympics in the 200m back.
Hoelzer was in second place through the first 100 meters, but took over the lead following the halfway point en route to her first world record.
I wanted to be close at the 100," said Hoelzer. "I wanted to go out with Hayley (McGregory) and be in front of Elizabeth (Beisel) at the end."
Hoelzer won two individual NCAA titles in the 200-yard backstroke while ccompeting for Auburn and was on five NCAA championship relay teams. She won nine SEC individual titles from 2002 through 2005.