Not quite there

Pendleton falls just short of Olympics in 400 IM; Liebhold places ninth

Bethany Pendleton, a former Badger swimmer and Big Ten Swimmer of the Year in 2004, missed earning a berth on the U.S. Olympic team when she finished fifth in the 400-meter individual medley finals Wednesday in Long Beach, Calif.

Pendleton, competing with the Wisconsin Aquatics swim club, completed the race in 4:45.68. Fifteen-year-old Katie Hoff, swimming with the North Baltimore Aquatic Club, won the event in 4:37.67 and earned her place on the U.S. team. USC's Kaitlin Sandeno finished second in 4:40.39. Sandeno and others who place second in their respective finals have not secured a spot on the national team; they may be added to the team later this week, depending on swimmers qualifying in several events.

Tim Liebhold, a soon-to-be senior, competed in the men's 400 IM and placed in the top 10 but did not make the final cut. Liebhold placed ninth in the preliminary round of the 400 IM with a time of 4:25.71, but did not make the eight-swimmer finals. Michael Phelps of the North Baltimore Aquatic Club won the event in 4:08.41, besting his own world record. USC's Erik Vendt took second in 4:14.09.

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