4 Tucson swimmers reach final at Swim Trials

Four Ford/Zona swimmers advanced to the final round on day one of the U.S. Olympic Trials on Monday in Omaha, Neb.

Marcus Titus, Kevin Cordes and Clark Burckle all survived through preliminary and semifinal rounds in the men’s 100 breaststroke to make up three of the eight competitors in a Tuesday night final.

Christine Magnuson finished in eighth in the women’s 100 butterfly, also qualifying for the finals on Tuesday night.

The top two finishers in each event will qualify for the Olympic Games in London next month.

Titus, had the fifth-best time in the semifinals (1:00.49), Cordes was sixth (1:00.53) and Burckle was eighth (1:00.83). Titus and Burckle are former swimmers at the University of Arizona, while Cordes recently completed his freshman year.

The top two qualifiers were Brendan Hansen (59.71) and Scott Weltz (1:00.20).

Magnuson, a 2008 Olympian, was timed in 58.72. The top qualifiers in her event were Dana Vollmer (56.42) and Elaine Breeden (58.18).

“We got the first day of trials off to a good start,” Arizona head coach Eric Hansen said. “We finished the first day with a ton of momentum. It’s a great start to our meet and we look forward to days to come.”

In one of Monday night’s two finals, Caitlin Leverenz of Tucson, who swims for the University of California, earned one of two Olympic berths in the women’s 400 individual medley, finishing second in a time of 4:34.48. Elizabeth Beisel took first in 4:31.74. Leverenz had a margin of better than four seconds over third-place finisher Cammile Adams.

Other Ford/Zona swimmers to swim on Monday included Austin Thompson (19th) and Eric Solis (35th) in the men’s 400 individual medley; Whitney Myers Burnett (20th), Lauren Smart (45th), Erin Campbell (49th) and Ashley Evans (112th) in the 100 butterly; Matt Barber (44th) in the 400 freestyle); Shannyn Hultin (79th) in the women’s 400 IM; and Adam Ritter (11th), Ed Moses (21st), Kevin Munsch, Carl Mickelson, Bart Steninger and Kevin Steel in the 100 breast.