Swimming: No Olympic berth for Magnuson in butterfly
June 26, 2012 10:22PM
Updated: July 28, 2012 6:30AM
Christine Magnuson began her time in the swimming spotlight as a freestyler, winning state titles in the 100-yard free while at Andrew in 2002 and 2003.
One way or another, she’ll bow out a freestyler, as well.
The 26-year-old Tinley Park native failed to secure an Olympic team spot in the 100-meter butterfly, finishing sixth in that discipline Tuesday during the U.S. trials in Omaha, Neb. She won a silver medal in the 100 fly at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and was the fastest in the world at that distance in 2010, but never recovered her top form after sinus surgery in 2011.
Dana Vollmer, coming off an American record of 56.42 seconds in Monday’s semifinals, won in 56.50. Claire Donahue was second in 57.57 to grab the other Olympic spot. Magnuson, who qualified eighth for the final, finished in 58.60.
“I’m actually really happy with how I raced and how I competed tonight,” Magnuson said via phone from Omaha. “I’m not disappointed in it, even though I know people want me to be. I attacked it. I went after it. That’s all I can do. The girls who are going to the Olympics deserve it. They swam really fast.”
Magnuson, who has said she’ll retire if she fails to make the U.S. squad, still has a shot to qualify for next month’s London Olympics in the 50 free and 100 free. In the former, beginning Sunday, she ranked No. 4 in the U.S. heading into the trials, while in the latter, beginning Friday, she ranks 15th.
Based on her performances in the fly, which featured quick starts aand slower second halves in relation to the rest of the field, her best bet may be in the 50. She was second to Vollmer at the turn Tuesday.
“I think I have the potential to really be in the mix,” Magnuson said before the trials. “In the 50, anything can happen. It’s such a fast race and it literally comes down to hundreths. In the 50 you have to be perfect for the whole race.”