U.S. Olympic Trials: Connor Jaeger Leads Michigan Domination of 400 Free
-- June 25, 2012
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OMAHA, Nebraska, June 25. MICHIGAN's Connor Jaeger blasted more than two seconds from his personal best to win the first of the men's 400 free circle seeded heats in 3:48.06 at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. The top-seeded time led a Michigan Wolverine onslaught in finals qualifying in the middle distance event.
Jaeger's swim crushed his lifetime leading time of 3:50.87 heading into what is his first Trials experience. As a freshman at Michigan this year, he earned third in the 1650-yard freestyle and fifth in the 500-yard freestyle in what had been his highest profile meet to this point. Last summer, at U.S. Nationals, he took 10th in the 400-meter freestyle event.
Lake Forest's Conor Dwyer also obliterated his lifetime best with a 3:48.37 in heat 10 of 12. That swim undercut his previous best of 3:51.40. Dwyer, who was all everything his junior year at Florida with a win in the 500-yard freestyle and the 200-yard freestyle events, switched his focus to long course his senior year, concluding with a summer-ending gold medal in the men's 800 free relay at Worlds in 2011. The focus on an Olympic berth as a post-grad looks to have paid off.
The first of the circle seeded heats proved to be the most competitive, fielding the top four seeds into finals. Michigan grad Charlie Houchin earned third in 3:48.48 and is guaranteed to finish much higher than his 43rd place in the event back in 2008 here in Omaha. Club Wolverine's Matt Patton finished fourth with a 3:48.79, and now has a chance to improve on his seventh-place effort in 2008.
OLY's Peter Vanderkaay, another Michigan-linked swimmer, qualified fifth in 3:49.16 after making the team in the event with a 3:43.73 in 2008 behind Larsen Jensen's Trials-record time of 3:43.53. Vanderkaay is the biggest name in the finale with two Olympic golds and a bronze on his resume. He finished just off the Olympic podium in the event in Beijing with a fourth-place performance.
Michigan's Ryan Feeley (3:49.21), FAST's Michael Klueh (3:49.43) and The Woodlands' Michael McBroom (3:49.89) rounded out the Olympic finale. And, in a notable scratch, Ryan Lochte decided not to swim one of the 11 events he was scheduled to swim.
Connor Jaeger -- 3:48.06 (lifetime best)
Conor Dwyer -- 3:48.37 (lifetime best)
Charlie Houchin -- 3:48.48
Matt Patton -- 3:48.79
Peter Vanderkaay -- 3:49.16
Ryan Feeley -- 3:49.21 (lifetime best)
Michael Klueh -- 3:49.43
Michael McBroom -- 3:49.89 (lifetime best)
Results: US Olympic Trials: Men's 400 Free Prelims
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