U.S. Olympic Trials: Amanda Weir, Missy Franklin Lead Way Into 100 Free Finals; Natalie Coughlin Olympic Hopes Still Alive -- June 29, 2012

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OMAHA, Nebraska, June 29. THE women's 100 free finale is about as star-studded as it gets after a pair of semifinal rounds at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. SwimAtlanta's Amanda Weir, a consummate sprinting specialist, three down a 54.14 to hold off Missy Franklin's 54.19 in the second heat.

Weir, who owns a pair of Olympic silver medals as a member of the women's 400 free relay and a prelim swimmer in the 400 medley relay in 2004, is looking to return to the Olympic team after an eight-year absence. In 2008, she had a rough women's 100 free final, winding up eighth overall in the event.

Franklin, already the 100 back victor and 200 free runner-up this week, could add a third individual Olympic event as well as a third relay spot if she continues to perform to this level. She helped the women's 400 free relay to silver at the World Championships last summer.

Allison Schmitt, who is seeking to become just the second swimmer to ever win the 100, 200 and 400 free in a single Trials alongside Shirley Babashoff in 1976, qualified third in 54.23 Jessica Hardy (54.27) and Natalie Coughlin (54.48) kept their Olympic hopes alive by making the finale, while Dana Vollmer (54.43), Madison Kennedy (54.45) and 17-year-old Lia Neal (54.60) also earned spots in the finals.

The Finalists:
Amanda Weir -- 54.14
Missy Franklin -- 54.19
Allison Schmitt -- 54.23
Jessica Hardy -- 54.27
Dana Vollmer -- 54.43
Madison Kennedy -- 54.45
Natalie Coughlin -- 54.48
Lia Neal -- 54.60

Results: US Olympic Trials: Women's 100 Free Semis

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