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OMAHA, Nebraska, June 26. UNDER world-record pace until the closing 15 meters, California's Dana Vollmer had enough in the tank to hold off the field en route to a victorious time in the women's 100 fly at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.
Vollmer, who set the textile best and an American record with a 56.42 during semifinals, just like she did with a 56.47 during semis of the World Championships in Shanghai, snared the Trials title in the 100 fly with a 56.50. That performance still stands as the eighth best of all time, just behind her 56.42 from semis.
She demonstrated her dominance in the event with a 1.07-second victory over Western Kentucky's Claire Donahue (57.57), which ranks amongst the top margins of victory in the event's history at Trials. Mary T. Meagher owns that record with a 1.34-second triumph over Tracy Caulkins in 1980, 59.41 to 1:00.75.
Donahue likely didn't mind as she posted a lifetime best and secured the second spot on the team. That's a meteoric rise for Donahue, who finished 32nd in the event back in 2008, but showed her potential with a gold-medal effort at the Pan American Games last year. She became the first WKU swimmer to ever make the U.S. Olympic team.
Kathleen Hersey of Longhorn missed the team with a third-place performance of 58.16, just off her lifetime best of 58.15, while Tennessee's Kelsey Floyd had a strong effort with a fourth-place 58.22 to lower her personal best.
Defending Olympic representatives in the event, Elaine Breeden (58.43) and Christine Magnuson (58.60) wound up on the outside looking in with fifth and sixth place finishes. The finish is particularly tough for Magnuson as she captured the Olympic silver medal in the event four years ago. California's Natalie Coughlin (58.66) and Texas A&M's Caroline McElhany (58.87) rounded out the top eight.