OMAHA, Neb. - Katie Hoff (Towson, Md.) won her second event of the meet Monday at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Swimming, qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Team in the women's 400m freestyle. Christine Magnuson (Tinley Park, Ill.) and Brendan Hansen (Havertown, Pa.) also qualified for the Olympic Team, winning the women's 100m butterfly and men's 100m breaststroke, respectively.
Hoff came out on top of a competitive field in the women's 400m free with a meet record time of 4:02.32, just 12-hundredths off her American record. During the race, Allison Schmitt (Canton, Mich.) took the lead and was under world-record pace at the 100-meter mark, and Caroline Burckle (Louisville, Ky.) briefly took the lead at halfway point. Hoff took the lead with two lengths to go and touched about a body-length ahead of Kate Ziegler (Great Falls, Va.), who finished second in 4:03.92.
In other finals, Magnuson won the women's 100m butterfly in 58.11. Magnuson Trailed Rachel Komisarz (Warren, Mich.) at the first turn, Magnuson managed to take the lead in the last 20 meters. Elaine Breeden (Lexington, Ky.) finished second in 58.21, while Komisarz finished third in 58.36.
Magnuson's time was more than a half second slower than the meet record of 57.50 she set in Sunday night's semifinals, but new Olympic Trials champion was said she was happy to get her hand on the wall first.
"Yesterday, I had really great races," Magnuson said. "I was a little nervous coming in tonight. I knew a lot of people would be out fast in today's final, but no matter who's ahead at the 50, I know that I can bring it home, and I tried to stay calm. That last 25 was a lot more painful than the other ones yesterday, but you have to suck it up and keep your stroke and go after it. I think I learned a lot from this race."
Hansen finished first the 100m breast in 59.93, nearly three quarters of a second slower than the meet record of 59.24 he set in the semifinals Sunday, and eight-tenths slower than his world record of 59.13.
"I know you wanted to see a world record, but it wasn't in the cards tonight," Hansen said. "My goal was to make the team, and I've done that."
Hansen took control of the race at the 50-meter mark and held on down the homestretch. Mark Gangloff (Akron, Ohio) was second in 1:00.42. Hansen and Gangloff went 1-2 in this event at the 2004 Olympic Trials and swam the event at the Olympic Games in Athens.
"I just wanted to have a solid swim and solidify that spot on the team," Hansen said. "Now that I've done it, I can go into the 200 (breast) with guns blazing."
The first-place finishers in each of Monday's finals automatically qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team. The second-place finishers will most likely be named to the team later in the week, pending swimmers qualifying in multiple events.
In semifinal action, Hayley McGregory (Houston, Texas) qualified as the top seed heading into the finals of the women's 100m back with a time of 59.48. McGregory broke the world record in the 100m back in Monday's prelims with a time of 59.15, only to have Natalie Coughlin (Vallejo, Calif.) break that record in the very next heat in 59.03. Coughlin held the world record coming into Trials with a time of 59.21. Coughlin is the second seed in tomorrow night's finals with a time of 59.74.
Just three-hundredths of a second separate Ryan Lochte (Daytona Beach, Fla.) and Michael Phelps (Baltimore, Md.) as they head into the finals of the men's 200m free. Lochte qualified as the top seed in 1:45.61, while Phelps qualified second in 1:45.64.
"I'm getting a good feel for my stroke," Phelps said. "I was just swimming tonight. Tomorrow I'm thinking about what I have to focus on. Hopefully I'll have a strong final tomorrow night."
The finals of the women's 100m breaststroke will feature a showdown between the four fastest Americans of all time in this event - Jessica Hardy (Long Beach, Calif.), Tara Kirk (Bremerton, Wash.), Rebecca Soni (Plainsboro, N.J.) and Megan Jendrick (Tacoma, Wash.). Soni is the top seed with a time of 1:06.87, but Hardy set the meet record in Monday's prelims in 1:06.85. Jendrick is the second seed in 1:07.17, while Kirk is seeded third in 1:07.19.
Randall Bal (Fair Oaks, Calif.) broke the meet record in the prelims and semifinals of the 100m back and is now the first seed heading into tomorrow night's final with a time of 53.09, the fastest time in the world this year. World record-holder Aaron Peirsol (Irvine, Calif.) is the second seed with a time of 53.26, while Matt Grevers (Lake Forest, Calif.) is seeded third. Lochte, who finished second behind Peirsol at last year's World Championships, is seeded fourth.
Tomorrow's events include prelims and semifinals of the women's 200m free, men's 200m fly and women's 200m IM. Finals will be conducted in the men's 200m free, women's 100m back, men's 100m back and women's 100m breast.
Tomorrow night's finals and semifinals will air live on the USA Network, beginning at 7 p.m. CT.