2008 NCAA Champion Hesen advances to 100m backstroke finals

Former Hoosier standout swimmer Ben Hesen is one race away from a trip to the London Olympics.

Hesen, a former All-American and 2008 NCAA Champion, has qualified for the 100-meter backstroke finals at the USA Swimming Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb. He placed fourth in the semifinals with a time of 53.52. The top three finishers were Matt Grevers (a Northwestern alum), David Plummer and Nick Thoman.

Earlier in the day, Hesen swam the fourth fastest time in the preliminaries (54.21 seconds) and won his heat.

Junior James Wells finished 63rd (57.33) and former Hoosier John Kevin Koehler 123rd (59.34).

In the 100-meter breaststroke, senior Ashley Specht finished 21st with a time of 1:09.66, second fastest in school history.

Senior Jim Barbiere placed 25th in the 200-meter freestyle with a time of 1:50.39, followed by sophomore Steve Schmuhl in 39th (1:51.10). Former Hoosier Titus Knight finished 83rd (1:52.78),  followed by IU alums Andrew Taylor (91st- 1:53.21) and Koehler (94th- 1:53.40).

In the 400-meter freestyle, junior Lindsay Vrooman took fourth in her heat (36th overall) with a time of 4:16.29th. Incoming freshman Haley Lips finished second in her heat (45th overall) with a time of 4:18.17, while Sophomore Lauren Jordan placed 91st with a time of 4:22.71.

--Joe Popely

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