Auburn’s Kukors advances to 200-meter IM final

University of Washington sophomore Ariana Kukors advanced to the 200-meter individual medley final Tuesday at the 2008 U.S. Olympic swimming trials in Omaha, Neb., posting the second-fastest time in the 16-person field.

Kukors, a Mountainview High School graduate who trains locally with King Aquatic Club, swam her semifinal heat in 2 minutes, 10.85 seconds to finish second behind 400 IM world-record holder Katie Hoff to earn one of eight berths in today’s 200 IM final. The top two in today’s race will earn a spot in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The Husky phenom advanced to the semifinals Tuesday morning by finishing fifth in the preliminaries in 2:12.38. She then bested that time by more than a full second to finish second in the semifinal. Kukors came into the trials ranked fourth nationally in the 200 IM with a qualifying time of 2:11.68.

Today’s finals appearance will mark Kukors’ second top-eight finish of the trials thus far. She finished sixth in Sunday’s 400-meter IM.

Earlier Tuesday, Kukors just missed a spot in the 200-meter freestyle semifinals, finishing 17th in 2:00.09, just .11 shy of the semifinals as the top 16 advanced.

Also competing Tuesday was incoming UW freshman Danielle Gong who also competed in the 200 IM. Gong finished 93rd in 2:22.13.

Kukors will compete in the finals today at 4:45 p.m., looking for her first Olympic berth. Evan Bernier will represent the Husky men’s squad this morning in the preliminaries of the 100-meter freestyle.

SCHEDULE AND RESULTS (All times Pacific)

Tuesday, July 1


Ariana Kukors – Women’s 200-meter freestyle – 2:00.09 (17th, did not qualify)

Ariana Kukors – Women’s 200-meter individual medley – 2:12.38 (5th, advances to semifinals)

Danielle Gong – Women’s 200-meter individual medley – 2:22.13 (93rd, did not qualify)


Kukors – Women’s 200-meter individual medley – 2:10.85 (2nd, advances to final)

Wednesday, July 2

Preliminaries, 9 a.m.

Evan Bernier – Men’s 100-meter freestyle

Finals, 4:45 p.m.

Men’s 100 free semifinal (Bernier)

Women’s 200 IM FINAL (Kukors)