OMAHA, Neb. - Former WKU swimmer and Lenoir City, Tenn., native Claire Donahue is one step away from making the 2012 U.S. Olympic team after turning in a top-six performance in the semi-finals of the 100-meter butterfly Monday night in Omaha, Neb. Donahue finished the first semi-final race with a time of 58.53, behind only Natalie Coughlin's time of 58.27 in the first heat.
Overall, Donahue's time would finish tied for sixth, after the second heat saw each of the top three performances, led by Dana Vollmer's time of 56.42. The top eight overall times advanced to the finals of the 100-meter butterfly Tuesday night.
Donahue reached the semi-finals after posting a career-best time of 57.82 in the prelims Monday morning, placing her second among all swimmers heading into the semi-finals.
Donahue is looking to become the first WKU swimmer to make the U.S. Olympic Team, and would become just the third Olympic swimmer in the program's history. Jevon Atkinson was the last Olympic swimmer from WKU, representing Jamaica in 2004.
The finals of the 100-meter butterfly will take place tomorrow night in Omaha, with live coverage on NBC. Donahue will also be swimming in the 200-meter butterfly, which will begin on Thursday. The top two swimmers in each event with move on the 2012 Olympics.
Aside from Donahue, WKU swimmers Hannah Runyon-Hass and Luke Musser each made their Olympic Trial debuts on Monday, with Runyon-Hass turning in a personal-best time of 4:52.01 in the 400-meter individual medley. Runyon-Hass' time was good for the second-best mark in the second heat of the event, and ranked her 37th in the event overall. The Franklin, Tenn., native will also be swimming in the 200-meter individual medley, beginning on Wednesday.
Musser, who will be a senior at WKU, recorded a time of 1:04.60 in the 100-meter breaststroke, good for 85th out of 139 swimmers that qualified for the event.
So far three of the seven WKU swimmers have hit the pool after day one at the 2012 USA Olympic Swimming Trials. Hilary Mishler and Seth Musser will take part in the prelims of the women's 100-meter backstroke and the men's 100-meter backstroke, respectively, beginning tomorrow.