Teenyboppers put Coughlin under pressure at trials

Teenyboppers put Coughlin under pressure at trials

Credit: Getty Images

OMAHA, NE - JUNE 26: (L-R) Natalie Coughlin, Missy Franklin and Elizabeth Pelton react after they competed in the second semifinal heat of the Women's 100 m Backstroke during Day Two of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials at CenturyLink Center on June 26, 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

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by AP

WHAS11.com

Posted on June 26, 2012 at 10:24 PM

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- Natalie Coughlin is under pressure from the 18-and-under crowd at the U.S. swimming trials.

The two-time defending Olympic champion in the 100-meter backstroke grabbed the next-to-last spot for Wednesday night's final, where the top four qualifiers are all 18 or younger and three of them swam under 1 minute.

Coughlin will be hard-pressed to finish first or second, which she needs to do to secure a spot on her third consecutive Olympic team. Her time of 1 minute, 0.63 seconds in Tuesday night's semifinal landed her in an outside lane for the final.

Missy Franklin, the 17-year-old budding star who idolizes Coughlin, qualified fastest in 59.06 seconds. Rachel Bootsma, an 18-year-old from Eden Prairie, Minn., was second at 59.10. Olivia Smoliga, another 17-year-old from suburban Chicago, was third-quickest in 59.82.

 

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