July 28, 2012
LONDON - In her first swim as an Olympian, Alabama junior Kristel Vournaadvanced to the semifinals of the 100-meter butterfly on Saturday at the Aquatic Centre in London.
Vourna, swimming for Greece on the first day of the swimming competition, posted a 58.74 to take sixth place in the fourth heat of prelims, which gave her the last spot in the semifinals.
In the semifinals, Vourna shaved nearly half a second off her time from prelims, touching the way with a time of 58.31, finishing seventh in the second heat of the semis and 12th overall. Her time in the finals set a new Greek national record and solidified her reputation as one of the world's up and coming butterflyers.
Saturday proved to be a busy day for Vourna. In addition to her individual events, she anchored Greece's 400m freestyle relay, which finished eighth in the second heat of prelims, with a time of 3:45.55.
Two-time NCAA Champion and now three-time Olympian Vlad Polyakov, a UA senior in 2007, finished third in his heat of the 100m breaststroke preliminaries, but did not advance to the semifinals.
Former Tide All-Americans Arlene Semeco and Hunor Mate will make their Olympic splash later in the week, with Mate swimming the 200m breaststroke at his second Olympiad and Semeco in the 100m and 200m freestyles in her third.