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Andrea Kropp comes close to Olympic Trials finals berth

Swimming: Former Tolog finishes just two spots shy of final heat of 200-meter individual medley.

June 27, 2012|By Gabriel Rizk, gabriel.rizk@latimes.com

As the U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials closed on their third day, it’s become clear that Andrea Kropp has developed a taste for night swimming.

That’s where the main action happens, as swimmers aim to advance from morning preliminary heats into semifinal and final heats in their respective events under the lights at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha.

On Tuesday, Kropp, in her second trip to the trials after debuting in 2008, advanced to her first-ever evening swim in the 100-meter breaststroke and on Wednesday, the 2010 Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy graduate accomplished the same feat in the 200-individual medley.

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Kropp, who had the 10th-best prelim time of 2 minutes 14.91 seconds, competed in the semifinals of the 200 IM Wednesday evening, where she finished with the 10th-best time once again (2:14.44).

A top-eight finish would have been enough to advance her to today’s finals. The top two swimmers from each event plus four more in both the 100 and 200 freestyles qualify for the 2012 Olympics, set for July 27-Aug. 12.

"I was just hoping to get out and go a best time [in the 200 IM semis]," Kropp said. "I would have scratched the finals [tonight] anyways to focus on doing really well [Friday] in the 200 breast.

"I was just happy to go my best time."

Kropp’s bid to qualify in the 100 breaststroke also ended in the semifinals on Tuesday, but her most promising event lies yet ahead when she will go all out for a spot on the team in the 200 breaststroke, beginning Friday.

“I’m just swimming between two lane lines, it doesn’t matter how many people are there or anything else,” said Kropp, a two-time former All-Area Girls’ Swimmer of the Year. “It’s just a race I’ve done a ton of times and now I can really focus on that instead of the meet [itself].”

Crescenta Valley High senior-to-be Young Tae Seo competed in his second trials event on Wednesday, but again came up well short of advancing.

The reigning All-Area Boys’ Swimmer of the Year, who led the Falcons to the CIF Southern Section Division II championship in May, had the 131st-best time in the 200 butterfly (2:08.68) after turning in the 91st-best effort in the 400-individual medley on Tuesday.

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