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UCLA's Vandenberg going to Beijing

July 2, 2008 |  9:58 pm

Kim Vandenberg, seen here in the 200-meter butterfly preliminaries, made the Olympic team. The men's final 100 free at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials was missing Ryan Lochte. So it became a swim-off between Alex Righi and Nathan Adrian, which Adrian won in 49.01.

Watching their swim-off in the mixed zone on a TV was none other than Michael Phelps. Any sort of competition intrigues him and he was impressed by the Katie Hoff-Natalie Coughlin-Ariana Kukors contest in the 200 IM final, won by Hoff.

Kim Vandenberg "I thought, 'Oh, oh, a photo finish,' " Phelps said. But Phelps and his coach, Bob Bowman, were moved by Kim Vandenberg’s double effort. Vandenberg, of UCLA’s Team Bruin, made her first Olympic team by virtue of her fifth-place finish in the 200 freestyle in 1:58.02, putting her on the 800 freestyle relay and about 25 minutes later she recorded the fourth-fastest qualifying time in the semifinals of the 200 butterfly.

Vandenberg sometimes trains with Phelps and Bowman in Ann Arbor, Mich., because her boyfriend Erik Vendt swims for Bowman.

"It's so relieving," she said of making the Olympics. "Now I’m just so excited for tomorrow and the 200 fly, not having to do a 200 free right before it. The whole plan was just to get a lane for the 200 fly tomorrow night."

-- Lisa Dillman

Photo: Kim Vandenberg, seen here in the 200-meter butterfly preliminaries, made the Olympic team. Credit: Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press

Small inset: Kim Vandenberg during a news conference before the trials began. Credit: Nati Harnik / Associated Press

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