Wilkinson Breaks Canadian National Record Twice; Qualifies for First Olympics

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MONTREAL -- Texas A&M junior swimmer Julia Wilkinson (Stratford, Ont.) qualified for her first-ever Olympic Games thanks to the signature performance of day two at the 2008 Canadian Olympic Trials.

After becoming just the second Canadian woman to ever cross the 1:02 barrier in the 100-meter backstroke in the morning, she replicated the feat at night by dropping more than an additional quarter of a second to lower the new national mark to 1:01.41. The time also eclipsed the Olympic ‘A’ standard of 1:01.70. Former Texas All-American Elizabeth Wycliffe finished more than a full second behind Wilkinson for second place in 1:02.50.

Wilkinson broke the Canadian national record first during morning preliminaries by swimming a career best time of 1:01.76. The former record of 1:01.93 was swum by Erin Gammel in 2005. Gammel won the 2004 Canadian Trials in 1:02.28.

Big 12 Co-Newcomer of the Meet Melanie Dodds (Maple Ridge, B.C.) placed eighth in the championship finals of the 400-meter individual medley on Tuesday evening in 4:54.09.

Former Aggie All-American Matt Rose finished third in the men’s 100-meter backstroke in 55.66 on Wednesday night. Rose’s former A&M teammate Robbie Taylor tied for first with Jake Tapp at 55.53.