On Wednesday night, Trojan alum Rebecca Soni punched her ticket to London 2012 when she qualified for the 100m breaststroke.
This will be Soni’s second go at the Olympics, as she competed in Beijing in 2008 and came home with a gold medal, a silver one, and a world record in her pocket. Soni is, so far, the 31st Trojan that will compete for Team USA in the 2012 Olympics.
In 2008, Soni had a pretty interesting run to get to the finals. In the 100m breaststroke qualifiers, Soni finished fourth in a time of 1:07.80. Usually, the top two finishers would qualify for the Olympics, but after second-place finisher–and Trojan swim club temmate–Jessica Hardy withdrew from the team and third-place finisher Tara Kirk missed the entry deadline, Soni was chosen to swim the event. She then earned her berth by being the swimmer already on the team with the fastest time in the event since January 1, 2006. In the 200m breaststroke, Soni won with a time of 2:22.60, the third-fastest finish as of that date.
At the actually 2008 games, Soni won a silver medal in the 100m breaststroke, finishing behind world record holder Leisel Jones of Australia with a time of 1:05.17.
In the 200m breaststroke, Soni would go against heavily-favored Jones again, and this time Soni upset her, winning the gold medal and breaking Jones’s world record with a time of 2:20.22.
Later, Soni combined with Natalie Coughlin, Christine Magnuson, and Dara Torres in the 4×100 m medley relay to finish second behind Australia. Soni had the second best split time in the field (1:05.95) behind Jones (1:04.58).
There are still a variety of Trojans in track and field and swimming qualifying events, which wrap up on July 1 and 2 respectively.