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Olympic Swimming: Caitlin Leverenz Looks For Gold To Go With NCAA Success

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Caitlin Leverenz swims in the women's 400-meter individual medley preliminaries at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials, Monday, June 25, 2012, in Omaha, Neb.
Caitlin Leverenz swims in the women's 400-meter individual medley preliminaries at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials, Monday, June 25, 2012, in Omaha, Neb.

By Shoshanna Rutemiller, Swimming World

In 2008, Caitlin Leverenz barely missed the Olympic team when she placed third in the 200 breaststroke. In 2012, she certainly made sure it didn't happen again.

Although Elizabeth Beisel took first in the 400IM, Leverenz captured second by a remarkable margin, leaving open water for the third-place finisher, who touched over four seconds behind.

"I was ready to do this and ready to go," Leverenz said post-race. "I remember in 2008, I was in the lane next to Elizabeth and was telling her congratulations [for making the Olympics].... This year we were both telling each other congratulations."

Following her Trials silver in the 400IM, Leverenz added another event to her Olympic line-up by finishing first in the 200IM.

When asked about the way she handles meets with multiple events, Leverenz responded that she is "...used to swimming those college meets where you swim multiple events a day."

After the Olympics, Leverenz will have another year to swim collegiately. She'll be headed into her senior year at Cal, under head women's coach Teri McKeever.

Already Leverenz has been wildly successful at the collegiate level. At the 2011 NCAA Championships, she helped set a new American and NCAA record as part of the winning 200 medley relay. She also won bronze individually in the 200 breaststroke.

The following year, in 2012, she upped the ante by taking home four NCAA titles, in the 200IM, 200 breaststroke, and 200 and 400 medley relays. In the 400IM, she placed second. Perhaps for good measure, she also won the NCAA Swimmer of the Meet.

In London, Leverenz has her best shot at gold in the 200IM. The current World Record in this event is held by teammate Ariana Kukors, who placed second in the 200IM to Leverenz at Trials.

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