June 25, 2012
OMAHA, Neb. - California's Caitlin Leverenz likely captured her first Olympic berth and star alumna Dana Vollmer broke her own American record in the 100-meter butterfly on the first night of the U.S. Olympic Trials on Monday at the CenturyLink Center. Leverenz posted a time of 4:34.48 to take second place in the 400-meter individual medley final. Vollmer clocked a time of 56.42 in the 100-butterfly semifinals to edge her previous American record of 56.47.
A Cal senior in 2012-13, Leverenz was the first Bear and was one of the first two women - along with 400-IM winner Elizabeth Beisel - to likely clinch a spot on the U.S. Olympic team at trials. At Olympic Trials in 2008, Leverenz narrowly missed making the U.S. squad after taking fourth in the 400 IM, fourth in the 200 IM and third in the 200 breaststroke.
The probable Olympic spot is the latest in a string of major accomplishments for the Tucson, Ariz., product over the last year, including Cal's NCAA championship, Leverenz's four NCAA individual/relay titles, the NCAA Swimmer of the Meet Award, the Honda Sports Award for Swimming, Cal's Pac-12 title, three Pac-12 individual/relay championships and the Pac-12 Swimmer of the Meet Award.
Both Vollmer, who posted the top time of 56.59 in the morning preliminary heats, and fellow star alumna Natalie Coughlin (58.27, fourth-best semifinal time) qualified for Tuesday night's 100-fly final.
The meet ends on July 2.