Monday July 2, 2012Dara Torres' Quest for Bid to Unprecedented Sixth Olympic Games Falls Short on Final Night of Olympic Trials
Aiming to save her best for the last day of the 2012 U.S.A. Swimming Olympic Trials, former Gator great Dara Torres fell shy of qualifying in the 50m free for an unprecedented sixth Olympic Games at age 45. Her 12 Olympic medals tie for the most of any female Olympian and she’ll forever grace the record books as one of the most decorated swimmers and athletes of all time.
The American Record holder in the 50m free (24.07), Torres (24.85) fell short to Jessica Hardy (24.50) and Kara Lynn Joyce (24.73) in first and second place, respectively, in the 50 free, while Christine Magnuson (24.78) dug in to touch third.
“I can leave today knowing I gave it everything I possibly could,” Torres told NBC’s Andrea Kremer following Monday evening’s race. “Unfortunately I didn’t make the team, but I did the best I could do. (I’m most proud of) the fact that I hung in there this long. I’ve had more downs than ups the past couple of years, especially with my coach passing away, but (I’m proud of) the longevity and being in a sport this long.”
Torres competed in her first Olympic Games at age 17 in 1984. Torres – at age 41 – was the oldest swimmer to make an Olympic team in 2008, and was looking to top that at age 45. Torres’ 12 Olympic medals are comprised of four gold, four silver and four bronze.
Also representing for the Orange and Blue Monday on the final evening of Olympic Trials was incoming Gator freshman Arthur Frayler (Ambler, Pa.), who finished fifth overall in the 1500-meter free (15:04.69). Gainesville-based and Coach Troy-tutored Peter Vanderkaay (Royal Oak, Mich.) clocked a 15:03.37, out-touching Frayler for fourth in the finals field of the distance freestyle event. Andrew Gemmell and Connor Jaeger notched the top two spots to qualify for London in the event.
For the Gators, Elizabeth Beisel (Kingstown, R.I.), former men’s swimmer Conor Dwyer (Winnetka, Ill.), former Gator great Ryan Lochte (Daytona Beach, Fla.) and Vanderkaay all stamped tickets to London in the past week, Beisel in the 400 IM and 200 back, Dwyer in the 400 free and 800 free relay for his first Olympic appearance, Lochte in the 400 IM, 200 back, 200 IM, 200 free, 200 back and 800 free relay, while Vanderkaay took top honors in the 400 free to qualify for his third Olympic Games.
Lochte leads the Gator contingent athletes in London with a seven-event slate, including his four individual events and a spot on the 800 free. Lochte will likely participate in two additional relays.
For a complete listing of the 2012 USA Swimming Olympic Team and qualified events for each athlete, visit USA Swimming online.
Stay tuned to www.GatorZone.com for news, schedules, events, results and recaps for coverage on all of UF’s swimming athletes as the 2012 Olympic Games in London approach. For up-to-the-minute information on everything Florida swimming related, follow swimming and diving on Twitter @GatorZoneSwimDv. You can also follow the Gators on Facebook.
Women’s 50 Free
4. Dara Torres 24.85
Men’s 1500 Free
4. Peter Vanderkaay 15:03.37
5. Arthur Frayler 15:04.69