Berens adds name to Olympics roster
June 27, 2012
OMAHA, Neb. -- Former Longhorn Ricky Berens put together a strong final 50 meters to finish third in the 200 freestyle and advance to his second Olympic games Wednesday night.
At the final turn, Berens stood in sixth place after being in the top four at each of the previous two turns. Although he had slipped, Berens still had enough left in him as he surged forward in a chase after the leaders, Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. At the end it was Berens just beating out Conor Dwyer, Matt McLean and Charlie Houchin for the third spot. The second through sixth positions were only separated by 0.32 seconds.
"It is incredible that when I pushed off the wall I saw I was in striking distance," said Berens. "I just needed to get home. The end was incredible. I got faster each session so that was great. The last 50 I just pushed it and pushed it. I was numb by the last 50 and didn't even know if I was going anywhere."
With his third-place time of 1:46.56 he will advance as a member of the 800 freestyle relay team. The top four in the 200 freestyle automatically qualify for the Olympic team. It will be his second consecutive trip to the Olympics as he also went to Beijing in 2008. Four years ago he competed in the exact same event and picked up a gold medal as part of the 800 freestyle relay team that set the world record.
"Thank god," said Berens. "It hasn't hit me yet but it will hit me tonight when I am going to bed."
Berens joined Brendan Hansen (100m breaststroke) and diver Troy Dumais (3m, 3m springboard) as 2012 Olympians from the Texas men's swimming and diving program. UT now has 57 Olympians all-time.
Fellow former Longhorn Michael Klueh was also in the finals race of the 200 freestyle. Klueh posted a time of 1:49.29 to finish eighth.
Neil Caskey was the other UT swimmer in the evening session. He was competing in the semifinals of the 200 butterfly. He recorded a time of 1:59.58 to come in 13th overall.
The Olympic Trials will continue on Thursday. Two events will take place in the morning prelims on the men's side, including the 100 freestyle and 200 breaststroke. Those two events will advance 16 to the semifinals tomorrow night which will take place along with the final of the 200 butterfly.
Longhorns in 2012 Olympics
Wednesday, June 27