Berens adds second event for Olympics
June 29, 2012
OMAHA, Neb. -- Ricky Berens added a second event to his 2012 Olympics schedule as he qualified for the 400m freestyle relay Friday night with a fourth place finish in the 100 freestyle.
Berens was one of three Longhorns competing in the finals of the 100 freestyle along with Jimmy Feigen and Garrett Weber-Gale. As he had done all week Berens finished strong in his final 50 meters with the fastest split to come in fourth overall and make the relay team with his 48.80.
"It feels good and I am officially a relay swimmer again," said Berens. "It is great to be going in more than one event and to double my workload. It is always fun being on relays. It is the most fun part of the Olympic Games. It is fun representing your country like that."
While the U.S. is the favorite in the 800 freestyle relay in London, the 400 freestyle relay is expected to be more of a challenge.
"We are underdogs going in and have a lot of work cut out for us," said Berens. "Australia, Russia, France, they all have a bunch of stars and fast guys but we can all drop a lot of time."
Feigen is also expected to be named to the Olympic team later in the week if swimmers qualify in multiple events. In the past the U.S. has taken six swimmers in the 100 freestyle and 200 freestyle events due to the freestyle relays. Feigen was fifth in the 100 free Friday night with a time of 48.84.
"It is the realization of a dream," said Feigen. "I am so excited to just be here. I have the third fastest time in the U.S. right now so I am really happy with where I am."
Feigen stood in second place halfway through the race with his opening split of 22.87. In the back half, he swam a 25.97 and was just four-hundreths of a second behind Berens.
"That is awesome for Jimmy," said Berens. "Having him next to me was fun and being between him and Garrett. I have known Jimmy for so long and we have talked for several months now about how he wants to be on the team and represent the relay. He has the 50 freestyle to go still and I know he is going to have a fast one there also."
Also swimming in the 100 freestyle was Weber-Gale, who placed eighth with a time of 49.21.
Brendan Hansen was also looking to add a second event to his Olympics schedule. He qualified earlier this week in the 100 breaststroke and was swimming the 200 breast finals on Friday night. He was fast out of the gate and had the lead after the first 50 meters. He maintained his presence at the front until the 150-mark when he dropped off slightly to finish fourth overall with a time of 2:10.25.
Rising senior Austin Surhoff advanced to the finals of the 200 IM as well on Friday. Surhoff posted a time of 1:59.87 for the fifth best time in the semifinals.
"This is my baby," said Surhoff. "This is what I came here to do. If you have a lane you have a shot and that is what I kept in my head the whole time. I am just here to race the people next to me, keep to my race plan and finish strong."
Surhoff will swim in the finals tomorrow night which start at 6:45 p.m. The prelims events on the men's side will begin at 10 a.m. with the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly. Those events will send 16 to the semifinals tomorrow night which also features the 200 backstroke finals.
Longhorns in 2012 Olympics
Friday, June 29