Hersey qualifies for 2012 Olympics in 200 butterfly
June 29, 2012
OMAHA, Neb. -- Former UT swimmer Kathleen Hersey qualified for her second Olympic games on Friday as she finished second in the 200 butterfly.
"I am so grateful to have another opportunity to represent the USA in an honorable manner with such a great girl next to (Cammile Adams)," said Hersey. "I couldn't be more happy with the personalities in the butterfly as we have a great group going."
Hersey had the lead for half the race at the second and third turns, but it was Cammile Adams surging at the end to take first. Hersey was able to hang on to the second spot and clock a swim of 2:07.72 to punch her ticket to London.
"I didn't really know what would happen in the last 100 because I knew Cammile was so strong and such a great racer," said Hersey. "Coming home she is one of a kind. My goal coming in was to put my hand on the wall in first or second and I found a way to do that."
Hersey was excited to be going to the Olympics in the same event she competed in during the 2008 Beijing Olympics where she finished eighth overall. Although she was happy to make the squad she still felt like it wasn't her best possible race.
"This was not a smart race and I didn't swim it the way I should have," said Hersey. "When you get yourself into this nervous state it is hard to get out of. All of the breathing exercises and all of the yoga I could do only helped to a certain point."
After losing her mom, Regina Hersey, in January to cancer, Kathleen has had extra motivation to try and make the team this year.
"Losing my mom was weighing heavy on my heart and I feel like this wouldn't happen if there wasn't a reason," said Hersey. "I felt her presence so much today. All I wanted to do after my 100 fly was give her a hug. The relationship has changed because it is so intimate now with her being a part of who I am."
Rising senior Laura Sogar will have her chance at trying to qualify for the team on Saturday as she advanced to the finals of the 200 breaststroke.
"I am so excited," said Sogar. "I am really just enjoying the process right now. I am having fun swimming and having fun competing. I am excited to go tomorrow and have another chance to race."
Sogar posted two really good swims on Friday. She notched the fourth best time in the prelims at 2:26.23 for a personal best and then dropped her time even more to a 2:25.41 in the semifinals. Her time again ranked fourth as she will be in the top half of the finals on Saturday.
"I think there is still room for improvement," said Sogar. "I just want to see what I can do. Those girls are going to go so fast tomorrow and hopefully I can be a part of that. The adrenaline of being in the finals and having the morning off will help me bring it home better tomorrow."
Sogar will swim her final in the 200 breaststroke tomorrow night in the evening session that starts at 6:45 p.m. The other evening races will be the final of the 100 freestyle and semifnal of the 200 backstroke. Prelims of the 200 back will be in the morning session that starts at 10 a.m.
Friday, June 29