Jun 30, 2012; Omaha, NE, USA; Natalie Coughlin (left) talks about the race with Dana Vollmer after competing in the womens 100m freestyle final in the 2012 U.S. Olympic swimming team trials at the CenturyLink Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Ryerson-US PRESSWIRE
It's no secret that Cal hosts some of the best student-athletes and coaches in the world. This summer, we profile some of the Cal men and women representing their home countries at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. Today, we look at Dana Vollmer, who will represent the United States of America as a swimmer.
Teri McKeever and Dana Vollmer at the 2009 NCAA Division I National Championships (from flowsimming.org)
Four years ago, Dana Vollmer stepped up to the starting block at the USA Swimming Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska. Vollmer and her brethren were seeking to represent the United States at the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing. They would have only one chance to prove themselves. At what some have called the most nerve-wracking race in the world, Vollmer stepped up to center stage.
A 2004 Olympian and former young swimming prodigy, Vollmer was expected to be one of the stars of Beijing. However, she faceplanted. Vollmer missing the final of the 50 and 100 free and finished no better than fifth in any event.
Q. Talk about setting the record, did it feel good?
DANA VOLLMER: Definitely, and I feel better than I did at World's. I don't feel perfect, and that's exciting for me tomorrow. I'm going to get a massage tonight, hydrate and get a good dinner, and I think I will feel better tomorrow night.
Q. How fast can you go?
DANA VOLLMER: I'm hoping for that 55. I've been having good practices and going faster than I ever have in workout and putting it together and doing the things that I have been doing, the ocean training, the Pilates and stuff is coming together and making me really strong in the water.
Fast-forward to 2012, and Dana Vollmer is looking for redemption. After training with Cal's Teri McKeever, Vollmer qualified for London, swimming in the 100 Fly and 800 Freestyle Relay team, exorcising the demons of Omaha of years past. Vollmer joins a USA Swimming team that some have said could be the best swimming team assembled anywhere, ever. After a multitude of success at Cal, including being named 2009 NCAA Swimmer of the Year and Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year, Vollmer will take on the world in a few weeks.
From Dana's Calbears.com profile:
Why I Chose Cal
"I chose Cal because of the passion and love displayed by the coach and every athlete in our sport. This team drives each other to perfection in a manner that creates a positive team atmosphere to make us all become better individuals."
Best Cal Times (In Yards)
50 free 22.05 (2007 Pac-10s)
100 free 47.17 (3/21/09 NCAAs)
200 free 1:41.53 (2/25/09 Pac-10s)
100 fly 50.69 (2007 NCAAs)
200 fly 1:52.37 (2008 Pac-10s)