Although she recently loses out on the ESPY for being the Female College Athlete of the Year (to Baylor basketball's Brittney Griner), Caitlin Leverenz has plenty to celebrate so far in 2012. The 2012 Swimmer of the Meet at the NCAA Championship, Honda award for swimming, and Pac-12 swimmer of the year achieved her life long dream of becoming an Olympian (after coming in very close in the 2008 Trials). The arguably best current US IM swimmer will compete in both the 200 and 400 IM in London.
At the NCAA national championships in 2011, she swam the breaststroke legs for the Golden Bears' winning relay teams in the 4x50-yard and 4x100-yard medley relay events; the Bears set a new American and NCAA record time of 1:35.03 in the 4x50 medley. At the 2012 NCAA national championships, she again was a member of the Bears' winning 4x50-yard and 4x100-yard medley relay teams, as well as winning individual national championships in the 200-yard individual medley (NCAA record) and the 200-yard breaststroke events.
More after the jump!
- Twitter: @cleverenz
- Events: 200 IM (click to relive her win) and 400 IM
- 1st time Olympian
- Current Cal Bears, Leverenz will look to lead the Cal team to a three-peat in her senior year.
- Barely missed qualifying for Beijing, earning a third- and two fourth-place finishes at Trials. Caitlin finally broke through this year first with a 2nd place finish in 400 IM and then winning the 200 IM.
- Won two races at the 2011 U.S. Winter Nationals
Her quote about London from after winning the 2012 NCAA Championship
On her performance at NCAAs and her feelings about London
"I think it puts me in a really good position. I'm really confident in how I swim and I still think there is a lot more I can do. I think this meet just shows how much I've gotten better at my walls and short course. Last year I really wasn't a player, and Katinka (Hosszu of USC) was beating me, and this year it was a lot closer. I think this meet shows how much I've come in a year, and I think I still have a lot more to come in the next couple of months leading up to trials."
Here is an interview after winning the 2012 NCAA Championship:
Clearly, she was able to use the momentum that she gained from winning and setting the NCAA record in 200 IM in the NCAA championships into making it to London.
Here is Caitlin in the NBC interview after qualifying for the Olympics with a 2nd place finish in the 400 IM (I don't think I can embed the NBC videos).
Caitlin is clearly the current face of Cal women's swimming (on a fairly loaded team, by the way) and poised to have some great success in London.
Go Caitlin and GO BEARS!