Berkeley: U.S. Olympic swimming’s second home

By Jonathan Okanes

The Pac-12 Networks paid a visit to Cal on Friday to do some promotional work about the conference’s Olympic athletes, and it turned out to be a who’s who of U.S. Olympic swimming.

On hand were 11-time Olympic medialist Natalie Coughlin, who graduated from Cal in 2004; Dana Vollmer (Cal, ’09), who won a gold medal on one of the United States’ relay teams (along with Coughlin) at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece at the age of 16; and Cal head women’s coach Teri McKeever, who will coach the U.S. Olympic women’s swim team this summer in London for the 2012 games.

Coughlin will attempt to qualify for her third Olympics this summer and Vollmer is attempting to make her second. Current Cal senior Caitlin Leverenz, who narrowly missed a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team in 2008 and is in the mix for 2012, was also interviewed by the Pac-12 Networks on Friday.

Each of the athletes talked about the ultra-competitiveness of the Pac-12 in swimming and how they might not be Olympic-caliber athletes had they swam in a different conference. After their interviews, the swimmers got some work in at Cal’s Spieker Pool, and later the Networks got some comments from some male swimmers.

Some images from the visit:

Former Cal swimmer and 2012 Olympic hopeful Dana Vollmer prepares to be interviewed at Cal’s Haas Pavilion on Friday. The Pac-12 Networks interviewed a handful of top-level Cal swimmers for promotional spots.

Cal senior Caitlin Leverenz is interviewed by the Pac-12 Networks. Leverenz is eyeing a 2012 Olympic berth.

The Pac-12 Networks shoots Cal and U.S. Olympic women’s swim team coach Teri McKeever poolside at Spieker Pool on Cal’s campus.

Cal swimmers get a workout in at Spieker Pool during the Pac-12 Networks’ visit on Friday.

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