USA swim coach: 'no complaints'
Published: Sunday, August 5, 2012 at 5:11 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, August 5, 2012 at 5:11 p.m.
LONDON - Florida swimmers certainly left their mark at the Olympic Aquatics Centre.
In all, current Gators or prominent alumni won eight medals. Ryan Lochte led it out with two golds, two silvers and one bronze. Elizabeth Beisel, a rising junior, added a silver and a bronze. Conor Dwyer, in his first Olympics, collected a relay gold. Add Dana Vollmer, who spent one year at Florida before transferring to Cal, and it's 11 total medals by Gregg Troy-coached Gators.
“We would have liked to have been a little bit better in a couple spots, but Elizabeth was fantastic, Dwyer big-time drops, Ryan was good,” said Troy, the U.S. Olympic men's head coach. “A couple of those close races, put (Lochte's) hand on the wall a little bit quicker in the 200 freestyle, and (he's) second (instead of fourth). The backstroke swim, maybe (Lochte) lost a place there (getting bronze). Team-wise, it was good. I've got no complaints.”
Lochte left his third Olympics with 11 career medals, tying him with the likes of Mark Spitz and Matt Biondi as the second most decorated U.S. male Olympians behind Michael Phelps.
"I wanted to get all golds in my events,” Lochte said. “It didn't happen. I'm going to have to live with that, and you know what, move on and learn from it and try not to make the same mistakes in the next four years."
Lochte might downshift his program leading into the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, where he would be 32 years old. He spoke about possibly dropping the grueling 400-meter individual medley, the only event he swims that's longer than 200 meters.
The bubbly Beisel, 19, was thrilled with a silver in her 400 IM and a bronze in the 200 backstroke. She was the youngest member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic swim team but didn't medal in Beijing.
“I was going to be happy if I finaled, and even better if I got a medal,” Beisel said. “For me to come out with two, it's not what I was expecting. It's a good surprise.”
Beisel swims a unique pair of events that may be dominated by the London Olympic champions for years to come -- China's Ye Shiwen and America's Missy Franklin, both teens -- but she'd rather take on the challenge than switch to something new.
“I think for the most part, we're going to keep it the same,” Beisel said. “It definitely worked this summer.”
Dwyer, who transferred to Florida from Iowa, has a chance to replace the retiring Phelps as the USA's second fastest man behind Lochte in the 200 free and the 200 IM. He's also set to surpass the aging Peter Vanderkaay, who now trains in Gainesville, as U.S. No. 1 in the 400 free.
“Big upside for him,” Troy said.
Troy, long a part of USA Swimming in various capacities, oversaw the men's Olympic team for the first time. U.S. male swimmers won 16 medals, including eight golds, and two of the three relays. It was a success, but questions now arise of how Phelps will be replaced, especially with Lochte potentially paring his regimen. Troy isn't focused on answering them.
“I've just got to get my Florida team back in line here for the next year,” he said. “I'm not thinking about four years from now.”
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