University of Florida swimmer Elizabeth Beisel earned her second straight trip to the Olympics with a win in the U.S. Olympic swimming trials Monday night.
Beisel, 19, won the 400-meter individual medley with a time of 4:31.74, beating Caitlin Leverenz by more than two seconds. Leverenz jumped out to a half-body lead in the butterfly leg, but Beisel caught up during the backstroke, pulled more than a body length ahead at the halfway mark and held the lead.
Beisel was happy to get qualifying out of the way, saying she is both tired and relieved.
"It's definitely a good feeling to have that over with," she said.
Beisel's time was the fastest this year, and .62 seconds slower than Katie Hoff's American record. Leverenz will make her Olympic debut as she joins Beisel in London competing in the 400 IM.
With the pressure of qualifying over with, Beisel says, "Now I can sort of relax and enjoy the meet, and try to get best times in everything, I guess."
Beisel will be a favorite to win the 400 IM in London, after she captured the 400 IM title at the world championships last year in Shanghai.
The Rhode Island native and current Gators junior hopes to medal this time at the Olympics. In Beijing at age 15 she narrowly missed the podium, finishing fourth in the 400 IM and fifth in the 200-meter backstroke.
Beisel was the third Gator to qualify for London on the first night of the trials, along with Ryan Lochte and Conor Dwyer. Her coach Gregg Troy, who is the men's Olympic head coach and the UF head coach, has landed four on the Olympic team so far including Beisel, Lochte, Dwyer and Peter Vanderkaay.
Beisel is entered in nine total events at the Olympic trials, and she is expected to be a top contender in the 200 IM.