Texas A&M’s Breeja Larson became the first Aggie swimmer to earn an Olympic gold medal when the United States women won the 4x100-meter medley relay on Saturday.
Larson did not swim in the Olympic final for Team USA, but earned her gold medal by helping the relay advance through the preliminary heats. With Larson swimming the breaststroke leg on Friday, the U.S. qualified fourth for the final in a time of 3:58.88. On Saturday, the foursome of Missy Franklin, Rebecca Soni, Dana Vollmer and Allison Schmitt cruised to a win with a time of 3:52.05.
Larson is the second Aggie swimmer to medal at the Olympic Games. At Beijing in 2008, Christine Marshall won a bronze medal with Team USA’s 4x200-meter freestyle relay.
A&M graduate Jaele Patrick, representing Australia, advanced to the final of the 3-meter springboard with an 11th-place finish in the second qualifier. Patrick will dive in the final on Sunday.
Antanas Kavaliauskus, a 2007 A&M graduate, scored six points and had three rebounds in 7 minutes, 41 seconds of play to help Lithuania give the United States its biggest scare of the Olympics. The U.S. won 99-94.
At Olympic Stadium, three of the four Aggie sprinters advanced to the semifinals of their respective events.
Demetrius Pinder of the Bahamas won his 400 meters heat in 44.92 while former teammate Tabarie Henry of the U.S. Virgin Islands finished fourth in the same heat at 45.43. Deon Lendore of Trinidad & Tobago placed fifth in another heat, but his 45.81 didn’t advance him on time.
In the 100 heats, Gerald Phiri of Zambia clocked a 10.16 for third place and earned an automatic position for the semfinal.
Pinder and Henry will race their semifinal at 2:40 p.m. CST. Phiri gets into the blocks at 1:45 p.m.