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Former Cavalier McLean Earns Gold at the Olympics

Matt McLean and his gold medal (Jim Bauman/University of Virginia

July 31, 2012

LONDON—Former Cavalier swimmer Matt McLean (Class of 2011) won a gold medal with the United States in the men’s 4x200-meter freestyle relay Tuesday (July 31) at the 2012 Olympic Games. McLean earned the medal as part of the prelim relay on Tuesday morning and becomes the first Cavalier swimmer to earn a gold medal since Ed Moses in 2000 with the American men’s 4x100m medley relay.

The prelim relay of Charlie Houchin, McLean, Davis Tarwater and Conor Dwyer posted the fastest time of the two heats in 7:06.75. After Russia took a small lead at the beginning of the second leg, McLean powered the Americans to an eight-tenth of a second lead by the time Tarwater hit the water.

“I had an awesome time on the relay this morning with Charlie, Conor and Davis,” McLean said. “It was the greatest feeling walking out in the red, white and blue to a cheering crowd. Thanks to everyone for all their support and encouragement, it means the world to me.”

The finals’ relay team of Ryan Lochte, Dwyer, Ricky Berens and Michael Phelps finished first in a time of 6:59.70, more than three seconds faster than second-place France (7:02.77). It was a historic race for Phelps as he earned his Olympic-record 19th medal and 15th gold medal.

McLean joins Moses and Melanie Valerio as the only Cavalier swimmers to claim gold at the Olympic level. Valerio won gold with the U.S. women’s 4x100m free relay in 1996.

In other action, incoming freshman Yannick Kaeser represented Switzerland in the men’s 200-meter breaststroke, finishing 24th in a time of 2:13.49.

More UVa swimmers are in action tomorrow as rising senior Lauren Perdue and recent graduate David Karasek will be in action.




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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.

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