Aug. 1, 2012
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LONDON—Rising senior Lauren Perdue (Greenville, N.C.) earned a gold medal with the United States in the women’s 4x200-meter freestyle relay Wednesday (August 1) at the 2012 Olympic Games. Perdue led off the American prelim relay on Wednesday morning to earn the medal and is the second Cavalier to earn a medal in as many days after Matt McLean (’11) won gold with the U.S. men’s 4x200m free relay on Tuesday.
It is the first time that the Cavalier swim program has had two medals in the same Olympiad since 2000, when American Ed Moses won gold with the 4x100m medley relay and silver in the 100m breaststroke.
“What an unbelievable night,” Perdue said. “I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to contribute to a gold medal relay today.”
Perdue led off the prelim relay with a 1:58.07 and teammates Shannon Vreeland, Alyssa Anderson and Dana Vollmer finished the heat in 7:50.75, touching first two seconds faster than Italy (7:52.75).
In the finals, the relay team of Missy Franklin, Vollmer, Vreeland and Allison Schmitt broke the Olympic record in a time of 7:42.92, defeating Australia (7:44.41) and France (7:47.49).
“The relay tonight was phenomenal,” Perdue said. “It was so exciting being able to cheer them on tonight and sharing the ultimate prize, an Olympic gold medal, with all six women! Each one of us has worked incredibly hard for this moment and I could not be more proud of my USA teammates.”
Perdue becomes the first Virginia female swimmer to medal since Melanie Valerio won gold with the U.S. 4x100m free relay in 1996, and is only the third overall. American Wendy Weinberg earned bronze in the 800m free in 1976. Perdue also becomes only the fourth UVa swimmer to win gold, joining McLean, Moses and Valerio.
In other action, recent graduate David Karasek represented Switzerland and finished 28th in the men’s 200-meter individual medley in a time of 2:01.35. With the time, Karasek breaks his own Swiss national record in the event. Karasek's previous best time was 2:01.79.
Former Cavalier Katya Bachrouche (’11) will be in action Thursday in the women’s 800-meter freestyle.