SHANGHAI, CHINA - JULY 30: (L-R) Natalie Coughlin, Dana Vollmer and Rebecca Soni of the United States cheer on Melissa Franklin on the way to winning the gold medal in the Women's 4x100m Medley Relay during Day Fifteen of the 14th FINA World Championships at the Oriental Sports Center on July 30, 2011 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
11-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin (three gold, four silver and four bronze) won't be participating in any individual events, but she will be competing in the 400m free relay, looking to tie Jenny Thompson with 12 medals for the highest in American Swimming History. Thompson earned 12 medals in four Olympics. Coughlin, a Cal alum, left the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2004 Athens Olympics as the most decorated female athlete on both occasions. She won one gold (100-yard backstroke), two silver (medley relay and 4x100 freestyle relay) and three bronze (100-yard freestyle, 200-yard IM and 4x200 freestyle relay) at Beijing and two gold and silver and one bronze at Athens. She is a five-time medalist at both the 2007 World Championships and 2005 World Championships and a six-time medalist at the 2002 Pan-Pacific Championships.
The favorite to win the 100 and 200 breast is Rebecca Soni, the former USC standout from New Jersey. At the Olympic Trials she placed first in the 200m breast and second in the 100 to qualify. At the 2008 Games she won gold with a world record 200m breast, which clearly she will be looking to defend. She also earned silver in the 400m medley relay with an American record and in the 100m breast. In the FINA World Championships Soni has earned four gold, one silver and one bronze, including gold in 2011 in the 100m breast, 200m breast and 400m medley relay and in the 100m breast in world record time in 2009. Soni has also taken gold at the 2010 Pan-Pacific's, the 2010 SC Worlds, the 2010, 2009 and 2007 U.S. Nationals and the 2009 Short Course National Championships. She is a four-time National champion in the 200m breast (2010, 2009, 2007 and 2005) and has earned six NCAA gold medals.
Dana Vollmer (Cal) competed at the 2000 Olympic Trials at the age of 12 - the youngest to ever swim at the meet. In 2004 at the age of 16, she won gold in the 4x200m freestyle relay. In 2008, she did not quality. Four years later and she'll be competing. Vollmer earned four NCAA titles and a team championship as a Golden Bear and graduated in 2009. At the 2009 World Championships, she earned silver and bronze and at the 2010 Pan-Pacific Championships, four gold medals and one silver. At the 2011 World Championships, Vollmer won gold in the 100m fly and 400m medley relay. She also won gold for the 100m fly and bronze for the 100m freestyle at the U.S. Championships.
Jessica Hardy (Cal) will be swimming at the Olympics. After testing positive for a banned substance in 2008 (she was later cleared of wrongdoing) - after qualifying for the Olympic team - Hardy was banned for one year. Then after breaking two world records at the 2009 U.S. Open and eventually winning the overall series title at the FINA World Cup circuit, Hardy won the 50m and 100m freestyle at the 2012 Olympic trials. She will compete in those races in London, in addition to the 4x100m free relay.
Katinka Hosszu, a 2012 senior co-captain at USC, finished her collegiate career as a three-time NCAA title winner and 13-time All-American. A four-time Pac-10 champion, Hosszu holds USC records in the 200-yard/scm IM, 200-yard/scm fly, 400-yard IM, 200-yard free and in three relays. In the 2011 World Championships, before her senior year, she placed sixth in the 200m IM, 15th in the 400m IM, 19th in the 200m fly and was on Hungary's 800m free relay team. During her junior season in 2011, she earned the Honda Sports Award for Swimming as the nation's top women's swimmer after winning three NCAA and Pac-10 titles in one season. She won NCAA titles in the 200-yard IM, 400-yard IM and the 200-yard fly and was the NCAA Swimmer of the Meet. She was just the second Trojan woman to win three NCAA titles in one year. That year, she was nominated for Best Female College Athlete for the ESPY's. At the age of 15 she finished 31st in the 200m free in Athens and at Beijing she placed 12th in the 400m IM and 17th in the 200m IM. She will be representing Hungary.
Caitlin Leverenz, a Cal junior this past season, was arguably the nation's top high school recruit and at Cal she's certainly made a name for herself. At the 2012 NCAA's she set American, U.S. Open, NCAA, Pac-12, school and pool records in the 200 IM (1:51.77), won the 200 breast in a school-and-pool record (2:04.76) and earned second in the 400 IM with an American-and-school-record (3:57.89). At the inaugural Pac-12 Championships, she also helped set American, U.S. Open, NCAA, Pac-12, school and pool records in the 200-medley relay and 400-medley relay. She set a school record in the 200-yard IM prelim, breaking Coughlin's school record (1:54.95) with a finish of 1:54.35. Then in the night final Leverenz broke her own time with 1:52.43. She also won the 200-yard breast in a school-record 2:05.49 and the 400-yard IM. She was named the Pac-12 Swimmer of the Meet and the CSCAA Swimmer of the Meet. In the weeks after, Leverenz also won the Honda Sports Award for Swimming and was named the Pac-12 Women's Swimmer of the Year.
A 2012 graduate of Eden Prairie High School in Minnesota and a Cal commit, Rachel Bootsma, a swimmer for 10 years, earned second in the 100m back to qualify for the Olympic team. At the 2011 ConocoPhillips National Championships she placed second in the 100m back, in 2010 she took third and in 2009 she placed 10th. At the 2010 Pan Pacific's she earned bronze in the 50m back and in 2009 she was sixth. At the 2008 Short Course National Championships Bootsma finished sixth in the 100 back.
Ariana Kukors (Washington) finished second in the 200m IM to make it to London. She has three World Championship medals to her name: in 2011 she earned bronze in the 200m IM and in 2009 she struck gold with a world record in the 200m IM and silver in the 4x200m free relay. In 2007 she placed fifth in the 400m IM. At the 2010 Pan Pacific's she earned silver in the 200m IM and in 2006 she also took silver in the 400m IM and placed ninth in the 200m IM. In the SC Worlds, she earned gold in the 100m IM and took bronze in the 200m IM.
Lauren Boyle (Cal) will be racing in the 200, 400 and 800 free and the 4x200 free relay in London. This is her second Olympics after swimming in the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the 800m free relay. At Cal, she was a three-time All-American at the 2010 NCAA Championships in the 500y free (2nd), 800 free relay (2nd) and the 1650 free (3rd). Boyle earned honorable mention All-American in the 200 free (12th). She left Cal in 2010 ranked second in the 500 free with her 2010 NCAA time (4:37.18) and eighth with her 200 free prelim time (1:45.64). She won the 500 free at the 2010 Pac-10 Championships in a then-career-best 4:38.77 and was second in the 1650 and fifth in the 200 free. She earned titles at the 2009 Pac-10 Championships, All-Academic honors and broke a 2008 Pac-10 Championship 1650y free time that had stood for 20 years. At the 2007 and 2005 World Swimming Championships Boyle represented New Zealand.
Haley Anderson, a senior at USC, will be competing in the 10k open water swim, while her sister Alyssa (Arizona) will swim in the 800 free. Anderson won the 1500m free and placed second in the 800m free at the 2011 World University Games. At the 2011 CP National Championships, she took second in the 800m free, seventh in the 400m IM and eighth in the 400m free. At the 2010 CP's she took third in the 800m free. In NCAA's she won the 500-yard free and earned third in the 1650-yard free (2012) and took third in the 1650 and sixth in the 500-yard free in 2011.