London’s Calling: Connor Jaeger and Andrew Gemmell

PHOENIX, Arizona, July 8. THE 1500 meter freestyle is the marathon race of the swimming world. Swimmers must push through 30 grueling laps up and down fifty meter race pool. And then it happens all over again during finals.

During the prelims of the Olympic trials, one of Team USA’s 1500 meter Olympic qualifiers almost extended his race past the required sixty laps. Fortunately, Connor Jaeger’s to-the-feet prelim time qualified him for the finals, where he took second place to Andrew Gemmell.

Andrew Gemmell:

Due to NBC rights holder restrictions, the following video interview is only viewable until 7/27/2012:

Andrew Gemmell was born February 20, 1991 (age 21) in his hometown of Columbia, Maryland. He currently attends the University of Georgia, where he swims under coach Jack Bauerle.

Before his collegiate career, Gemmell was the 2008 FINA Youth World Swimming Champion in the 400 Individual Medley. He also won silver at the 2009 World Aquatics Championships in the open water 10-kilometer race.

After his stellar 2009 finish in 10k, Gemmell received the male open-water swimmer of the year award for the United States. He followed this up with a breakout swimmer of the year nomination at the Golden Goggle Awards.

In Omaha, Gemmell won the 1500 freestyle just ahead of Connor Jaeger with a time of 14:52.19.

After the race, Gemmell told Swimming World that he has his open water training and experience to thank for “giving me confidence [in] longer [races].”

Connor Jaeger:

Due to NBC rights holder restrictions, the following video interview is only viewable until 7/27/2012:

Connor Jaeger was born April 30, 1991 (age 21) in his hometown of Fair Haven, New Jersey. He graduated from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School in 2010, and currently attends Michigan.

This past year at Michigan, he was an NCAA All-American in the 500 free, 800 freestyle relay and 1650 freestyle. He also became the 2012 Big Ten Champion in 800 free relay and the 1650 free.

Jaeger tells Swimming World that there is a “great training environment at Michigan.”

In his prelim 1500 swim at trials, Jaeger made news when he flipped his finish, admitting that he’d “lost count.” Fortunately, during his finals swim, he posted a 14:52.51, just behind top finisher Andrew Gemmell. This time earned him a spot on the United States Olympic team.

Talking to Swimming World correspondent Jeff Commings after the race, Jaeger comments on his race competition, stating that “I knew I had to stick to my race strategy.”

This self-involvement paid off, as Jaeger’s first shot at a National title also qualified him for the Olympic Team.

“It’s really good timing, I’m happy I was able to do this swim at this meet,” commented Jaeger.

The 1500 freestyle prelims kick off August 3, with finals the following day, on August 4.

Written and posted by Shoshanna Rutemiller

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