AUSTIN, Texas, November 30. JACKIE Aguillen, a business student at the University of Texas at Austin, came to the USA Swimming nationals to catch a glimpse of Ryan Lochte, and left with his gold medal in the 200-yard individual medley.
Aguillen was one of a horde of adoring Lochte fans who came to the meet armed with their smartphones, anxious to get a photo of the Olympic champion and worldwide heartthrob. After the awards presentation in the men's 200 IM, Lochte surprised the crowd by throwing his medal up to the stands. Aguillen caught the medal and cheered as it were a wedding bouquet.
Watch video of Lochte fans cheering during the awards presentation, followed by Aguillen's catch of Lochte's medal:
Later in the session, Aguillen spoke exclusively with Swimming World's Jeff Commings aboutthe experience of seeing Lochte in person for the first time:
Lochte, who is not fully shaved, talked to the media after his 200 IM, in which he approached his American record in the event. He also spoke about the effect having fans in the facility helped his and his competitors' performances:
Be sure to visit our USA Swimming winter nationals landing page for more video interviews from Day One of the meet!