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Freestyle - Ricky Berens
Born and raised in Charlotte, NC, Ricky Berens started swimming at age 4 on the local summer-league team with his mom as coach. He started swimming competitively at age 9, and has been doing it ever since.
Ricky swam for four years at University of Texas (Austin) under coach Eddie Reese. He was an NCAA Champion in his junior and senior year in the 800 freestyle relay, and was team captain his senior year when the Longhorns were NCAA Champions.
Ricky qualified for the 2008 USA Olympic team by placing 3rd in the 200 free. His time in the relay prelims in Beijing was fast enough to give him a chance to swim in finals, where he teamed with Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, and Peter Vanderkaay to take gold with a world-record time of 6:58.56, the first relay team to go under the 7-minute barrier.
Ricky qualified for the 2012 USA Olympic team by placing 4th in the 100 free and 3rd in the 200 free. In London, Berens again won gold in the 4 X 200 freestyle relay (with Lochte, Conor Dwyer, and Phelps). He also won silver as part of the 2nd-place USA team in the 4 X 100 freestyle relay. Ricky’s splits were 1:45.27 and 48.52, respectively.
At the 2013 American Short Course Championships, Ricky broke the American record in the 200-yard freestyle (1:31.31), taking his split from the 500-yard freestyle. At the 2013 United States National Championships, Ricky was 5th in both the 100-meter and 200-meter freestyle, qualifying him to swim the 4 X 100 and 4 X 200 freestyle relays.
At the 2013 World Aquatics Championships in Barcelona, Ricky teamed with Dwyer, Lochte, and Charlie Houchin to take gold in the 4 X 200-meter freestyle relay. Ricky’s anchor leg split was 1:45.39.